Students make many memories throughout their college years, but seeing the Cathedral of Toledo or the paintings of Picasso will likely stand out as some of the best for students in Howard Payne University’s Culture and History of Spain class.
Twelve students returned from Spain this summer, ready to start the fall semester – or, for those who graduated, life after college – with a new mindset and broadened horizons. “It was really cool to get outside of the United States again and see how others live,” said Cory Edwards, a May graduate from Oak Point. “The trip was another reminder of how people are just people wherever you go, despite living conditions or cultural rituals.”
The class was led by Carla Hawkins, Assistant Professor of Modern Languages, and Dr. Danny Brunette-Lopez, Associate Professor of Spanish and Chair of the Department of Modern Languages. Curly Cox, Associate Professor of Exercise and Sports Science, and Trissa Cox, Associate Professor of Computer Information Systems, accompanied the group as sponsors.
“We had met for class all semester long and already studied the places we would visit,” Hawkins said. “When we got to Spain, we were constantly on the go. We took the high-speed train, bus and commuter train, and did a ton of walking.” The group toured Madrid, Barcelona, Segovia and Toledo, seeing royal palaces, castles, Roman aqueducts, world-class art museums and cathedrals while exploring the foreign cities. The students also had the opportunity to take part in a large street celebration for the Atlético Madrid soccer team.
“It was such a privilege to be a part of the sports celebration of the Europa Cup Champions, Atlético Madrid,” said Michael Delgado, a senior from Mesquite. “We were able to experience how much soccer means to the people of Spain and how they support their teams.”
The students returned to HPU to write summaries of their experiences. They marveled at Spain’s art, architecture, culture and history. Austin Adams, a senior from Brownwood, noted his feelings after viewing Picasso paintings such as the famous “Guernica.” “The paintings by Picasso depict some of the imagery during this time of war after the bombing left the country in bad shape,” he wrote. “Picasso expressed Spain as a suffering nation that cried out in pain over the troubles of war.” Keslie Satterwhite, a senior from Panhandle, wrote about the Royal Pantheon in El Escorial which holds marble sepulchers containing the remains of the kings and queens. “The burial room of the kings and queens was incredible and fit for just that – royalty. I was shocked to learn about the waiting room that holds bodies for 25 years before they are placed into the large caskets.” She continued, “This thrilling trip has taught me that all people are unique in their own way, yet we are all similar; beauty is seen in all aspects of life such as nature, art, architecture and style.”
Other students on the trip included Robert Anders, a senior from Midlothian; Corissa Brown, a senior from Carrollton; Natalie Cardenas, a senior from Brownwood; Katie Carl, a junior from Princeton; Ruben Fuentes, a junior from Bangs; Ashley Whitaker Maley, a junior from Brownwood; Eric Villanueba, a senior from Paradise; and Ryan Young, a junior from Mesquite.