It’s finally raining here for the first time since I arrived in Italy on June 15. It’s nice and cool and drizzly, so I won’t be swimming today, and I have no homework. I thought I’d add a few more photos from Siena, mainly shrine shots and one of everyone sitting on the pavement in Il Campo. One thing lacking in Italian hill towns is parks or green space. I think I’ll go for a walk in the rain. I haven’t worn my new running shoes once. They’ve just weighed down my bag.
About the Italian: I am humbled by how difficult it is to speak and to remember the new vocabulary and grammar. I think, before, when I’d just memorized some phrases, I could jump in like a little kid and try out the language. Now that I know more, I get tongue-tied and can’t remember the different conjugations or pronouns. And with vocabulary, I’m often a bit off. I’m hoping in this last week that I will improve, but now we’re learning the imperfect, which will just make me hesitate even more. I think I will have more empathy now for the slow learners at my school. If I ever want to learn this language, I think I will have to live here for a year. I hope Richard will return with me next summer.
My plan at home is to hire a native Italian graduate student to meet me for coffee at Cafe Medici for an hour every week or so to practice conversation. I find writing easier than speaking because at least with writing, you can take your time. With speaking, you just stand there, staring into space, scanning your brain for the right word. I am learning to say their “um” word, which is “allora.”
Caroline, I could use my Grinch coat today. Richard, I also took this picture of the rusted abandoned bikes to add to your collection. I will no longer end my posts with Ciao.