Saturday, October 7, 2006

First Week at the University

Today is an amazingly beautiful day--one of those fall days when the sky is such an exuberant blue that the green trees--barely tinged with orange--and the yellow and white buildings stand out sharply against it.   it's the first really "cool" day, when a jacket is actually needed.  After the humid haze of summer, this time of year always seems so clear and bright. 

I have finished the first week of class at the University of Florence.  I think I will like it. We are learning very practical, useful sorts of words in class.  Not being the slowest, like in the last school, is really helping; I think I am speaking better already because I am not so afraid of being wrong. 

It's fun to meet such a wide variety of people, too.  I've spent quite a lot of time talking with Cheryl, who is from Oregon, and her French husband, Matthieu.  Yesterday, Cheryl and I walked around Centro together while we waited for the bookstore to reopen after lunch so we could buy our workbooks for class. 

Today, I talked with a group of Japanese girls and a Nigerian woman during our break from class.  Tomako, one of the Japanese girls, taught me that in Japan, holding up the thumb is a gesture meaning "man", and the pinkie finger means "woman."  I don't really know where that came from, or why she wanted me to know that, but there we are. 

Now, I think I will take a bus back to San Marco or somewhere, and do some picture-taking.  It's the perfect day for it, and I figure I ought to get my looking-like-a-dorky-tourist in before I've been here long enough that I want to try to blend in as a local. 


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