Category: Uncategorized

…driving while learning Italian

Before I traveled to Italy last year, I had moments where I thought it best that I brush up on my Italian. At the time I had no idea I was going when I did, I just thought it would be a good way to improve on what I knew already. I wrote this to myself:

I was shopping in Barnes and Nobles (yes, there are still some standing stores!) for a friend’s gift the other day when I came across a cd set in the bargain section for learning Italian while you drive. I immediately snatched it up!

I’ve been playing the cd’s for the past week now, and I must say I’m impressed with myself. The instructions and sample dialogues have songs to assist you, and it’s actually quite helpful. So helpful that I find myself breaking into song at random moments in my day! My colleagues giggle at me because my outbreaks are really quite random – I could be in the middle of filing and start singing “Un momento per favore” or “Gli daró un messaggio”, or even the entire Italian alphabet. Most of the material is a review for me, but since I haven’t practiced much since I took my first class several years ago, I feel like it’s still one step closer to fluency.

Alex the security guard, whom I drive pass each day, heard the music one morning and thought I started listening to the Disney archives. Funny that he didn’t think it was odd since he’s heard all kinds of music coming from my car on any given day.

Who knew that learning Italian through song would be fun?  Because I”m on the tail end of that party. When I first began, I would constantly miss letters in the pronunciation of the alphabet in Italian. I’d struggle with some words here and there, or think that I heard one word when it really was another.  I’m proud of myself now that I can recite it without pausing. In song though, only in song.

It’s time for me to break out those cds again. Practice and repeat. Practice and repeat. Pratica e ripetere.

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…sorry Luca, Gianna is now my favorite guide…

Ok, I’ve held on to this post for a long time as well. I didn’t want to bump Luca from his prime position, but I must.

Of the three guides from my Italian language school, I must pass the title of favorite to Gianna. No worries, Luca is a very close second. Thisclose.  However Gianna was so easy to understand, I felt like I didn’t need anyone to help me translate. Maybe it was because I prefaced our tour by asking her to explain the sites as if she were talking to a five year old…

We visited an area called EUR in Rome on my last passeggiata. It is an area that was created during the Mussolini era.

The structures here were quite stark and seemed to lack individual character.  Especially compared to the brilliantly intricate structures in the well known parts of the city!

Everything looked so stoic and uptight. We viewed many Mussolini figures as well, and fascist structures that represented his ideology. It was quite interesting and I’m glad that we took this tour.

I highly suggest to anyone considering classes in Italy, to also attend any passeggiate that are offered.  Any extracurricular activity that a school offers, please take. It offers an unfiltered view of the city and you absorb more Italian as you listen to the tour.

Viva di apprendimento!

…mi dispiace

Hey, sorry for the delay in posts. It’s been a crazy two weeks, of which I won’t go into detail here. I owe you an explanation of my daily life on the farm still! And I’m already at my new family home in Roma…ah well. I’m doing my best, but internet access is limited. Bare with me… thanks for reading!

baci, baci, baci!!!

 

…no naptime today…finally

I am SO excited! Today I worked for 5 hours, had a large lunch, and did not want to immediately fall asleep in the bed. For the past week I’ve been taking a nice long nap after all that manual labor and today I did not need to.

YES!

I guess my body is getting used to the work – like I said, you betta watch out for me in a month!

…is it Christmas?

I am feeling less-than-Christmas-y this year.

Which is unusual for me, since I love the feel of this holiday — snow, fun gatherings, holiday-adorned sidewalks, shops blasting Christmas music on to the street as you walk by, ice rinks set up by the city, and of course, spiked egg nog.  Each year I have been getting less and less in to the spirit, and this year I’m not even excited about it. Nor have I turned on my Christmas music radio station for some joyful noise as I drive to and from work.

Wah Wah Wah

Maybe its the weather.

I’ve never felt like it was truly Christmas here — its a bit too warm, and there will never be the possibility of snow. While that’s great for some, growing up with snow days makes me yearn for them during this holiday season.

I’ve completed my Christmas shopping and packages have been mailed. I have thanked everyone who has sent me lovely cards and gifts – it is always nice to receive these! However, I’m still “ehhh” about the whole thing.  I’m sure I’ll snap out of it and turn on the tv yule log on Christmas eve and start dancing around my home, with a mug of homemade pumpkin spice latte in one hand and a Santa hat on my head.  I’ll get that in before I head to another party…

…somebody that i used to know

Ummmm…I’m quite obsessive when it comes to music. So if I hear something that I really like, I will track it down on the net and play it over and over and over and over again. Obsessively. And I’m not even a music fiend! I have an array of tastes, as I’ve mentioned before.

Listening to a radio show a couple of days ago I came across a bit of a song and I thought that it had a nice melody, good rhythm. All I remembered was “now you’re just somebody that I used to know” — the song came and went. I heard it again tonight, and then I did some skipping on the net. Gotye featuring Kimbra.  Ok, who? I can’t even pronounce this man’s name. However, he is Australian and he’s singing in English, so I gave it a go.

Love it! Yep, I’m playing it obsessively now. Outside of the fact that his chorus sounds eerily similar to Sting, whom I’ve adored since high school. Although the song is slightly depressing. I don’t even connect to lyrics in an obvious way, I’ve never had the experience he speaks about. But I connect to his feelings, and his feelings are exposed and eloquent – especially when Kimbra begins to sing. I love how poignant the lyrics are. And I love how expressive he is in this video – the slight wince, eyes quickly remembering a vision of the past and then forgetting, his painful plea.  I love it when men are so expressive! I know it’s the reason why I enjoy Spanish and Italian music so much — both men and women are so demonstrative of their feelings — they’re not hiding behind some facade of stoicism. Oh, the drama!

Tell me if you see what I see/hear/feel — presenting Gotye featuring Kimbra “Somebody That I Used To Know” — Enjoy!

today is the day

Ahhhhh….my first post.

I am filled with excitement and trepidation, optimism and fuzzy clarity. I have always felt that people who write blogs have something important to say, and wish to share it with the world.  In turn, I felt that blogs were left to real writers and dreamers, neither which I consider myself. Yet here I am, taking the leap.

The “leap” is something that I am becoming more familiar with lately. Recognizing the power of limitations, those that I have unknowingly placed on myself and those that have been unceremoniously placed on me.  I’m breaking the chains that bind me and I am leading a life of wonder and possibility.

I look both ways, step cautiously out on the blogger’s edge, and then…soar.