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One year more. It's going fast. Am I taking advantage of every opportunity? You betcha.

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Posts Tagged “perugia”

Moving out time!

The two suitcases sat stuffed to the zippers and still a mountain of clothes weren’t going to fit. I sat on them. Packed in as many individual socks as I could. The furniture of the room encircled my four months of living turned-two-suitcases, leering at me with a forlorn emptiness.

Goodbye bed, goodbye room

Let’s put it this way. I’m sad. I’m happy. I’m looking forward and back and inwards. This has been an incredibly eye-opening semester of my life. I’ve expressed on several occasions that it has perhaps been the most incredible experience of my life…I’m sorry band camp, you almost made the cut. It was a tough decision but one that had to be made.

I’ve officially moved out of my apartment. I’ve still got a few more days in my apartment, but it has come with much heartache. One of those bits of heartache come from saying farewell to the incredible city that is Perugia. I stayed here for four fabulous months of my life, a city that I didn’t even realize housed many centuries of history in its very structure. I was given an in-depth tour of the city, and now I can still by the building materials of any wall in the city if it was Etruscan made (pre-Roman Empire), a medieval construction, or constructed by the Papal States.

Architecture aside, saying goodbye to friends is undoubtedly the hardest. Friends from America who, although living in the same country as me, will be difficult to see again or often. Friends from Korea (I prefer not to even consider the logistics of seeing them again). Italian friends, from Perugia and Rome. I’m not trying to brag (although it’s pretty impressive right?) just expressing how fulfilling this experience has been, and how difficult it will be to tear myself away.

Andrew! You told yourself you weren’t going to cry. Stay strong…You’re a man…

Preparing for…the End

What do you do when you’re running headlong into the future and then you come to a cliff? I’ll tell you what you do, you stop running. If it were possible to set time in reverse, that’s certainly what I’d do, but given that this is an impossibility, I’m doing me best to slow down the daily routine and appreciate everything that I have here before it vanishes.

Class these three weeks have probably been the most unreal of the semester. With only a week left of classes, I have none of the motivation to continue as I was before. And it’s not that I’m planning to bojangle (slang: avoiding things of a productive nature) the final days, but I don’t want them spent in my room reviewing all of the irregular conjugations of Passato Remoto. I’m still going to class, but I’m realizing that pretty soon my progress is all going to come to a halt. How do you deal with a change like this? I have yet to figure out. I almost feel suspended between the time of intense work I had for three months, and the final day or two of packing that will inevitably come before my plane.

As such, I have compiled a list of things to accomplish on my final days here:

1) Play Pool at the local pool hall: this is a dream I have harbored since the beginning of January, and have yet to realize. But it will happen soon.

2) Visiting the South of Italy: Will be discussed in future posts

3) Souvenirs for family and friends: Oh how I’ve worked on these, yet I feel far from completion.

4) Souvenirs for me: Weird to say, but it was actually quite easy to forget.

5) Goodbyes: To friends American and international, I am now fighting an uphill battle to have goodbye celebrations, say goodbye and thanks to everyone who affected me. The hardest part.

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The Prob-lution

I’ll admit, that based on all of this, class became quite dull. It was not the fault of the professors, I’m the one who asked for the full-immersion semester. And I would be lying through my teeth if I said that my Italian wasn’t light-years ahead of where I started.

However, when I arrived, I was challenged heartily by my classes. Since improving myself inside and outside of class, the pace of our learning has slowed as new students have entered the class from lower levels. So here I am, two weeks before an exam that will allow me to enter the next level, and I find myself incredibly under challenged.

What I have resorted to practicing and learning Italian outside of class. What this means: I am reading Harry Potter in Italian, which is a great way to see more advanced grammar. I’m also watching films in Italian, which is great practice for understanding. But above all, my skills are put to the real test when hanging out with Italians.


Class: A Snapshot

It’s been an interesting ride this semester. When I got here in the spring, I could speak just about…well, nothing in Italian. Honestly, I don’t think I can even judge how far I’ve come since then, because all of the days and weeks just meld together.

One of the most interesting aspects of this semester is the difference in routine. At Butler, I’m normally throwing myself into five or six different classes with a wide range of subjects or even departments, all while keeping up with a number of activities outside of class.

Here, it’s one subject: Italian. I have four professors, but eighty percent of my time is spent with two of them. That eighty percent of the time is spent in the same classroom. In terms of outside activities, I must organize them on my own, can’t rely on a generous university to walk me through my day.

But what does this all MEAN?!?!

My Class

That’s right, it turns out we rock. I write to you today about my class for two reasons. Primarily, because they couldn’t be more boss. The second and sadder reason is that already some have had to depart. Joao from Brazil and Sylvia from South Korea (the Italian-name alternative to her real name) have returned to their home countries.

I miss them already!!!

The night before they left, we threw them a party, and celebrated the bond that has been formed between all of us. We’ve had good times in class, learned another language that facilitated our relationships, and the sadness of having to depart from each other so early.

My classroom is a microcosm of the world, and it’s incredible every day seeing that, true to the Italian saying, “Tutto il mondo e’ una paese.” This means: “All of the world is a village.” And what THIS means is that no matter where you come from, countries will have the same problems, the same conflicts, and in the end the same kind of people who want to see the best in others and enjoy the life and experiences given to them.

Rome: Travel Woes

You learn from your mistakes right? Well, a few of my friends learned quite a bit from a weekend in Rome. I can walk you through some of the snafus (and who doesn’t love that word?).

Traveling by Coach...Always Preferable

1) We arrived in Rome, and I stayed with a family in the city. They rented a bungalow on the beach about an hour away. They got lost on the way there, taking the wrong bus and advice from a crazy-eyed man that landed them in an unlit park. On the bright side, they found a lemon.

2) When I visited them at the beach, we wanted to take a bus to a grocery store, but after two hours of waiting, we took the first bus we saw back to the bungalow. Two seconds after we left, we saw the bus we had been waiting for pull into the parking lot.

3) These mistakes and others culminated in the final train back to Perugia being missed, which lead my three friend to spend a few hours chilling by the Roman Forum and Coliseum as they waited for the next train.

Tip: with a good attitude, any trip riddled with mistakes becomes an adventure.

Morning Walk Pt. 2

At this point, I’m beyond attempting to wrap my mind around the idea that I’m here in Perugia, in the heart of Italy, able to watch the morning rays saturate the brick facades of thousand year old churches, walls, and towers. I’m just going to enjoy it.

I saw a playground at the base of the Etruscan Wall, more than 2000 years old, and could only dream of being a kid who could play here, running around and after the pigeons under the stones that have lasted through the ages, through the reigns of multiple civilizations and eras.

As I walked home, I gave thanks for this opportunity. In the caffe’ as I ate my cornetto, I pondered the mysteries of this place. Then I remembered I have some homework…maybe I can get to that later.

Morning Walk

If you’ve ever wondered, fog doesn’t “roll” in so much as it “marches” in. I say this because this morning I got up at 6:30 AM and took a stroll around the narrow streets of Perugia, and came out to the edge of the town where I drank in the panorama of Umbria hill-country.

Naturally, I came up with some of the most amazing pictures ever. This post is 1/3 words, 2/3 pictures. You’re probably sick of hearing my talk anyway.

I climbed to the nearby Monastery and sat on the steps as I contemplated the early morning sun, the tolling bells (who do they toll for again?), and the birds reveling in a sight I witness far too rarely.
The morning completed HERE

Cari Amici Internazionali

Mi sono recentemente reso conto che alcuni dei miei lettori sono diventati italiani. Perciò dovrò modificare un po’ il modo di postare nel mio blog e scrivere in italiano. Mi dispiace per tutti i miei lettori americani (possono usare il traduttore di Google)!

Nuovi amici, una cena squisita...perfetto!

Mi considero particolarmente fortunato di essere capitato in un gruppo meraviglioso di italiani. Fin dall’ inizio, tutti si sono dimostrati premurosi con me, specialmente con i miei primi, miseri tentativi di parlare italiano. Mi sostengono sempre e mi correggono anche innumerevoli volte. Grazie a loro, il mio italiano sta migliorando.

Oltre a questo, mi hanno fatto scoprire quartieri di Perugia che non avrei visto senza il loro aiuto. Abbiamo giocato insieme a calcio (purtroppo confermando loro che
gli americani sono terribili a calcio), a ping pong, siamo andati a messa insieme, e sopratutto ho imparato tante parolacce.

Insomma, grazie ai miei nuovi amici! Veramente state rendendo il mio soggiorno qui memorabile.

It’s A Journal, not a Diary…

Advice for all people planning on studying abroad: take a journal! The reasons are innumerable. You are going to want to remember everything that happens during the incredible months you have abroad. Also, you’ll improve your language proficiency in leaps and bounds.

So maybe not innumerable, just the two actually.

My biggest problem at this moment is time management. THERE’S TOO MUCH I WANT TO DO! (Admittedly a good problem). I want to read Harry Potter in Italian, watch movies in Italian, journal, spend time with friends, hit the town, travel…Man I love this place.

It's Journaling Time! (Sometimes I think I just shouldn't write anything in the caption...)