Author Archives: laurynschroeder

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Take A Look Around

Today the MSU Spain group experienced complete polar opposites. The men and women of Digimedia on one side and Cafe Comercial on the other.

The unique group of co-workers at Digimedia are solely dedicated to presenting top news to their users in the form of exciting multi-media graphics that have never been done before. They had some of the best information graphics that I have ever seen on their website…and the gifts they gave us didn’t hurt their presentation either. With an enormous amount of pride and enthusiasm in their work, it was hard to not be inspired and want to jet home to design a few things  yourself. Of course nothing as cool as theirs. Pictures of our visit can be seen here.

“I’m so inspired right now. I just want to go home and kill myself.” – Karl Gude

Some of the girls with their gifts

The staff members at Digimedia are constantly looking for something better. A better way to portray the news, or a better program to do it with. However, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit uneasy when I left. I will be a junior this fall, and so thankfully I have a little bit more time to get my act together before heading out into the “real world”. But I couldn’t help feeling like the world was moving too fast for the pace I was going. And if I wasn’t on top of my game every second of the day, looking for that bigger and better thing, all the items that I have been juggling (school, work, family, friends, my future) would all fall to the ground and shatter. These feelings that I had been experiencing however, quickly subsided when we arrived at Café Comercial.

On the complete opposite of Digimedia, is the exquisite Café Comercial, where we all headed afterward, to practice sketching and get a bite to eat. This quaint restaurant kiddie corner to our hostel hasn’t changed one bit since the day they opened their doors and sold their first bocadillo in the early 1900’s.

Sketching class at Cafe Comercial

It was as if the redwood chairs and marble tables that filled the room were yelling, “Hey! Lauryn! Chill the heck out! We promise that if you sit back and relax for one second, things will still be okay and you might just enjoy yourself.” Well they couldn’t have been more right. While eating my delicious bocadillo and sipping on some café con leche, I started to take in the beauty of the café and the history that came along with it. Instead of appreciating the new and exciting things in life, something that hadn’t changed in more than 100 years was suddenly just as captivating.

I love information graphics, and after learning more about the industry I think it’s definitely going to be a top career choice for myself. But I think everyone, especially me, needs the occasional smack upside the head to get us to put down the cell phone, tear your eyes from the computer screen, and take a look around.

— Lauryn “sips coffee slower now” Schroeder

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Working Seriously Hard

The group waiting for Cheryl by the metro, about to go have a delicious meal

With three red heads, two boys in matching soccer jerseys, and a teacher leading us that is just south of 5 feet, we’re an easy group to spot in a crowd. But after a solid week, I’d like to think that we’re slowly learning the lay of the land here in the amazing city of Barcelona and have moved up the ranks from tourists, to locals in training.

Abbey and Katy W. analyzing a magazine's ability to "keep voice" in class on Monday

We can all finally navigate our way safely, in and out of the metro without losing any valuable limbs in closing doors or escalators. And we’ve been able to discover a lot of the hidden perks Spain’s public transportation has to offer. “I don’t need a blow dryer, I have the metro.” – Alanna.

Everyone has made a valuable effort to fit in style-wise, and have purchased clothing from some of the local shops. “You guys we have to stop at this store. It says it has the freshest s*** in Barcelona!” – John K.

And, we’ve learned that huge fishes, are huge at L’aquarium de Barcelona. “Look at that huuuuge fish! It’s a fish, but it’s huuuuge!” – Laura E.

Yes, we’ve learned so much in the short time we’ve been here. Being serious students, and working seriously hard is what we strive for each and everyday! Some pictures from today can be seen here but I have a feeling everyone at home might want to know a little bit more about what we students have been up to when we’re not hitting those books…I thought so.
Since words could never possibly do us justice, here is a VIDEO to help me out. Hi to everyone back home! Don’t worry, Cheryl isn’t working us too hard 🙂
–Lauryn

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Everyone Hates Barcelona…

. . .  Just kidding 🙂

What a long but amazing day! The gang woke up early to meet Cheryl downtown at Catalunya square around 9:30 a.m. and we were ready to see the sights. With sunblock applied and our cameras in hand, we boarded the turquoise bus and prepared to travel the city of Barcelona.

The sights were amazing! Being provided with headphones, we were able to learn a little bit more about each place we saw along the way and listen to slightly annoying but strangely calming elevator music. From the 1992 summer Olympic stadium to the Parc Guell there was never a dull moment. Several students and I agreed that the Sagrada Familia Cathedral was their favorite sight to visit for many reasons.

“I just like, died and came back to life when we got there. It was amazing to see such an extensive piece of work that probably someone working on it will commit their whole life to see it completed,” Alanna said.

The famous landmark for the city of Barcelona was designed by the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí whose work was seen throughout the city. In the beginning stages of the Cathedral’s construction, Gaudí unfortunately died in 1926 and he never lived to see his final piece finished. But thanks to the help of millions of anonymous donors, the construction of the building is still continuing and is said to be finished by the year of 2040.

The view as we drove up to Sagrada Familia Cathedral

Stopping at the famous Parc Guell starved, some of us had lunch at the local cafe in the courtyard, enjoying bocadillos (small sandwiches) and pizza. Others explored, taking pictures of the beautiful mosaic structures. We ended our visit taking group photos at the top of the park building, looking out onto the city landscape of Barcelona that can be seen here, and moseying in and out of local shops back to the bus stop.

A bit tired and burnt out from the sun, we stayed on the bus for the rest of the tour, traveling up into the mountains and seeing the entire city from above. The trip was overall exhausting, but totally worth it in the end! Some of the girls finally got to hit up the H&M store after the tour and everyone made it back to the hostel by 8 p.m. In fact they’re probably all taking naps as I write this in preparation for hitting the streets tonight for a late dinner! Hasta Luego! –Lauryn Schroeder

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