Two other things that impressed me:
(2) Among my peers at the Facultad de Filosofia y Letras in Barcelona, the “pandilla” was the organizing social unit — congenial, urbane, catholic, benign, excluding neither the ill-favored nor the studious nor the awkward. The pandillas were the antithesis of what we know as “gangs,” and contrasted favorably with student society as I had known it until then.
(3) Quite a few of my Spaniard classmates cared about poetry! They organized several rowdy recitations vastly attended. One guy forgot his memorized poem midway. I would’ve been mortified; he laughed it off with enviable poise. I had not known until then persons my age who paid attention to verse, and I was a junior in college.
(C) 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All rights reserved.