Back to School

IMG_3903

I thought long and hard about going back to school…

Monday I’m going back to school. Have pity on my teachers. I’m going to be quite the troublemaker.

Here’s what I want from the school

  1. Structure
  2. Friends
  3. Conversation – not grammar

Structure

Guess who doesn’t work very hard without a schedule? Yeah, that would be me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been completely slacking. But I haven’t been putting in 8 hours a day of language study. I might do three hours between my flashcard app, reading an italian novel, and writing in my journal. Plus maybe an hours worth of conversation at a meetup or a bar. Not exactly a demanding schedule.

On the other hand, it’s been good to be stress-free for two solid months. No one freaks out around me and no back-to-back meetings.

And I’ve learned a lot about Italian art and architecture. I’ve seen cities and buildings I had only read about. And I’ve got a set of photos that will take me a lifetime to organize. If I ever get around to it.

IMG_3597

I have 100 photos of the leaning tower!

 

And it’s not just a schedule. It’s also a place. I need a desk or classroom that I don’t have to search for. I spend too much time trying to figure out what coffee shop or wine bar I want to go to, and whether they have any room, and is their WiFi working. I need to pre-decide, so I can just go there and use that mental energy on learning.

So now I’m willing to trade away the complete freedom to sleep in until 10am. I’ll accept a schedule – for a whole two weeks. I’ll give it a try and see if I can turbocharge my Italian.

Friends

OK – it’s been lonely here. I don’t know anyone I can go do things with, like go to a museum, or see a show. Or even get dinner with.

Sure I’m on friendly terms with the waiters at a couple bars and restaurants. But we’re not hanging out after work. Some of them don’t even seem to have an after work.

IMG_3803

Francesco, do you ever go home?

So I have high expectations for making friends with the other students at the school. They should be in a similar situation – living here without their social group back home. And they should be open to practicing Italian outside of class.

Conversation, not Grammar

And here’s where I’m going to be a pest in class. I’m going to make it very clear that my mission is to be able to speak. I will soak up the grammar and the vocabulary that I need for my conversations. But I’m going to balk at anything obscure.

The best part is that I know what it’s like to be the teacher. I’ve been one. I’ve taught English to non-native speakers. I’ve read about how to learn languages, and I’ve applied a lot of it. My masters degree included teaching adults.

That means I’m not stuck in the normal teacher-student hierarchy. I view myself as a peer. And it’s a two-way street. I’m willing to redirect the teacher to focus on what applies to my mission, not just their default curriculum.

So tonight I’m setting my alarm clock, packing my backpack, and laying out my first-day-of-class outfit. It’s exciting!

IMG_4830

My what a big alarm clock you have…

5 thoughts on “Back to School

  1. RS

    RIGHT TOE, HEEL, SHUFFLE RIGHT
    1-2Touch right toe together, touch right heel to side
    3&4Triple in place stepping right, left, right

    LEFT TOE, HEEL, SHUFFLE LEFT
    5-6Touch left toe together, touch left heel to side
    7&8Triple in place stepping left, right, left

    CHARLESTON TWICE
    9-10Step right forward, kick left forward
    11-12Step left back, touch right toe back
    13-14Step right forward, kick left forward
    15-16Step left back, touch right toe together

    VINE RIGHT, TOUCH LEFT
    17-18Side right to side, cross left behind right
    19-20Side right to side, touch together left

    VINE LEFT AND TURN ¼ LEFT, TOUCH RIGHT
    21-22Step left to side, cross right behind left
    23-24Turn ¼ left and step left forward, touch right together

    STEP RIGHT, SLIDE LEFT TOGETHER, CLAP
    25Step right diagonally forward
    26-27Slide left toward right for 2 counts
    28Clap

    BACK LEFT, SLIDE RIGHT TOGETHER, CLAP
    29Step left diagonally back
    30-31Slide right toward left for 2 counts
    32Clap

    LEFT KNEE, RIGHT KNEE, LEFT KNEE, RIGHT KNEE
    33Drop right heel and lift left heel
    Bend left knee and push hips right, crossing left knee over right
    34Drop left heel and lift right heel
    Bend right knee and push hips left, crossing right knee over left
    35-36Repeat 33-34

    STEP RIGHT, ½ LEFT, STEP RIGHT, ½ LEFT
    37-38Step right forward, turn ½ left (weight to left)
    39-40Step right forward, turn ½ left (weight to left)

    REPEAT….
    The only other language I can speak with you. Miss you

    Reply
    • Marcus Post author

      Good to hear from you! Clap-clap-clap-clap-clap-clap-clap-clap! I don’t know how long I can last without a good solid line dance evening.

      Reply
  2. Chad

    Hey Marcus, sounds like the fun continues. Going back to class … Don’t shatter the grading curve to much, you want the other students to be your friends and not jealous of the guy who can probably teach the class. Glad things are going well. You are truly living the dream!

    Chad

    Reply
    • Marcus Post author

      Thanks Chad! Soon I’ll write an update on how the class went. Don’t worry, I made friends. It’s definitely an adventure.

      Reply
  3. Pingback: Debrief of the Italy Mission | A Year of Travel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *