Learning the Language

Hi Friends! This week is the first week of class and my day off! On Tuesday’s I don’t have class, so it’s my day to run errands and relax. As well as do homework. Which I haven’t started yet, but I’m not too worried. It is for Italian and I have some things to memorize. I’ve recently learned that I suck at learning foreign languages. Suck is a very harsh word, I understand that. I’m going to paint a picture for you guys. Have you seen the episode of friends where Phoebe tries to teach Joey how to speak French? If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you look it up on YouTube just so you can picture this in your head. I am Joey, I really am. The only difference is that I know that I am bad and I can hear that I am saying it wrong. Obviously, I am going to try my hardest to figure it out, especially since it would be beneficial to know since I am living in a city in Italy.

Yesterday was the first day of classes. It went really well and I enjoy the classes here. My first class of the day is at 10:30 (I am not complaining about that!). It’s my Dance class! I got to class about 15 minutes early and met 2 other girls that were there early as well. As it got closer and closer to 10:30 we were surprised that no one else had shown up yet and conversed about how we would have thought the other students would all want to be early, being the first day and all. Then we thought maybe we had the wrong room and panicked a little. Turns out that everyone in the class had turned up early because it was only the 3 of us. The other 2 girls are great and I think that it will be a great class. We have to perform in front of people at the end of the semester for our final, which I’m already nervous about. Everything will work out the way it should, I just have to keep reminding myself of that. I’m also hoping that being in the class twice a week will help keep me exercising! It was a lot of fun dancing again.

In between classes, I headed home and ate some lunch. My next class didn’t start until 1:30 so I had lots of time! When I got home all of my roommates were home and it was fun to eat lunch together. I ate some leftovers from my dinner the night before and I also got a shower in (which I’m sure everyone in my Italian class appreciated). Annie, my roommate, and I walked to our next class together. She also had Italian but was in a different room. *Side Note- My roommate’s names are Caitlin, Annie, and Erin. Lots of Vowels.. anyways… *

Italian class was a lot of fun, it was overwhelming because my professor talked in Italian a lot. The first day of class always overwhelms me, though. I got to class a little bit early and met some new people. The class is set up in a U-shape so everyone is in the front row. It’s cool talking and hearing about where people are from and hearing about their lives. Most people that I meet here comment on the Minnesotan accent that I have. We got to talking and someone asked me about the weather in Minnesota and how cold it gets. Everyone was so surprised when I brought up the coldest it had been before I left (-40 degrees with the wind chill). Their reactions were hilarious and then we talked about the snow and how when they get a little bit of snow everything goes crazy. It’s really cool to hear about other people lives and how different they are from my own even though we live in the same country. It really makes me think. Which I am really enjoying while being here in Italy.  

I’d just like to mention quickly that I have taught my roommates that it is duck, duck, gray duck and explained hotdish to them. They have never had tater tot hotdish (that is not okay with me) it’s on my list of things to make for dinner this semester.

Back to regular speaking.

I’ve been here for just over a week and it still isn’t real yet. Now, I haven’t struggled since getting here, except for the minor struggles of not being able to read anything in the grocery store and ending up with things that I don’t need. Something that has been hard for me since getting here is walking down the streets and not being able to smile at people. Smiling means different things here and it’s hard for me not too. Another thing is I can’t make small talk in Italian yet, so when I go to the store I can’t make small talk with others while I wait in line. I can’t make small talk with the cashier, all I can do is give them my money and say thank you. It’s really frustrating and I feel bad about it. I feel as if I am being rude, although I’m not. It’s just not what I am used too.

Another thing that has been hard for me is remembering that there is a 7-hour time difference between here and home. I keep going back and forth with my friends about FaceTiming. Every time I am free, they have to go to class. Or when they can, I’m already asleep. One time I miscalculated the time and ended up waking both of my parents up at 4 in the morning. So, that is something that I have to work around and I am not used to it.

Aside from those little problems, I am having an amazing time. Today, after my walk to get gelato, I took a different way home to just explore and I ended up figuring out where I was without a map. That was really exciting. I am finally figuring out the city and that makes me super happy!

Most nights, my roommates and I all sit around the kitchen and just talk. We all make our dinner, eat it and accompany each other. We talk about our days or funny videos on Facebook or the books we have read. We talk about the places we want to travel this semester. We sit in there for hours and it doesn’t feel that long at all. It’s just so natural and fun. There is usually lots of laughing that happens as well! We’ve had a couple movie nights, which is always fun. There are so many different movies on Netflix than in the US which I really appreciate! I have been truly blessed with wonderful roommates.

Well, I better start my homework, I LOVE you all! Thanks for reading, ciao!

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