the other students. Everyone I’ve met at Miami Ad School has been friendly. They were especially friendly - and drunk - at our first group karaoke party, which is the closest thing Ad School has to a freshman hazing party. Naturally, I did a duet of “A Whole New World” from Aladdin with an art director.
Most of the students at the school are from other countries, including, but DEFINITELY not limited to: Colombia, Venezuela, México, Ukraine, Chile, France, Belgium, and Miami. Yes, Miami is another country. The majority of these international students are Latin American. Since I was born and raised in Boston, I’m starting to notice some serious mannerism differences.
1. Hello Kiss
Say goodbye to hugs. Say hello to cheek kisses. Latina girls - pretty much all Miami women - go with the cheek kiss to say hello and goodbye. It’s something I’ve gotten comfortable with quickly, though at first I thought the girl was going in for a legitimate kiss. There are worse accidents that have happened.
People here don’t speak Spanish. They also don’t speak English. The official language of Miami, and its heavily Latina population, is Spanglish. It’s a mixture of English and Spanish in a way that’s only acutely confusing to a half gringo such as myself.
Las Latinas are a different breed of flirtatious. Up in Boston, flirting was a 99% guy-initiated activity. Down here in the 305 (can’t believe I just said “the 305”), flirting is a bit more equally divided between guy and girl. I’m a fan of this because it gives me less of a chance to completely screw up.
4. Tell it like it is
Latina girls will come right out and tell you you’re dumb. Or hot. Or boring. Or mean. Or anything at all. They don’t hold back with their opinions or gut feelings. And usually they're completely accurate. Okay, I’m sorry...they’re always right.
So far, Miami has been cool even though it’s hot. So far, school has been play even though it’s work. So far, it’s been a whole new world even though I don’t have a magic carpet.