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Study Abroad in Spain

Reflexión: me he enriquecido como persona

Reflection: I have been enriched as a person through studying abroad.  My view of cultural emmersion coming to Toledo was that I would be able to experience the traditions that I learned about in Spanish class, the Paella, the Flamenco dancing, the siestas etc. The real emmerison happened when I realized that the Paella is well known in La Comunidad de Valenciana (I am not studying in the Conunidad de Valenciana, I am in Castilla-La Mancha), Flamenco dancing is most traditionally from southern Spain and not everyone has time to […]

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Sunday, 9 April: Eternity in Two Days

Ciao, tutti! (Hello, everyone!) Yep, I’m using Italian again, because I visited Rome ethe weekend of Palm Sunday to start of my spring break from the Fundación Ortega-Marañon y Gasset, the school through which I am studying here in Toledo, Spain for the spring semester. I could also say “Hola a tothom!” which means the same thing in Catalan; I visited the capital of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia, Barcelona, on Friday before going to Rome. The week before my travels commenced was the last week of regular classes at the […]

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Semana 13: Muchísimas historias, many stories

This week a group of friends and I went to Barcelona. A few of us got to go to Palm Sunday mass at the Sagrada Familia!! We almost were not able to go. When we arrived, the attendant at the front door asked us if we had invitations. We did not know we needed invitations to go to mass. We looked up the details online and it said that the invitations were free, but you needed to pick them up at a nearby monastery in advance. Our spirits were a […]

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Semana 12: Los molinos, Windmills

The featured image is from my favorite part of this week. A friend surprised me with the opportunity to see the windmills from Don Quixote! Don Quixote is a famous Spanish novel that was written by Miguel de Cervantes in the early 1600s. The main character in the book is a knight named Don Quixote. In one part of the book, Don Quixote fights with windmills, the ones that are behind me in the featured image. Last weekend, a group of students and I went to Segovia, Spain. This 2,000 […]

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Sunday, 26 March: Feeling at Home

Qué tal, ¿amigos? I hope this latest post finds you hale and healthy and, if not, that you soon arrive at such a condition! If you recall from my last post, I spent the weekend of 17-19 March in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. The bus we took from the city left around 9:40 p.m. and, with the extra hour added on crossing into Spain, arrived close to 6 a.m. Side complaint: time zones in Europe sometimes make as little sense as they do in the United States, or even […]

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Sunday, 12 March: Cheers, Ireland!

Hey, everyone! I know it’s been quite a long time since I’ve written: I could blame the delay on any number of things, but mostly it was just a lack of motivation. Between my assignments from the Fund and all the necessities in planning trips on the weekend, I ended up shrugging off the responsibility of this blog for the last three weeks. My apologies! I hope to have this updated by next Friday at the latest; these posts will also probably be less detailed than past ones due to events […]

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Semana 11: Nubes de azúcar

Sugar clouds… or marshmallows? Last Friday Audra and I went to Fátima.  I felt so loved that Audra went with me, because she knew how much it meant for me. Anyone who knows me knows I love popcorn. I bought a container of popcorn for Audra and I to share for a snack on the bus ride to Fátima. There wasn’t supposed to be mass when we arrived at the apparition site, but there was a large group visiting from Brasil, so they had a special mass. The mass was […]

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Semana 10: Abrillantado

An adjective meaning shiny, sparkly and the adjective form of luster! I did my first practice hike with my backpack early Tuesday morning! I tried Tejas this week at work! Tejas means shingles in Spanish. You can see why this delicious dessert is called Tejas by looking at a rack of them. If glued together they could make a roof! Audra and I made pineapple fajitas and caramel corn for our family for dinner! I found Poppies! A group of friends and I went to Málaga this past weekend. Málaga […]

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Sunday, 5 March: No Pasa Granada

¿Qué tal, amigos? That is, how’s it going, everyone? I hope this next post on my adventures abroad finds you doing well and making your own discoveries of the fantastic world in which we live. After a weekend at home in Toledo and the Carnaval festivities held there (and throughout Spain), the past week was pretty relaxed. It ended with the Fund’s big trip for the semester: a journey to the cities of Córdoba and Granada in Andalucía, the southern region of Spain that, due to its strong traditions of […]

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Sunday, 26 February: No Ordinary Time*

Hola, hola, ¡todos! Espero que estéis bien. Es decir/That is to say, hey everyone! I hope you all (informal; sorry if you prefer ustedes) are doing well. This past week was a special one both at the Fundación José Ortega y Gasset – Gregorio Marañón, the program through which I am studying in Spain, and in the city of Toledo and the wider Hispanic world in general. The same word can signify different things, of course. Regarding my week at the Fund, “special” means a bit stressful (yet somehow also relaxing?) […]

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Sunday, 19 February: Wowed by Waffles, Enchanted by Chocolate, Surrounded by Speculoos

Hey, everyone! After delays in posting on this blog, I’m trying to catch up a bit. Thankfully, we just ended midterms here at the Fund, so I have some free time to write and – hopefully – enjoy the Carnavál festivities this weekend. Descriptions of those will have to wait until the next post, of course! In my last post, I left you all with a bit of a cliffhanger: after a fantastic weekend in Florence, I was in for un día de retos (a day of challenges). I left the […]

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Semana 6: ¡Ya está!

¡Ya está! does not have a direct translation, but it is muy sencillo or “very simple” to explain. It is the perfect phrase to use when you put the cherry on the top of an ice cream sundae or in my case start your internship and finish three midterms in the same week. I love my internship! It is exhilarating to maneuver the language barrier to discuss food science topics. I am learning poco a poco or “little by little.” My supervisor let me complete a moisture analysis assay by […]

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Sunday, 12 February: Grazie, Firenze!

Salve, tutti! You’ve reached the blog of Alex Gruber, self-professed bibliophile, Catholic fanboy, and St. Norbert College student studying abroad in Toledo, Spain, for the spring semester of 2017. For those of you who already know this information, mi dispiace (sorry)! Let’s get on with the actual blog. You may have noticed that I used Italian instead of Spanish in the title and first paragraph. That’s because I was lucky enough to travel to the incredible Italian peninsula and spend the past weekend in Firenze, or Florence as it’s known to us […]

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Semana 5: Esperar. “To hope and to wait.”

I love the verb esperar. It means to hope and to wait. Last Sunday I decided to go on an adventure and hike a trail that I had not hiked before. It is one of my new favorites! In addition to physically training for the Camino, am enjoying learning more about the context of the Camino in my class El Camino de Santiago: ayer y hoy, “The Camino to Santiago: yesterday and today.” The Camino is composed of a string of cities that lead pilgrims to Santiago. In these cities, […]

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Portugal

First off I just want to say that Portugal is an amazing place and I would honestly recommend that every one go there. This trip was pretty last minute for me, I think I only bought the tickets a week before we left but some friends invited me and they already had a place to stay so it wasn’t going to be difficult or anything. However, that Friday morning that we were leaving, I woke up around 4am and just puked for no reason, I honestly don’t know what I […]

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