Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Hello again!

I am trying to make Wednesday my e-mail and blog post day, but we’ll see how it works out. Things are speeding up here, and I no longer feel like I’m going to be spending the next three years of my life out of touch with the entire freaking world. I think the semester will go by just as every semester has gone by, which is fast. I mean, think about it, we’re already in the third week! Pretty soon it will be a month, and then a third of the time will have gone by. Crazy. But in that case, I should be 1/3 fluent in Italian by now, and I am certainly not.

I’m going to have to give myself a postage/communication allowance, I’ve decided. Otherwise I would probably spend my entire week’s budget on postcards and stamps and internet time and all of that stuff. I still haven’t heard back about the phone interview, but hopefully today when I access the internet briefly there will be a message from Rebecca Kasparek. I’m trying not to be antsy, I really am. But this job would be so perfect on so many levels.

I did my laundry today. Because the washing machine is so small and so expensive, and handwashing takes a long time, and everything takes so long to dry, it’s been a kind of ongoing process since last week. I wash a few things, and dry them, and wear them while I wash a few other things and dry them. Today’s the first day I’m trying to dry jeans, so we’ll keep a count on how long it takes.

I no longer feel like simple things - trips to the tabacchi, pranzo, homework - are worthy of e-mail attention. I guess that’s kind of good, right? That I’m settling in somewhat and getting used to it all? I hope so.

For the past couple of days I’ve just been happy to be where I am, which is a nice change. I’m sure I’ll be cranky and have homesick days again before the semester is out, but just being happy indicates a nice trend for the semester I think. I’m going to keep it going as long as I can.

Siena was a fun day. We drove through world-famed beautiful landscape, and I didn’t even fall asleep on the bus it was so amazing to look around. Someday it would be amazing to live there. I don’t know how I would earn a living, not speaking Italian and all, but it would be amazing. I’m finally able to appreciate some of what we’re looking at, I think, and not just treat it as alien and hostile turf. It is in a lot of ways alien still, but I’m able to open my eyes and actually look at it. I don’t know that I really have a lot to say about Siena - we saw some fresco things, and some church things, and some of it was cool and some of it was just alright, and Skillen’s lecture was frustrating as usual (it’s impossible to get him to shut up so we can have a discussion! I swear! He’s like a train barreling down on a pigeon). There was this amazing high wall of a church they intended to build as an extension of the Siena duomo which we climbed to the top of. It was stressful getting up and down because it was a very narrow spiral staircase, and there were oftentimes people trying to go both ways, but the view was worth it. I’m not even sure of anything I can say that would convey the wow factor of the height and wind and sun and being able to see mountains in every direction in the distance. It was pretty amazing, and was one of the first things I knew, right away, was worth it, and was real, and not some part of a play. Does that make sense?
I’m not sure what else to say. I’m in a digesting thought pattern right now; I don’t seem to have a lot to say, but I’m chewing over and treasuring the things that have happened in the last few days, trying to incorporate them into my balance. There are an awful lot of people here, so I am trying to figure out the best combination of alone time and people time, study time, thought time, fun time, and creative time. Study time has taken the backseat this week, but I’m getting back into the habit of work now, I think, so it should be OK. I’m much less distracted now that I’ve found my feet.

My roommate and I are still getting along well, planning a roommate date to Cafetal every week, but we may have encountered one problem. She’s been trying to get up early every day for devotional time before breakfast, going to bed pretty early. The thing is, I’ve been going to bed pretty late, around midnight or 1 and rolling out of bed fifteen minutes before colazione. All this would be fine, really, if only she didn’t hit the snooze button so many times before she gets up. No joke, this morning she hit the snooze button eight times. That means that, starting at 7 a.m., I’m being woken every five minutes for 40 minutes. That’s a good hour and fifteen minutes before I actually have to get up. We’re going to have to work something out, like, maybe I get up and kick her out of bed the first time it goes off....

A Dr. Stein from Gordon college came this week and gave a lecture and performance on Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning and their time in Italy. It was interesting, although I remember hardly any of it. He has one of those voices that it hypnotic, and I zoned out, just sort of listening to the sound rather than the sense. It kind of reminded me of Professor Perrin, actually. Not that their voices sounded the same, but just that they both have musical smooth voices. He read “My Last Duchess,” and it was pretty amazing. He read some other stuff, too, but “My Last Duchess” is the only one I knew from beforehand.

Um... that might be it for now. I’ve got to go read the catechism and get ready to head to the library. And maybe get a cookie or something. And figure out where on earth to break a 50 euro bill. There aren’t a lot of places that would have enough change, I feel like. Curse the ATMs and their large disbursements! = )



Ruth said...

I climbed that Sienna tower!!! Gorgeous view. And congrats for making it up...those Italian towers always made me claustrophobic. *shivers* And any time there was a tower, my uncle wanted to go up. Can't blame him, great views.

Glad to hear that things seem to be settling in now!


Lucy said...

I climbed it too!!! And my mom's afraid of heights. Ha.

Maybe we should start a group of "people who are just so cool, we climb crazy Italian towers."

And... yay for settling into Italy (and I think language comprehension/profiency increases at a steadily FASTER rate, so you'll learn more in the next three weeks than these, for example, more tomorrow than today.) At least, this is my encouraging theory.

Mit schoenen Gruessen aus Deutschland, [lots of love from Germany]