Friday, September 15, 2006

Language School

Well, I have been in language school for two weeks now. The first week was rather overwhelming. Mostly, I learned just how much I don't know. This week has been better, as I am still behind but learning a lot, quickly. I have to keep reminding myself, it's only the first week, only the second week...I will be in language school for three months. It is frustrating not to be able to say what you want to people. For one thing, learning another language teaches you to be very good at playing charades! I also can see a little bit what it would be like to be illiterate--unable to understand the signs around you, the directions on the back of bottles. I get frustrated, but like Gary, our director, told me, a person's brain can only soak in so much information in a day. So, it will come. It's easy to be impatient; I want to know it all now!

Right now, I go to language school for four hours a day, from 9 am to 1 pm. The first two hours, Beatrice teaches us grammar. In the second session, Enrica teaches a conversation class. The students in my class are from all over the world: Cristiana from Quebec, Canada; Ximena and Ariana from Mexico; Salvatore (an Italian name he is using becuase he says his real name is difficult to pronounce in Italian) from Korea; Evan from Panama; Zoia and Genia, sisters from Russia; Jill and Sara from Germany; Alba from Spain; and I'm the only American. Many of our conversations have been about the cultural differences in all of our home countries. It is quite different from studying a foreign language in school here; we have to use Italian to communicate with each other, because it is all we have in common.


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