Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tancant el Capítol de l'UB

{{Tu de què vas}}

Last Friday we had the goodbye party for all the students of Estudios Hispánicos at the Universitat de Barcelona. I wasn't quite done with the UB yet--I still had a test for Cine Español that afternoon and one for Historia de Arte Monday afternoon--but it gave a great symbolic close to the four months I've spent studying there. Throughout my time in Barcelona, the UB has been the only constant in terms of my classes. Differing French and Catalan courses have come and gone, but I have always known that several times a week I would walk or metro my way over to Universitat to learn more about Spain's artistic culture. Several of my closest friends--Alli, Marine, Lauren--have come from my classes at the UB, and I always feel a sense of great pride as I walk towards the great front doors of the Universitat.

To celebrate the goodbye, we all grouped in the Panorifam, a special room in the University that is only used for thesis presentations and special evening concerts. I had gotten to visit this spectacular room once with my art history professor, but I was completely as wowed the second time by the complete decadence and art inside. My professor explained to all the gathered Estudios Hispánicos students about the importance of the room. The right and left walls are covered in a series of paintings that depict important events in the history of Spain, uniting Muslims and Christians and Jews, scholars and kings, merchants and sultans, bringing together all the different facets of what makes Spain today. The far wall has paintings of two women, one representing the arts, with names of famous painters, composers, architects, and writers, surrounding her, and the other representing the sciences, with the names of such as Gallileo and Newton surrounding her. The room is magnificent and was a fittingly solemn place to say our goodbyes to our university away from home. My art professor wore the traditional formal professors' robe, which has been in use since the 1500s, and talked about the importance of the room and Estudios Hispánicos from the pulpit where the student delivering his/her thesis would defend it against the "Devil's lawyer".

After the ceremony we were invited to mix and mingle over tasty bocadillos and sodas. It was a perfect way for me to enjoy some last moments talking with some of my fellow students from classes and enjoy the atmosphere of Estudios Hispánicos one last time. Plus get a bit of free energy before my test!!

But my ultimate goodbye to the UB actually came this past Thursday, when I spent my last day with Alli before she flew back to the US. We wanted to wander around the gardens one last time, and what did we find, but a performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in Catalan, right in the middle of the gardens. The students were obviously rehearsing for a performance that night, still cleaning up a few entrances and lines, and unfortunately we arrived towards the end of the play. But that, however, didn't take away from the perfection of this particular play, in the language of Catalunya, for a final goodbye measure to our university. Only at l'UB would that happen, and only after living here would we be able to know which play it was after hearing only a few words in Catalan.

Adéu, l'Universitat de Barcelona, segura que ens veiem de nou algun dia. Només vull que no sigui molt temps!! Gràcies per a tot!

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