Texas Tech University

Cosas de Sevilla #4

6 February 2020

Dear Friends and Family of The Texas Tech Center in Sevilla,

Welcome to the fourth edition of this semester's newsletter. We've had a quiet past week as far as official trips, though we've been plenty busy with activities here at The Center. Also, many students took advantage of an extra-long weekend to travel.

Last Friday 17 the group had an amazing event: a Flamenco Show! They could enjoy a production at the renowned Casa del Flamenco, located in the heart of the Santa Cruz neighbourhood, the former Jewish Quarter. The show took place at the main courtyard of a palatial residence which dates back to the 15th Century. Its archways and marble columns and its traditional handcraft tiling create a really unique atmosphere. Students could learn about the three facets of the Flamenco tradition: song (cantaor), guitar (tocaor) and dance (bailaor). Those in the Sevillanas class could appreciate from first-hand experience the skills involved in Flamenco dancing.

The Santa Cruz neighbourhood was also the scene of another interesting cultural activity. Last Tuesday Dr. Sara Guengerich took her Spanish Upper Level class on a Tour of the Jewish Quarter. Pepa Rull, founder of "Be Sepharad – The Sephardi Legacy", told them about the rich history, music and traditions of the Sephardic Jews (Jews in Spain before the Inquisition) and their relationships to "Las Tres Culturas" (Jewish, Muslim, and Christian), who coexisted and prospered in relative peace for many centuries. The tour was done in Spanish and students learnt about the history and the cultural heritage of Judeo Spanish and Sephardic Memory.

A fun activity has begun at The Center that will last the next weeks. Facilitating growth in conversational speech, all the students participated in the first sessions of Spanish tutoring. The tutors function as conversation partners more than anything else. The sessions last an hour and a half and can include anything from chatting at a café to sight-seeing around the city. The students match up individually or in groups of two students with a tutor. This experience provides the group with the opportunity for individual practice with Spaniards other than their host families. Over the course of the semester, some of our students will make lasting friendships with their conversation partners allowing them to keep up with their Spanish long after their semester abroad ends.

Tomorrow we have an excursion to Cádiz, the oldest city in Europe! Be on the lookout for news on this event and more next week.

¡Hasta pronto!


Ps: Enjoy the pictures of the Flamenco Show, the Tour of the Jewish Quarter, and the Tutor sessions!

Tour of the Jewish Quarter
Tour of the Jewish Quarter