Sixth Times the Charm

Read all the exciting things our scholars have been up to!

Hello everyone! This has been my sixth week in Madrid, and I spent this week as busy as ever! I was able to share this week with someone special, and I visited tons of new and delicious restaurants throughout the area. I sampled foods from every corner of the world—from Spanish to Japanese to Senegalise! Let me tell you, each cuisine was just as delicious as the last. This week, I toured more Madrileno museums and parks and walked around the main street of Gran Via and the plaza of Sol. Finally, I spent a good majority of the week working on my spanish language skills—specifically the proper use of the verbs tener and haber.
I would have to say that this week in Madrid has so far been the most memorable and jam-packed. I spent everyday going out and walking the streets of Madrid, sight-seeing plenty of new buildings and old ones through a fresh set of eyes. I visited many neighborhoods and tried a restaurant in each area. First, I had a chicken paella which was amazingly delicious: it had a bit of rosemary on top of the chicken, and our server lit it on fire right in front of us! We also devoured Chicken Tikka at a restaurant near the Prado Museum; it was probably some of the best Indian food I have ever had! Later in the week, we consumed neapolitan pizza, yassa chicken, risotto, pancakes, and sushi, successfully eating every continent’s cuisine in the one city of Madrid. It is fair to say this city has a variety of restaurants with a lot of diamonds in the rough.
As I toured the restaurants of Madrid, I also spent lots of time touring the city’s landmarks; I saw the Reina Sofia, the Archaeological Museum, and the Royal Botanical Garden. These were very beautiful places that housed Picasso’s Guernica, beautiful pathways, and amazing historical exhibits. Walking through the Reina Sofia had to be the most significant out of the three trips: the collections and the exhibitions were stunningly beautiful, albeit also confusing and disorientating. We got to see Ida Applebroog’s work, as well as some classics from Dali and Picasso. The week ended with a nice walk around the city of Cuenca and seeing some of the beautiful rock formations. Everytime I see the plazas and tight streets of Spain, I get more and more amazed at such beautiful buildings. Some of the areas look more like art than a city landscape!
As the weeks go on, the classes become more time-consuming and important. Exams are only 2 weeks away, and I have 2 exams and one large project. I have spent a majority of my weeks adding more research time and more spanish studying to my schedule. The most time-consuming part of my week is dedicating three hours a day to my research paper, trying to find as much research and experimental data to back up the team’s findings. Anaerobic digestion festers constantly in the back of my mind as more and more days become inundated with facts about acidogenesis and proper reactor temperatures. The experience of the research lab is well worth the dedicated time, and I definitely feel I will be getting back all the hours I put in through resume fluff and experience. I leave you all with two photos, one of the royal palace of Madrid and the other of the small town of Cuenca I was able to visit.