Prima Fine Settimana

They say time flies when you are having fun. It also flies when you are waiting to have fun. I can't believe it is already time for another update. I suppose I have been keeping so busy that I haven't been paying attention. I apologize for the lack of pictures thus far. I still have not figured out the issue with uploading. But trust me, when they come... there will be plenty!

Yesterday, we took out field trip to Firenze (Florence). It was the same old same.... meaning I liked it. Paolo's lecture was amazing as usual. I still learn stuff even though it is my second time around with him. We ate lunch at the same restaurant, Pinella. But, this time I sat at the faculty table. I didn't really want to because I have developed a rapport with a number of the students (odd as they may be). However, it was needed in the right thing to do. I got to know Paolo a bit better and also talked with some other profs that seem pretty cool.

After lunch, Peter took us on his walking tour. The students seemed quite captivated. Even though everyone was full and tired, it didn't take much to keep their attention. They even participated in a few reading exercises and asked questions. I was delighted.

When the tour was over, Peter left everyone to do their own thing. He left us at the art store he always frequents (that always gets me lost). I even said, "This is the point where I get lost." I guess the students didn't hear me and found this opportunity to let me lead them. I was so lost at first, it ain't even funny. But I guess I made a learning experience out of it. (A) When I say I am lost I ain't joking and I don't mind walking a little further to see what is around a corner. (B) Don't ask me how to get somewhere... I AM FREAKING LOST!

Upon return to the center, we had dinner and participated in a centerwide charette. The problem we were given was to redesign the center's courtyard. Since the removal of the large tree, a true program has not been developed for the space. I was delighted to participate, but did not want my "T.A. Status" to cause the students to simply follow my lead. I threw suggestions out, but I did not put a single stroke on the final presentation, and used a guiding technique when design questions came up. I think we did a great job in the end, and it was fun. Though we got off to a bit of a rocky start.

The next day was filled with nothing but classes and food. I think everyone is finally getting the grasp of the fact that I am still a student. I simply can't see why that is so hard to understand. The day for me was full of work. If I wasn't doing something for Peter, then I was making announcements for Paolo or Sharon. If that wasn't the case, I was setting up a meeting for someone or reserving a room. I don't mind the work, but I think it took it out of me today. I have not touched my work for awhile.

When I "finished" working, I set out to do my laundry at the new laundromat, but it turned out not to be in the location I had thought. I settled on doing it after dinner. In turn I joined Dr. Blackwielder's class (I gotta get used to calling her Julia) for an old Cary Grant/Catherine Hepburn movie. It was a typical Catherine Hepburn part and it was surprisingly hilarious. I think I really do like Julia.

After dinner, I walked to the laundromat. It was about a 30 min trip but I think it was worth it. It gave me the opportunity to relax my mind and see new parts of the town. Upon arrival, I saw the biggest (and probably best) gelateria in town. I was presently surprised by the setup of the entire area. I was able to relax and read in perfect peace. My walk back was hard, but not too bad. Now that I have done the hills with a pack, I am sure my body will stop complaining. I think I had a good day. Tomorrow... Cinque Terra!


The first day of class

Yesterday was the first day of classes. Peter and I stayed up pretty late to ensure the first project was together and that other odds and ends were in order. I woke up at 8am for no reason at all. I decided to get some errands done in town. That was a big mistake. I trekked up and down the town hill too many times yesterday.

On my first trip, only one of the four places I planned to visit was open. I figured I would make a trip later. When later arrived, I found only one more of the stores I needed was open. Another trip up the hill and down the hill that was partially wasted. The next trip allowed me to visit all of the places I needed, but the cellular store asked that I return. During class, I had to make an unexpected trip back to the hardware store to get some supplies. Then, when I returned to the cellular store, the guy said I should come back in the morning. That sux.

After dinner, Vanessa (the main RC) gave a concert in the courtyard. The atmosphere was perfect and everyone was so relaxed. My camera is dying on me, so I don't have my own pictures. The images you see soon will be a collection I was able to acquire from the students.

I have lost count of how many trips I actually made, but the final trip up the hill was the best. Kevin and I went up the hill to meet a group and the Garden Underground to wind down from the first day of classes.

This morning, I woke up to go to the cell store. When I arrived, the nice man kindly told me that he could not fix my phone. I so wanted to ask for my money back because he did nothing for me, but I let it go. It was only 20 Euro. As long as I don't think about it, I am fine. I met with some students for breakfast at Hermes. It was a nice breakfast. On top of that, we got the opportunity to talk with Mauro. He is a older local that just felt like talking. He told us about some experiences from his childhood and invited us to stop by his home anytime to see some of the architecture. He was a very nice man.

I thought I was going to be indoors the rest of the day... wrong! Paolo, did not finish his initial tour and decided to take us back to the museum (yes up the hill). It wasn't bad though. The lecture he gave brought back memories and reinforced information that I already knew. I just wish that I could get my students to speak up more! As a side note, my TA responsibilities have been growing day by day... haha!

After dinner we played soccer. It was a lot of fun. Of course I sucked at first, then I got the hang of it, again. By that time, however, I was pretty worn out and decided to just sit on the side. Later we left and went to Roggi's for some food. We had pretty good conversation and I think I found the group of students that I want to hang with (within A&M). They seem pretty easy going and funny as hell.

When we got back to the center, I did the stupidest thing. I look at the phone issued to me by the center and saw that all of my personal numbers were in there. I figure, "I need to delete these while it is on my mind and I have time." So I did. When I got back to my room for a shower, I found that my original phone did not have my personal numbers in it. That really sucks. So basically, if you ever want to hear from me a gain, you need to send me your contact info. Also please don't be surprised if I don't know who you are when you call. Basically, I am flying blind right now.

I gotta get up early to go to Firenze (Florence) tomorrow. Sogni d'oro!