Even though I’ve only completed a fraction of what I have left to do for this semester, I strangely feel as if I’ve accomplished a lot. The remaining items on my “to-do” list just don’t seem all that bad. We leave for Spain in 8 days, and that’s what keeps me going. Between now and then I have hanging out with friends, a few holiday parties, and whatever else pops up for me. I’m not even thinking about next semester, and it no longer bothers me. I am not in graduate school for those people, and therefore their presence or absence doesn’t mean a thing. I will still succeed, and I will still (eventually) earn my doctorate, so it really doesn’t matter.

I am so freaking excited!!! In a little over a week from now, I’ll be in a tapas bar in Madrid, enjoying the sounds, sights, and tastes of Spain. The first day will be exhausting, but I know there’s no way I could sleep, given how much we want to see and do. We’re trying to figure out things like which museums we’ll see which days. We really only care about the Prado and the Reina Sofia, although I care more about the latter because it has Picasso’s Guernica, which is one of my favorite paintings. Our days are more cut out for us in Granada (the Alhambra), Seville (the Alcazar), and Cordoba (the Mezquita). If we have time we may make a day trip to somewhere like Jerez (where they produce a lot of sherry) or Cadiz (the oldest continually inhabited city in Western Europe…it dates back to 1100 B.C.). At any rate, we’ll have plenty to see and do. I can’t wait!