Aug. 07, 2008
As a double major in International Relations and Global Studies (IRGS) and American Studies, I can´t just take fluff classes while I’m here in Mexico. I’ve split my time between both majors: on Monday, Wednesday and Friday I take a global view, with Global Journalism and Global Politics. On Tuesday and Thursday I get to focus on the US, in Political History of the United States and the North American Studies Seminar. I also have two light, fun classes — Salsa and Oil Painting — on MWF. Now, as Thursday wraps up, I have attended each class twice.
My favorite class (as it stands so far) would have to be Political History of the U.S. The teacher, who specializes in North American history, is a really compelling, interesting lecturer. To introduce American history, he started in the 1450s, givign us a quick but comprehensive background of Europe at the time, focusing on why the Europeans started exploring in the first place. I have that same professor — José Luís Garcia — for the North American Studies Seminar.
My appreciation of American history and its European precedents was augmented by my experiences in the Contemporary Europe class freshman year and my study in Spain and London sophomore year. Likewise, my experiences with Step Aerobics at Hendrix helped me develop some coordination (thank God!), which is now becoming incredibly useful in my salsa dancing class. Everything is building on everything! I love it!
Speaking of salsa, I went to my first Mexican club last night! There was a party for the international students at Club Tumbaito, a Cuban-style club in downtown Monterrey. After an hour or two of dancing with my international friends, a seriously gorgeous Mexican guy asked me to dance. The beauty of Latin dancing — and formal dancing in general — is that the guy leads. Even I can dance if someone else is leading, so (not to pull a Michelle Obama, but …) for once in my life I was deeply grateful for being a girl. I can confidently say that I did not embarass myself with my dancing … I think.
So I am making my first inroads into Mexican dating, which is definitely an interesting process. Basically, in order to understand what is expected of me, I just pretend that I am living in 1950s America. Mexican guys still live chivalry, including (unfortunately) the “ladies first” principle. Two or three times last night, men I was with insisted that I walk in front of them — even when I didn’t know where I was going. Kind of frustrating. But I think I’m going to appreciate the other throwbacks. I mean, every beer someone else buys for me saves me like $2. I can probably afford a trip out of town with all those savings! Haha.