Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Figjel ♥

("Figjel" was my first aol screen name over 10 yrs ago. It was a combination of the names of my two favorite stuffed animals, Figment and Jellaman. This "term" annoyingly kept flashing in my mind while trying to think of a title.... So, as they were kind of the inspiration for this blog, I went with it! lol)

Some of you may be shocked… but I do NOT sleep with Figment and Jellaman here :) Of course I brought them, but they have a nice, cozy home inside of my closet. Yesterday as I was getting my clothes out for the day I saw them peeking out. Creepily, I picked them up and smelled them. That actually wouldn’t be very surprising if you know me well- I tend to smell things… often. Haha. Well, when I smelled them, they smelled like my house. You never really notice that comforting, unique smell of your home until you've left it for a while, and your senses get used to somewhere else. In that moment, with Figment and Jellaman held up to my face, I got a rush of butterflies in my stomach thinking about walking through my door on May 12th, and being overwhelmed with that familiar scent for the first time in over 4 months. It got me thinking about how different smells are associated with various people, periods, events or single instances of my life. It made me wonder, years from now, which scents are going to take me back to my semester in Madrid?

While some scents are reminiscent of not-so-pleasant times, I know that anything that takes my mind back to this chapter of my life will bring a smile to my face and happiness to my heart. Wow, that was cheesy! But TRUE. I hope I always remember the thrill and excitement of living in a culture so different (in some ways) than my own.

My Art History class today is a perfect example of something that I never would have experienced had I been sitting in a classroom at Clarke. Our professor brought us wine! I wasn’t surprised actually, because my roommates have that professor for a different Art class and she brought it for them last week. For their class, she taught them how to drink from a “bota”, which is a canvas bag to drink wine out of (very typically Spanish). But for us, it was in relation to learning about Salvador Dalí. We learned that for his masterpiece “Persistence of Memory”, he was inspired by eating Camembert cheese. So, our professor brought us some Camembert cheese with crackers, and whipped a few bottles of white wine out of her bag. Then she made us draw whatever we felt inspired to. I am not very big fan of cheese alone (unless it’s pepperjack), so I was inspired to draw a garbage can with a rotten banana and dirty sock hanging out of it.

I didn’t have my camera with me in class today, but here are pictures of the bota in the other class (my professor showing them how it's done, and my roommate Danielle giving it a whirl)

and this is Dalí's masterpiece... inspired by cheese :)


  1. haha, i love camembert! i didn't really appreciate good cheese until my late 20's, i'm sure your pallette will refine itself ;) i can't belive your time in spain is wrapping up! i hope you keep your blog going! mel told me the other day you can have your blog made into a book! not sure how, but it would be cool to do it for your spain adventures!

  2. Yes you can! And I think you should do it Kels... it'd be a neat way to look back at your trip.

  3. We're so happy that you had such a great study-abroad experience. It sounds like you are reflecting on your experiences and preparing for your journey home. We hope for you that you are always able to remember your Spring 2010 semester abroad. We're also hoping that your final weeks in Spain bring more great memories for you. See you in two weeks! Love you.

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