Monday, July 18, 2011
Monday July 18, Week 2, Day 8
In class, and our official visit to the Guggenheim:
Mondays feel like Mondays everywhere, but we are all happy to be back in class with our three wonderful teachers. Begonia gives us an overview of this week's excursions. Tomorrow we head to a pre-primary classroom to meet a teacher who will explain bilingual pre-primary education to us. And on Saturday, we travel to the Rioja region of Spain. But first, we talk about the finer details of Spanish verb tenses, which Spanish teachers love to talk about. Begonia then talks in detail about the Spanish education system, public vs. private, and the system's peculiarities in the Basque region.
Francisco shows us some more Spanish language books, which are colorful, soft-cover workbooks. He also mentions that today is the 75 anniversary of the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, which officially began on July 18, 1936. We wrap up our discussion about using the newspaper in our teaching, and move on to how to use film. We spend considerable time comparing the mentality of the Spaniards vs. Americans regarding the hot-button themes of sex and violence, reflected in film. He gives us several Spanish DVD's to watch in our dorm, and tonight we watch Te doy mis ojos, a depressingly realistic view of domestic violence. Everyone seems to like it.
Ana continues covering the Spanish culture questions in our book, pp. 5-7.
Our 4:00 p.m. official visit to the Guggenheim is a success, thanks to Francisco's great introduction. This is must-see museum, both inside and out for anyone who enjoys architecture and modern art. The wow piece on the ground level is part of the museum's permanent collection and fills the museum's largest room. "La materia del tiempo" by Richard Serra includes seven of the most gigantic sculptures I have ever seen. Each one probably weighs a gazillion tons because they are cleverly casted, rust-colored, iron walls that are like laberynths is spiral shapes that you can walk through. The Guggenheims commissioned these pieces for the museum's inauguration in 1997.
The "Intervalo luminoso" (The Daskalopoulos Collection) is this summer's collection of incredibly avant guard, modern art that uses a huge variety of media, including plenty of technology. Thirty internationally acclaimed artists contributed to this exhibit, and John Broch's hugely unusual piece fills an entire room. Most people here either believe or simply cannot deny that the Guggenheim has been the catalyst in Bilbao's transformation. Bilbao was a totally industrial, ugly, dirty and contaminated city, and is now a bustling cultural hub, full of parks, amazing architecture and gastonomical goodness that attracts more and more students, artists and tourists every year. Our University of Deusto is a two minute bridge-crossing from the Guggenheim, and live jazz on most nights just outside the museum. We are spoiled.