We have been following a very busy schedule here in GTO. We are working closely with the University of Guanajuato to achieve our goal of (brief) cultural immersion. Our language classes start at 8 a.m. So we have to leave the house to walk down to the University at 7:30. Azul, Elizabeth and I are taking Intermediate Grammar, Mexican Literature, Mexican History and Intermediate Conversation. The Literature and History classes are fascinating. There is so much I don’t know about my neighboring country to the south. For example we studied a poem by Sor Juana, a famous nun who lived in the 1600’s, and it was powerful and very edgy for the time period.
After four hours of class we typically have a short break before having a specialty lecture/tour from a faculty at the university. We have learned about the history of the university, the libraries (they have three major ones on campus), and the fine arts program, just to name a few. My favorite was a visit to the historical archives where they have collections of really, really old books. The pride of the archives is a book published in the late 1400’s! You know, only 500 years old, give or take. We got to, very carefully and with gloves on, handle the book.
Typically we are then given lunch break for “la comida”. We start up again at 5 for an afternoon lecture that is focused on helping us understand Mexico. For example we’ve heard about “Religion in Mexico”, “Contemporary Art” and “Education in Mexico” from different professors. These are usually followed by a tour where we get to see things mentioned in the lectures.
A stroll through the main jardin (garden/park) for coffee or ice cream may finish off the day. Then it’s back to our homes to work on our projects and prepare for the next day. It’s been wonderful, enlightening, and enjoyable but also a bit tiring.