Friday, August 8, 2008


Elena, pronounced ellen-a, is our cinema teacher. She is probably the most educated woman I've ever met. Although she comes from Texas, she was taught to be bilingual at an early age though she is not Spanish or even very Italian-only has one great-grandparent that was. She is now at least trilingual if not more. There are no signs of her Texas upbringing as she has developed her own unique speech pattern that I can characterize only as a NPR radio voice. She is very patient with us lesser beings. She has a knack of rephrasing our not-so-well thought answers into something that might make sense. She is a true Renaissance woman expert in many aspects of Italian culture. She has tried to expand our horizons with Italian poetry. I've only seen her mildly irritated once and that was at the younger students who sit in the back with their laptops clearly doing something unconnected with the class. Although I like movies, especially ones that are not 'mainstream', I took her class only as there was not any other class available but I do appreciate all that she teaches us including the technical aspects. But I thank her for openning my eyes to aspects of films that I would not have seen otherwise. She also is a marathon runner, which I have been in the past-long ago past but I probably was her age then.

Yesterday was very busy as I was trying to do my final paper for the cinema class and study for my two finals today plus there were many activities we had to attend. We went to the Italians' presentations on American slang. They had been interviewing us for the past 2 weeks. Their English is way better than our Italian. They are here to prepare for the TOEFL test to get into American universities. They spent alot of time preparing their presentations and they were hilarious. I wish I could have taped them. Then we had to go to a presentation on the Mafia by Piero, the advanced Italian teacher. Frankly it was not too interesting as he kept giving various dictionaries definitions of the word then listed all the Italians that have been killed by them, none of whom I've ever heard about. He grew up in Naples and always was careful who he talked to because if you piss the wrong person off....What was more interesting that some of the Canadian- and American-Italians have families with mafia ties (and admitted it!!!) I guess I shouldn't piss them off.
At night I hid rather than go to talk by the Franciscan Friar about silence. A concept he still hasn't mastered. I was very busy and I'm not Catholic. I was running around looking for paper to print my final paper on. I had to raid the waste baskets, which got me mad, for paper that had at least one side clean. I would have brought paper if I knew what a precious commodity it is here. I have trouble editing papers looking on the screen due to my eyesight. I wish I could have printed my paper first to edit it but NO PAPER. Later up at the castle, we had our graduation ceremony full of speeches. It was cool on top of the mountain. They had an orchestra there that was very good that featured an accordian player although they played too long when I wanted to get back to study and to sleep. I didn't get to bed until one.
I didn't run this morning due to the tests. The Italian test was too easy and the cinema one comes later. I have some time to review.

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