Well, we went off to school today, like two kids on their first day of Kindergarten, not knowing exactly what to expect and nervous, with our backbacks and our freshly sharpened pencils. Our Professoressa, Federica, was wonderful, warm and friendly and we liked her very much. We are happy to report we are not the only old folks in the class. In fact there is a good mix of people, not only in age, but from all over the world: Germany, Australia (the largest number of students actually), Switzerland, Mexico, Taiwan, New Zealand, Georgia (Russia),Holland and others I have forgotten now. The classes are presented completely in Italian and we chickened out and took the first level. It is clear though that most everyone had had some instruction in Italian as they did not all seem to be beginners (as we are not).
We spent the first two hours (from 11 to 1pm) in language instruction. Then an hour break and down to the Mensa (no, not where the smart people study), this is the cafeteria, for lunch. We were quite amazed where, for a total of around 7 euros we each had a dish of pasta, a salad, bread, a bottle of water and fruit. Bob even had a slice of pizza! And it was actually quite good. The hours and the room numbers for the class vary from day to day so we will have to really check the schedule every day to be sure we are going to the right place at the right time. We will have 2 hours a day of language instruction and then another 2-3 of exercises, conversation and practice. Another teacher, Chiara, who we really loved, presents this part of the class. She was so outgoing and emphatic, very warm and funny and demonstrative, it will be fun to be in her group. There are 22 students in the entire class and then we were broken into two separate groups of 11 for the exercises and conversation.
Party, it is review for us. Party we should know this stuff better than we do. But it will be nice to go through the basics again. Maybe eventually it will really sink in! It's interesting that they can instruct a room full of foreigners with a variety of different languages and do it by only speaking their native tongue.
Tonight, no homework. We bought the book on the way home and will be ready for tomorrow.
As I said in my last post, I don't know how much time we will have (or how much we will have to say with our days pretty much consumed now with study) but we hope that you will not forget to keep checking and keep in touch!
Rosemary & Bob