February 2012


The truth is that I’ve been my whole life studying whatever I could find related with linguistics and ancient languages. I started with classical languages (Latin & Greek) and then Indo-European Linguistics. I’ve always been fascinated by how human beings produce such an amazing thing that is a language, how we articulate it, how we develop it and make it evolve into another one. Unfortunately, my passion has never been enough to make a career out of it. Altought I got my Master’s degree, my gradings were not good enough to start a funded PhD and probably I wouldn’t have had the patience nor the strength to do it. Besides, who the hell wants to learn Latin, Greek or Indo-European? Me. Me and some friends of mine.

As a result of it all, I’ve been my entire life working in whatever I could find. I never cared about it, but it never satisfied me either. The only important thing was that I could study what I wanted and, when I finished that, my main aim was just to travel for a year. What happened after that?

All of a sudden I was in Barcelona again. With my degrees, my irregular working experience (from being a waitress to a Spanish teacher’s assistant, through private lessons, Post Office, food store, etc etc) and all my hopes and dreams if the teaching field. I would never be able to teach Latin and Greek at a University level. But hey, what about languages that I actually speak? Would I be able to demonstrate my passion for languages teaching something real?

When I was less expecting it, it happened. One day I send resumes to all language schools in Barcelona offering myself as a Spanish, Catalan and even English teacher (ok, my English is not that amazing but I could teach basic levels, couldn’t I?). The next day a small school calls me for an interview. Jorge interviews me and we get along immediately. We share the same passion, the same view about teaching, I feel like when I first got to the Leiden Summer School: where I belong. After the interview I meet my friend Iki for a beer. 10 minutes later I receive a phone call: I’m a Spanish teacher.

Laura teaching pronouns.

And so it happened. I became part of Dime Barcelona. Another Spanish school? I doubt it. Dime is way more than a Spanish school. Dime is where our students learn Spanish and spanish culture. Dime is where all the teachers share their years of experience, their energy and their passion. Dime is dancing Sevillanas, eating chocolate con churros and going to drink vermut on a Sunday morning.

Vermut in Barcelona

Chocolate con churros y melindros

The people from Dime are not my colleagues anymore, they are my friends. The more I know about them, the happier I am about having the chance to get to know them.

Christmas party at Dime (me and Raquel)

For the first time in my life I truly enjoy what I’m doing. For the first time in my life I wake up every morning thinking about what my students will learn that day.

Every other Wednesday, for example, our students can learn Sevillanas.

After so many years being the black sheep in my family, in my group of friends, studying useless languages and complaining about every single job I had, have I finally found what I want to do the rest of my life? Maybe. Probably.

And for more information, you can check either Dime’s website, or the blog or at least became a fan of their facebook page to keep track of the latest activities at the school. If you just want to gossip a bit, you can check the Dime Team too.

If anyone wonders why the hell I’m writing a post about my job, hey, ask my friends how annoying and pesimistic have I been with finding a decent job and you’ll understand how important this is for me! (this is my way to say sorry and thank you at the same time)

Last November me and my dear Stevie went to Sevilla for a weekend. For me it was a really special trip. Let me explain: three years ago I spent a year in Holland, studying Indo-European Linguistics at the Leiden University. That year I met a lot of people. It wasn’t an easy year, but the memories that remain are just awesome and always make me smile. I’m still in touch with most of that people, and from time to time we have the chance to visit each other. I went to Sevilla to visit a dear friend from that time: Ana. And for me, going there with a friend from New Zealand was pretty special. It meant knowing again that no matter what happens with my life, good friends are always there: the old ones, the ones that I meet travelling and the ones that I met travelling and are still there. Ana, Stevie: I love you guys.

So, after this cheesy introduction let me get to the point. I had never been to Sevilla before. And God, it’s AWESOME! The weather that November weekend was shit, and I didn’t feel really well, but thanks to the company and the amazing city, that weekend was incredible.

Sevilla is the capital of Andalucía and, unexpectedly, from the very first minute I learned that tapas are not free there. apparently that only happens in Granada. Nevertheless, Sevilla’s cuisine is superb. We had unbelievable tapas everywhere we went. Their cooking tradition is like their architecture, like their city: a mixture of the roman, arabic, and christian cultures. Different flavours are put together in this city to give it something special, something indescribable, something that made me consider how easily I could live there.

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Foggy and empty city center of Sevilla

Thanks to Ana, best touristic guide ever although she only lived there for a couple of weeks when we got there, we saw the most typical spots and also the less typical but also impressive ones.

If you ever go to Sevilla, you obviously have to visit the Cathedral. The biggest Gothic Cathedral and third biggest church in the world. Pretty impressive, huh? You can’t imagine how beautiful it is in the inside. I couldn’t believe it. I think from now on is my favourite Cathedral in the world. And hey, I’ve seen LOTS. The details in every corner had us there for more than 2 hours. I also spend half of that time catching up with Ana. Best place to catch up ever!

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Me with Latin inscriptions. YAY! 🙂
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ceiling detail of the Cathedral.

The bell tower is the famous Giralda, a former arabic minaret reconverted into a christian bell tower for the church. Impressively beautiful.

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La Giralda

However, as it usually happens to me in most cities, what really gets me is not just the environment but the people. And Sevillanos are as friendly as I expected. Maybe it was because they were Ana’s friends, maybe because I really missed my country during a whole year. I don’t know, but I felt really welcomed in that city. Definitely, the andalucian character is way different from the catalan one. they are way more open and friendly from the first minute. For us, Catalans, it takes ages to consider someone a friend or to start a conversation. Each of us has its good and its bad things. For a while, though, I loved being surround by Andalucians.

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After work beers in a random square.

I wanted to post about nice bars to go or some awesome places to visit but hey, just go there. You’ll find your way. Sevilla is a really friendly city and its people are willing to help.

All in all is as the famous song says: Sevilla has a special colour. Thanks Ana, Lidia, Guiri and Stevie!