Friday, June 14th was the last day of my first year at UAM. I had turned in all of my papers a week earlier, but I still had a presentation looming for the last day of the semester. We were asked to present our final paper in 10 minutes and then to field comments from our reader. It is a daunting exercise to condense a 25 page paper into 10 minutes, especially because each part seems relevant or else you would not have included it in the first place. However, finally I was able to pull together something intelligent roughly within the time range.
I rather enjoyed giving this presentation, because it was the first one where I was able to speak more with the audience rather than just read my written text. For me it marks a milestone of where I am coming in my mastering of the Spanish language and I cannot wait to see the improvements in the year to come.
There were 7 10-minute presentations with 5-10 minute commentaries that made up the morning session. Then we broke for lunch before resuming with a lecture by the head archivist of Osuna (Sevilla) who explained the different ways that an archive holds memory and the ways that this memory is impeded, not necessarily through natural disasters, but the means in which people attempted to evade or erase certain documents and how that affects our studies. It was rather interesting because he coupled this discussion with the coat of arms of Osuna and the changes that it has faced over the years as well.
The end of this session marked the end of my first year of school work. I am currently off for the summer, but will spend my time traveling with Andrew, studying for my final project, and planning the congress next year. There are always things to keep me busy and many adventures in my near future!