Tales from Italy ch.13: Endless Studies and… Kittens??

Last week and this week in my life I have been utterly consumed by studying. It seems endless and a burden- not to mention all my exams (and their study materials/ books) are in Italian which takes me twice as long -if not longer- to read. It’s a slow and difficult process, but I’m chugging through nonetheless.

Last Thursday I had my dreaded Storia della Ceramica (History of Ceramics) exam. Studying for that was difficult in terms of both reading in Italian and retaining a decent attention span. Luckily Sonja and Janelle were also in this class with me so we divided up the reading material to study. Sonja covered the small book on the chemistry and basic methods of making ceramics; Janelle and I split the larger book on history (though Sonja read most of that one on her own too). I was assigned the second half of the book which mostly covered tiles. I spent the good portion of a week turning down events and social get-togethers to read through this monster only to discover later, after days of work and more than half a notebook of fine-print notes written by hand, that as a foreign student, I was only expected to know the basics of ceramics and their families- none of which was in the portion I had read. This was nice in that all the information I had gathered didn’t need to be memorized, but disappointing in that I had just wasted AN ENTIRE WEEK READING SOMETHING THAT DIDN’T MATTER. Ugh. So I was to rely on Sonja and Janelle, and lets just say the last few days up to the exam were really stressful for me. In the end though, I got a 27 out of 30 on the exam, and am so happy to be done with it.

In the time since then, I’ve been doing a lot of work for my classes back home that I’m taking online: ‘Media and Society’ and ‘Intro to Advertising.’ It’s a lot of work to handle on top of the additional studying I have to do for my last two exams that are coming up this Wednesday and Thursday. But, like everything else this past week or so, I’m chugging through it step by step and am spending a lot of time in the Sala Studio (Study Room) upstairs with Monika (who’s been studying for her law exam) and Laura (who’s studying for my exams and a Religious Anthropology one as well). Occasionally we are also joined by Sonja and Ryan and the group of us is very encouraging. Most of our time is silent as we study, but occasionally we’ll distract ourselves in skype chat rooms (these even include Stefan sometimes, who’s not studying with us because he’s already done!!!! argh!) and attempt to keep our laughter to quiet levels (I regularly fail at this). Our chat topics vary from discussing the ridiculous emoticons of Skype, to making Glee references (specifically Sue Slyvester quotes like “I may buy a small diaper for your chin because it looks like a baby’s ass!”), to complaining about our studying, to making fun of our studying and most importantly learning German!
Just yesterday I had this conversation with Laura:
Laura: “regretfully i am afraid of the muppets. miss piggy, specifically” ….
Me: “what do you hate more? Ms. Piggy or the 6 Flags guy? I think i’ll chose between those for my halloween costume”
Laura: “dont make me choose”
Laura: “yous a hoe. i will kill you.”

Occasionally between all my studies I also get distracted by the occasional passers-by of Judith, Mike, and Stefan who walk past my window in search of Lola, the cat. Sometimes I bring her a can of tuna to her new home: a cardboard box adorned with a chair cushion (purchased from the Super Conad!) as a bed under the windows and overhang of Braccio 1, fashioned for her by Kevin. Since the discovery and suspicion of her being pregnant, we have taken the upmost care of her, especially because she’s a stray. Of course all of this was before I received the news on June 1, 2010 that LOLA HAD BABIES! Yes! Lola became a happy mother to 5 adorable kittens and together they now live inside Braccio 1, under the stairs of Kevin’s blocco. :)!!

Today marks June 5, 2010 and I guess you could say I’m still procrastinating on my studying… at least for a little while. I slept in this morning for the first time in a long while and after lunch came here, back to the Sala Studio, to study. Our favorite table may be taken (meaning I am subject to poorer lighting and a less awesome table that lacks the elevation and sunlight of our precious spot) but I still managed to get through about 10 pages of my Media and Culture textbook. …Argh who am I kidding? Normally, I would be proud of this, but this book is in ENGLISH not Italian- 10 pages isn’t enough. Ugh. My goal is to at least finish the chapter asap today. I don’t mind though- I’m really enjoying the book even if it is a textbook. Changing my major to Communication and Media was a wonderful choice. At lunch today I was talking with Ryan about his Media Production classes that he’s taking here, and I’m considering to maybe get a Masters in that or directing- it sounds cool and fun. Oh jeez. “Cool” and “fun”? Since my apparent loss for more creative adjectives has begun, I think it’s time I ended this study break of mine, and returned to the wonderful world of my Media textbook. As always, I should turn to the studious Monika for guidance and learn to imitate her ways so that I may better my own study habits:


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