with Rick Steves (found the full length podcast on moodle though)

Describe the activity:

I watched the 60 minute special on the podcast about Andalucía with Rick Steve. It was about the unique southern region of Spain called Andalucía. It had examples of the Moorish culture and their influences on Andalucían life. Rick also explored passionate gypsy musicians, hill towns, the famous Flamenco dance, the rock of Gibraltar, the annual spring fair, and the pretty beaches of Andalucía.  He is a very informative and energetic host and almost makes me believe I am walking along the streets of Granada

What did I learn about the Spanish language/Hispanic culture from this activity?

I learned that the Moorish culture is a key aspect to life in Andalucía and it can be seen in their cathedrals and more. The cultural influences are in high numbers in southern Spain and I learned that history has shaped Hispanic culture today.  Also, what has shaped Hispanic society today, is the development of tourism and resort life along the Costa del Sol.  Not only does the hustle and bustle of major cities like Granada, Sevilla, and Cordoba offer economic benefits, but so does the tourism.  I also learned that some of the things we practice in the United States are practiced in Andalucía.  For example, the making of gazpacho and the dancing of the Flamenco.

What can I take from this experience that I can use in the future, personally or professionally..

I can take away many things from this experience in my future. Personally, I love to travel and I will hopefully be visiting Spain in my near future. When I go, I can share my new cultural findings and not go in blind to the detailed Spanish life. Also, professionally, I would like to pursue the field of communications which could involve me interacting and talking with people of southern Spain and maybe even people who reside in Andalucía.

describe the activity:

Meghan, Bianca, and I went to the Meadows Museum located in SMU.  At first we walked around the outside and saw the "wave" by Santiago Calatrava and the painted stainless steel head by the famous Spanish born Jaume Plensa.  Then we entered the museum only to find massive rooms filled with prestigious paintings and artwork.  We went upstairs and saw the exhibit of Sorolla and America.  Even though we weren't allowed to take pictures, I can still remember the sophisticated portraits and the landscape paintings.  Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, from 183-1923, provided some of the first exhibitions of the modern era.  He was the most internationally known artist until Pablo Picasso.

what did I learn about the Hispanic culture from this activity?

I learned that his paintings were influenced by his strong connection to his Hispanic home and native culture.  Those who grow up in Spain tend to reveal their strong cultural virtues in their actions; like Joaquin Sorolla.  I learned that Sorolla's works were under the perspective of his native land and cultural influences.  His art education began at the age of 9 and at the age of 18 he traveled to places like Spain to study master paintings and look for inspiration.  Some of his most famous works were influenced by experiences or historic events that he lived through like the polio epidemic (reflected in his painting titled "Sad Inheritance").  

what can I take away from this experience to use in my future, personally or professionally?

I can take away some great knowledge on the Spanish history of art, especially with Joaquin Sorolla.  In my future, when I travel to Spain and Spanish art museums I will have a background in Sorolla's art and be able to contribute to conversation and help inform others.  In college, if I decide to minor in Spanish, I am sure we will explore beyond surface level Spanish traditions.  So, if they delve into art history in Hispanic culture, I will already have background information about one of the most well known artists name Joaquin Sorolla.

Sangria-Mediterranean Tapas and Bar

describe the activity:

Meghan, Julia, and I went the restaurant called Sangria.  It is located in busy Uptown and is owned by Alberto Lombardi.  We ordered Spanish meatballs, candied almonds, pan con tomate, butternut squash ravioli, and the Mediterranean flat bread.  My favorite was the Spanish meatballs with the tomato sauce and parsley crumble.  The Spanish meatball is a famous dish in Spain and it is amazing that I can have a taste of Spain in Texas!

what did I learn about the Hispanic culture from this activity?

I learned that many dishes have migrated from the Hispanic world to the United States through people.  The chefs, of these delicious, foreign dishes, take pride in their country and their culture.  They are always happy to see if you like their food and if you share interest in their culture.  I learned that it is possible to have a taste in the Hispanic culture from almost anywhere in the United States because we are so diverse.  Even though the Hispanic culture is definitely commercialized in some cases, i.e. Chipotle and Qdoba, there are many authentic places as well where you can enjoy the true culture of the Hispanic region.

what can I take away from this experience to use in my future, personally or professionally?

In my future travels, personally I will be able to compare the Hispanic restaurants of the United States to the original restaurants of the Hispanic areas, like Spain.  I will have a greater appreciation for the ethnic and delicious food that the Hispanic countries have to offer because I have heard that eating Hispanic food in the United States is "not the same" as eating it in a country like Spain.  Also, professionally speaking, I have interest in going into the field of food as maybe a food critic.  If I do, I will only be able to add this enriching experience onto my palette and look to compare and contrast my future tastings.

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