Saturday, October 6, 2007

First Week of School

Six hours a day (really 5 when you count the breaks) is a lot. We go from 9:20 to 11:00, get a 20 minute break, go from 11:20 to 13:00, get a 30 minute lunch break, and then go from 13:30 to 15:10. The lunch break is tough because a ½ hour is tight. But there are several bars and sandwich (foccace and piadini) places in Santo Spirito so we manage. Plus there are fruit and vegetable vendors every day in the piazza so we can buy nice produce whenever we need to.

The first week was tough. Factor in an event almost every night related to the school and it’s hectic. We have about a 1 ½ hour of homework per night. Its not mandatory but it definitely helps.

The class sizes for us are small. We are in the same classes so that’s nice. Le due Marx – it’s a point of laughter. First, wow you have the same name, then, wow you come from the same city, and then wow you live together. By then, they start to get the picture. Anyway, our first morning class is grammar and that’s about 4-7 people depending on who shows up. The second morning class is conversation and again about 4-7 people. The afternoon class is just us and an instructor for pure conversation, anything we want. We are the only students doing 3 sessions a day. Our instructor for the first two morning classes is Vincenza and the afternoon, Benedetta. All instruction is in Italian.

The types of students (80%) fall into two categories: Japanese-speaking (Japan) or a Spanish speaking country (several). The rest of the students are a smattering of other nationalities. The Japanese tend to be reserved with conversation in class. The Spanish speaking (especially from South America) tend to be very outgoing with conversation in class. We fall somewhere in the middle.

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