Amanda Sarmientos: Miami as Text 2023

About Me

Amanda Sarmientos is a student at Florida International University Honors College, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a Pre-Law certificate. She is a Cuban immigrant who came to the U.S. at the age of 10, and is passionate about creating meaningful change for the situation of her home country through her aspirations of becoming an attorney. She is working towards her legal goals through multiple pre-law internships and her position as Executive Board Treasurer of the Pre-Law Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta at FIU. Amanda’s hobbies include journaling, listening to music, and reading.

Spring Encounter as Text

By Amanda Sarmientos of FIU in Miami, Florida 27th of January, 2023.

I anticipated the first encounter since the Fall, so walking into the tiny classroom that Friday afternoon felt like a long-awaited moment finally happening. After the first meeting, I feel like this is really happening, it felt far away before but now it’s right around the corner. I feel very motivated and anxious about the trip to come. Although, I wouldn’t say that anxiety is the best word to describe how I feel. The word that comes to mind is ansias, which directly translates to craving. The meaning is lost in translation a bit though, by ansias, I mean more like looking forward to, wanting it to come already, so craving is an interesting translation but not super accurate.

I’ve thought long and hard about why I am in this class, and mainly I’ve realized it’s for selfish reasons. I want to become a better-rounded version of myself, but mainly I’m here because I want to do this for myself before I start law school. I have been working non-stop every summer since 8th grade towards building up a good resume for law school, and this summer I want to do something for myself, as a celebration of the start of my twenties and probably the last “free” summer I’ll have for the next 3-4 years.

I don’t know much about France, which I believe puts me in an optimal position for quality learning; I know the basic things everyone knows, I guess. I have a lot of ideas about the way different things are, and I am excited to see which parts of my mental conception of France are accurate and which ones are simply skewed by American public opinion of the French way of life.

When thinking about France, the image in my mind is split between the French countryside and Paris. For Paris, I have a skinny dirty-blonde woman wearing black, leaning on a wall on the side of the street, smoking a cigarette, she looks like Lilly Rose Depp but tall. The cobblestone is wet from the rain and there’s jazz playing somewhere along the street, maybe out of a passing car. For the French countryside, the image looks more like a sunny Sunday morning. A white-haired grandma gets out of bed and glances outside checking on her sheep. She wakes up her husband, kisses him on the cheek, and walks through her hallway towards the kitchen, straightening up one of the family portraits on her gallery wall on the way. Consider this second mental image as mundane in the most relaxing, enjoyable, and simple way possible.

I have never been to France, so it’s very exciting to get to experience it for the first time and have it be such an educational experience. I thought this trip (especially our class topics and assignments) was the perfect way to exercise a good habit of reflecting on my experiences as I enter my twenties. There is such a pressure to experience a multitude of things during your twenties, that I hate it, but I want it. As someone who has lived a somewhat stable and normal life so far (which is a blessing), I want to have interesting stories to tell.

My expectations of the program are to learn fun, interesting things. To see beautiful architecture, paintings, and sculptures. I hope to be able to visit many cities in France during the days off. I hope to go through at least one life-changing experience that revolutionizes the way I see the world. I am most looking forward to visiting Versailles, because I am a girly girl, in love with the baroque and rococo artistic styles, which are fully represented there. And overall, I hope to come out of this experience with more than I came in with, more empathy, knowledge, experience, and curiosity.

Author: amandasarmientos

Amanda Sarmientos is a student at Florida International University Honors College, pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with a Pre-Law certificate. She is a Cuban immigrant who came to the U.S. at the age of 10, and is passionate about creating meaningful change for the situation of her home country through her aspirations of becoming an attorney. She is working towards her legal goals through multiple pre-law internships and her position as Executive Board Treasurer of the Pre-Law Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta at FIU. Amanda's hobbies include journaling, listening to music, and reading.

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