Tales from Italy ch.4: Sorry, I’m American.

What up, Blog, how’s it going?

So it’s been almost a week since my last update, but in that time I’ve started to get a better handle on things; routines are forming and I’m becoming more comfortable as I begin to get so accustomed to everything. Of course this doesn’t mean that I’m now a pro at everything I do; I’m still a complete noob- but I’m a noob who knows what to do! …Is that an oxymoron? Probs.

Since my last update, I’ve chosen a more solidified class schedule- my class hunting may actually have ended (YAY!). To start, I scored into the Italian for Foreigners class B1, which is similar to the New Paltz Intermediate 1. Even though back at NP I had already completed Intermediate 1, 2, and Comp and Convo, I’m comfortable with being where I tested. This level seems to hit my points of struggle adequately, especially since it’s been over two years since my last official Italian class.

The other classes are just as great- since my epitome when I realized I could take any class I wanted since they’ll all count toward my Italian major anyway, I’ve chosen the following schedule:

1: Italian for Foreigners

2: Storia della Ceramica (History of Ceramics)

3: Cinema e Fotografia (Cinema and Photography)

4: Musica  del Teatro e dello Spettacolo (Music of the Theater and Show) –I’m one of two students at the moment, but it’s a good way to force me to pay attention. One thing I’ve found is that when you don’t speak the common language very well, its easy to tune it out in a lecture.

This week I came to the realization that I’ve been mispronouncing Federica’s name. It’s not Frederica like I thought, but Federica. There’s nothing like mispronouncing someone’s name over and over again- I should know. Do you know how many people call me “Lee”-ah instead of “Lay”-ah? You’d think I’d make a point to get names right and not assume that the female Italian name, Federica, would start with the American male name, Fred. Oopsie.

While on the topic of my mistakes, I managed to shame all of America this week in a single greeting. Thursday afternoon I was running late to my Musica del Teatro e dello Spettacolo class -the classroom was in an entirely different building on the other side of the city, and then I proceeded to go the wrong way! So, after arriving to class 25 minutes late (which oddly enough is very common for students even when they have the right directions), I walked into a classroom with only one student. Because of this, the professor and I were able to exchange greetings. I apologized to him for my being late and then realized this was the perfect opportunity to introduce myself and my foreign-ness in hopes that he’ll go easy on grading me. Yet despite this thought process of mine, the actual elapsed time was only about half a second and my greeting came out as “Mi dispiace, sono americana” (“I’m sorry, I’m American”). Two thoughts became one sentence, and the teacher basically told me not to apologize for being American. Cheers to myself on that one.

Yesterday, after a delicious cream of wheat breakfast made by Alex and a quick trip to the Saturday market to pick up ingredients and a spatula for the next day’s pancakes, a group of friends and I took the bus to Pesaro. Pesaro is beautiful and if you ever go, be sure to expect a gorgeous beach, millions of babies, and millions of small dogs dressed in sweaters and coats. Oh, and apparently it’s no big deal to grow lemon trees and olive trees in your front yard. ‘What up? Yeah that’s an olive tree. Yeah it’s just chillin’ in my front yard. No biggie.’

That night, Alex cooked for us again and made a meal of some-sort of flounder-like fish, smelts, pasta, and Greek tomato salad. DELICIOUS YET AGAIN, ALEX! I got to help with the fish and onions, and I feel like quite the chef! It was a nice meal to cook since Caroline’s goodbye-party was about to begin.

This morning I made American pancakes like my mother makes at home with blueberries, chocolate chips, bananas, and strawberries. Unfortunately I didn’t have vanilla extract (nothing some crystallized vanilla and vodka couldn’t fix!), cinnamon (until Caroline brought me some cinnamon sticks- and I ground them myself!), or baking soda (so they looked more like crepes). Oh well, still delicious.

After breakfast, I was still really tired yet again and went back to bed. I think I may be getting a little sick since waking up from my nap took every effort I had, and I woke up with sore eyes, feeling heavy-headed, and with a headache. In the hopes of helping myself, I took a long hot shower, a 10-minute walk for fresh air, and then stocked up on veggies, fruit, and a multi-vitamin from Alex at dinner. I hope hope hope hope I don’t get sick. While writing this, I got up to ask for a ginger-ale at the bar, and they don’t have any! No ginger-ale till July??? NO!!!

Chiara also just stopped by an attempted to video chat with me to my dad on Skype. It was so funny. Unfortunately it didn’t work well because of the poor internet connection, but she made us all laugh. She is definitely one of my favorite Italians here and always brings life wherever she goes.

Anyway, tomorrow is my first Teaching-Assistant day- and I have my own office hours! How cool??

Wish me luck!

A piu` tardi!

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