Looking back on a busy autumn

I’m perched by a window in the ‘beautiful’ building that is the Arts and Social Sciences library. Deadlines are now very much in view, which is slightly daunting: one essay on Hugo Chavez’s democracy and the other on the cultural prominence of Rabelais and Ronsard Renaissance texts. Time to crack on.

Although I miss it, I have stopped playing University hockey to allow myself a bit more time for final year commitments; “commitments” somehow evokes reluctance, which is, of course, my complete opposite position..! I don’t specifically mean academic demands, but also engagement in projects both within and outside the School of Modern Languages. Throughout the term I have been going to events set up by BristoLatino, a student-led cultural group which runs a website where students can submit various blog entries on “all things Latin American.” Every fortnight there are screenings of Latin American films in the cinema room of the Multimedia Centre. Last week we watched Nostalgia de la Luz, a film by Patricio Guzmán which draws parallels between astronomers based in the Atacama Desert researching humanity’s past and the struggle of many Chilean women who still search in the desert for the remnants of their relatives executed during the Pinochet dictatorship. Highly recommended, for the record. I think we’re all feeling a bit out of touch with our language having now been back in the country for a few months after the year abroad, so keeping it up any way we can is pretty vital.

Outside the faculty I have been tutoring Spanish at one of the local high schools. It is part of the Bristol Schools Plus programme, a national programme aimed at reducing educational inequality. Without wanting to sound too clichéd, it has honestly been so rewarding working with kids from various backgrounds, whose first language is rarely English.

I initially started my term meeting with a very charming French tandem partner, but, after leaving my phone at one of the bars on Gloucester Road and losing their number, I’ll be needing to go to one of the Erasmus Exchange evenings to find a new friend (soulmate…?)

Hasta la próxima / à la prochaine!

– Bryony

bryony-michaelson-tb

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