Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Scuolo Leonardo Da Vinci

View out my classroom window Sign at the front door
Student Lounge
Student Lounge

I started school today. My head is spinning! Why is it that I took Spanish 20 years ago, and all of a sudden, it comes immediately to mind when I am trying to speak Italian? I hadn’t realized what stress the anticipation of school was causing me. I am happy to be starting because my Italian has reached its peak on my own. I am very good at ordering off a menu and saying daily pleasantries, but can’t string together the nouns that I know because I don’t know enough verbs, and the ones I do, I can’t conjugate properly. I am pretty good at understanding....if they speak slowly enough.

Anyway, the sign outside my school threw me for a loop the first time I saw it. It says Scuolo Leonardo Da Vinci, School for Foreigners. I don’t know why, but I was slightly offended by this at first. The thought that I was a foreigner and others thought of me that way, had not occurred to me before. I guess that is a part of my own "American arrogance". I think it is more a sense of how much I feel like (or want to feel) that I belong here. Anyway, I accepted the fact that I am a foreigner, and started in to the school.

There are 10 people in my tiny class room. I start school each day at 9 a.m. and it lasts until 1:00 p.m. The schedule goes like this: 9-10:45 Grammar with Vittoria, 1);45-11:15 Break, 11:15-1:00 conversation with Francesca. The 10 people are from all over the world. To my surprise and delight, I am the only American. There is one young Australian girl (about 22) One girl from Switzerland (about 25), 4 Japanese, (1 woman, and 3 men-late 20's to early 30's), 1 Korean man-very young (20?) 1 gorgeous Austrian man (28?), and 1 German lady (about 45). We are all beginners so our conversation time here at first is very limited. We are spending a lot of time learning vocabulary, and of course it takes each of us a long time to say anything.
The school is in the shadow of the Duomo, as is everything in Florence, but I have a beautiful view of it through my classroom window.

We work out of a work book, which at this point is very elementary. I have homework everyday, and at the end of 4 hours, my head is spinning with words. I am very excited, but question my ability as a student. As I have said on more than one occasion, my "hard drive" is full, and this does require a lot of memorization

The photos are of the "student lounge".

Here is a sample of what I have learned so far:

Ciao! Sono a Firenze per Una mesa. Abito in centrale sulla via Torte. Studio il italiano all Scuolo Leonardo Da Vinci. Classe comencia all 9 y finisce all 13. L’insegnanti chiami Vittorio y Francesca. Ci sono 10 studenti in la classe. C’ e’ una americana, 5 giopponese, 1 austiaco, 1 suizzera, 1 australiana, y 1 tedischa. Arriverderci, Karen

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