Since my last few posts have majorly consisted of text, I decided to try something different. It’s another way of showing a bit more of my life and some traditions in my city (we’ll get to that) so I hope you enjoy it.
And the force was definitely with us (sorry, but I had to make the joke).
I know I had already made a blog post talking about the concert but I wanted to include this day. It’s been almost two weeks and I still can’t believe I met Luke! The concert was amazing and it makes me happy just thinking about this day! Luck was definitely on my side, since I got to do everything I wanted, which includes meeting my two twitter friends, and more, like meeting Luke and getting to know a few more people from twitter. As I’ve said, it was a great day and one that I’ll hold dearly in my mind.
Tuesday basically consisted of me thinking about the concert the whole day. I went to uni, had a few classes and went to pick up what you see in the picture. These are two out of the four different types of things my classmates and I are going to sell over the next few months to earn some money for next year (again, some university traditions that I’ll explain in a bit). The two things you see in the picture are post-it notes and waterproof phone cases. We’re also selling pens and lighters but we needed the waterproof phone cases to be here earlier so that we could sell them before the academic week because they do come in handy.
I’ve mentioned it before but, here in Portugal all universities have an academic outfit. This tradition, as well as most, started in my university, the University of Coimbra. Thursday marked the beginning of the academic week, which actually is longer than a week. It was the first time the freshmen could wear their academic outfits so it’s an important day. Every course hasva course dinner that day and there’s two important things happening that night. At midnight, in the stairs of the Old Cathedral of Coimbra, there’s a student fado serenade called ‘Serenata Monumental’ which gathers a lot of people to watch it. It’s a bit chaotic from what I heard, because even though I’m on my second year of uni, I haven’t gone there to watch it. You can see here how many people are usually there. The other important thing is a bit hard to explain in English but I’ll try. Basically each student on the first year of uni chooses a godmother and/or godfather from the years above. Even though they can wear the academic outfit with the cloak on their shoulders, there’s one way of wearing the cloak that they can’t. So that night, after midnight, we have this thing called ‘traçar da capa’ (sorry but I really don’t know how to translate it) which basically consists of, while the freshman has the cloak on his shoulder, the godmother/godfather fold it in a special way and make a speech and it’s a bit emotional because it represents another page turning over in the life of the uni students.
But the academic week is not all about tradition to be honest. Another thing that comes with it is partying. Starting on Friday and lasting for eight days, we have a kind of music festival every night. It happens in a big space near the river and it always involves thousands of people. Since there are eight different Faculties (Medicine, Law, Sciences and Technology, Pharmacy, Economy, Psychology and Education Sciences, Sports Sciences and Physical Education), there is a day sort of dedicated to each one. Each Faculty has a colour that represents it and this year for the first time they decided to illuminate the Tower of the University with a different colour everyday according to which Faculty day it was. On Friday, it was yellow (as you can see in the right picture) because it was the night of Medicine. I went out that night because it was the first night and because James Arthur was playing that day and I was quite excited about that. His concert was amazing and even though I don’t know all of his songs, I really enjoyed it! His voice was even better live and it made me want to listen to more of his music!
On Saturday, I had dinner at my best friend’s house with a bunch of other friends. I got a bit too drunk but it was a fun night. When we were walking to the place where the festival was being held (let’s call it ‘recinto’ from now on) I tried to take a picture of the Tower of the university because it was red that night (since it was Law’s night) but in the morning I found out all my pictures were blurry and this was the best one. Hey, at least you can see it was red, right?
Anyway, when we got to the ‘recinto’ I ended up not going inside because it was already 3:30 in the morning and the next day was an important one so I just went home.
More traditions! This is one of the most important events of the academic week, it’s called the ‘Cortejo’ and it’s basically a parade. It starts in the University’s grounds and it goes down (because the University is at the top of a hill) all the way to the river. It consists of dozens of decorated parade floats, using the colours of their respective faculties. In the floats, go the students of a certain year (in my course, it’s the third year students so I’m going next year). The students that go on top of the floats are the ones that decorated them and payed for everything so that’s why my classmates and I are selling stuff: to pay for everything next year. There’s a lot of drinking involved and it’s a waste of beer because beer gets thrown everywhere. The students of the other years go near the car and there are a lot of people watching the parade, not only townspeople but also people from other cities and even tourists from other countries.
If you want to know more about the academic week, which is called ‘Queima das Fitas’ by the way, go here and maybe you’ll understand all of this better.
Another good thing about the academic week is that we get a week off so that we can go party all we want. I decided to use this days to rest and be lazy. I’d planned on doing some studying but I only studied a really small bit. It was nice to have some rest though. Since I didn’t go out every night, I had plenty of time to rest and do other stuff. One of the things I liked doing was go to my garden as the sun was setting and take some pictures of how beautiful the sky looked. Sunsets are one of my favourite things to look at and it kind of calms me down.
Tuesday was the only day I actually did some studying. I went to the garden and set a table there, because the weather was really nice to study outside. I also drank a lot of tea. Since I’m a big tea lover, I bought this new tea a few weeks ago and I finally tried it on Tuesday. I couldn’t help but laugh at the description in the back, especially the last words: “not for the timid”.
On Wednesday, I went out again. There was this Portuguese band that I like playing so I decided to go with some friends, even though I didn’t stay until late. The tower of the university looked red again, even though it was Economy’s night and its colours are red and white. I was looking forward to see how they would put the two colours and was a bit disappointed when it was only red, but it was pretty anyway.
This was probably my favourite night out of the ones I went out. I went with my friends and I saw a bunch of other friends there which was cool. My cousin’s band was playing on the secondary stage so we went to see them. One of my friends’ boyfriend and one of my favourite youtubers are on the band as well, so we had different reasons to go see them. Even though I also went to support my cousin, I admit the two main reasons I wanted to go were: because I wanted to hear that youtuber live and because my friend and I had promised each other we’d go to a gig of them together and we still hadn’t.
The rest of the night was really nice too. We sat near the river for a while, where I took that picture of the Tower of the University, which was orange because it was the day of Psychology and Education Sciences.
Yesterday was the last night of the academic week, but I decided not to go out because I needed to rest. I ended up doing some writing, listening to a lot of music and drinking some tea because my throat has been hurting really badly since yesterday.
I only have two more weeks of classes before my exams start and then it’s summer. I feel like my second year of uni passed by in a flash and it’s a bit strange to think that I’m almost finishing my second year.
Anyway, I hope you liked this post! Share your thoughts on it with me, if you want. And if you want to know more about any of the things I posted about, just tell me.