Friday, November 9, 2012

Back to uni


Everybody knows that the University of Edinburgh is a very important institution. If we look back in history we can discover that world famous scientists, writers etc, came at some point to this city to learn, teach and share their knowledge. The campus is mainly located in the Bistro Square and Southside area. I have only visited these premises on a very few occasions because when I moved to Edinburgh I had already finished my studies already. However, last Friday I came back to a classroom exactly as I used to when I was in Madrid. What I felt, was familiar to me. The reason was the visit of one of my favourites Spanish writers: Rosa Montero, who was invited to give a lecture in the Old College. It was such a nice surprise for me because I usually follow her in all the articles she publishes in the weekly magazine of El País and this time, it was her who came to me, just 5 minutes away from where I live, so I couldn´t miss the opportunity to meet her.
In her speech, she talked about literature, about how difficult it is these days to publish a book; about the influence of new technologies; and also about creativity. I was surprised when she said she didn´t like to talk in public in front of an audience. That was one of the reasons why she started to write. She made me think about how important it is writing to express anything in life and also, how important it is to connect with others through writing. Thanks to Rosa, that evening I became much more aware about the importance of writing and reading. It was a pleasure to exchange a few words with her and have the opportunity to show her some of her articles I use in my classes. 
Another nice feeling came to me when, during the lecture, I looked around in the audience I could recognize some people; one of my students, some colleagues, people that I usually meet in pubs, other Spanish speakers… All those faces were familiar because Edinburgh is a small place. Another reason to love this city and to feel like home here. 

De todos es sabido que la Universidad de Edimburgo es una institución muy importante. Si miramos atrás en la historia, podemos descubrir que famosos científicos o escritores visitaron en algún momento la ciudad para aprender, enseñar o compartir sus conocimientos. El campus está ubicado principalmente en Bistro Square y el área de Southside. He visitado sus instalaciones en contadas ocasiones ya que cuando me mudé a Edimburgo ya había terminado mis estudios. Sin embargo, el pasado viernes volví a un aula parecida a aquellas que tenía mi facultad de Madrid. La razón fue la visita de una de mis escritoras españolas favoritas: Rosa Montero, quien fue invitada a dar una conferencia en el edificio principal de la universidad. Fue una grata sorpresa para mí ya que normalmente  la sigo en todos los artículos que publica en El País Semanal y esta vez, era ella la que se acercaba a mí, a sólo cinco minutos de mi casa. Es por ello que no podía perder esta oportunidad.

En su discurso, Rosa habló sobre literatura, sobre lo difícil que es en estos días publicar un libro, sobre la influencia de las nuevas tecnologías y también sobre creatividad. Me sorprendió oír que no le gustaba hablar en público, por eso empezó a escribir. Me hizo pensar sobre lo importante que es escribir para expresar cualquier cosa en la vida y para conectar con los demás. Fue un placer intercambiar algunas palabras con ella y poder mostrarle algunos de sus artículos que utilizo en mis clases. 

Además, también me gustó el hecho de que, al mirar alrededor entre todo el público, reconocí a varias personas; colegas de trabajo, estudiantes, gente con la que he coincidido en bares y fiestas, otros hispano hablantes… muchas caras que me resultaban familiares. Y es que Edimburgo es una ciudad relativamente pequeña. Una razón más para sentirme aquí, como en casa.

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