Well, mi manca la mia classe della settimana scorsa. Now I’m the only one because no one this week is on my level. I feel like a creature from another planet: not a beginner, but not yet ready for the intermediate class I got to visit yesterday. Now it’s just me and Alberto, my teacher from four years ago. It was a difficult morning. I botched every other word in every sentence I tried to speak. I had extreme performance anxiety, and while my previous teachers let me get away with throwing out words and phrases, Alberto makes me speak only in complete sentences. Of course this is good practice, but molto difficile per me. I also get “brain freezes” where I feel like a deer in the headlights. Perhaps this experience will give me more compassion for the students at our school who are slow learners. I’m also on a different schedule than the other students in terms of the pause (breaks). Still, I stayed afterwards to complete my homework. Now I won’t have to do it in the morning. This afternoon I go back to school to watch Cinema Paradiso in Italian! : ).
One thing that keeps me from total despair and worrying if I have a brain tumor: Jhumpa Lahiri, one of my favorite writers, tried to learn Italian as an adult, and it took her years and years and years. Even after years of classes, she couldn’t speak well. Only after living in Rome and reading and writing only in Italian did she grasp the language. Still, my listening and reading comprehension skills have greatly improved. I lag in speaking, which everyone says is normal, but it’s difficult for someone as estroversa as I am. I want to speak but can’t.