Saturday, March 28, 2009

yesterday i ate something so simple yet so amazing that i had to share!

they were just slices of fried bread (called "crostini" here) with gratuitous amounts of taleggio cheese ( melted over it, covered in honey and toasted walnut halves.

i'm not sure if i can find taleggio cheese in the states, but i definitely plan on making this again.

my anthro exam is on wednesday and my last class is on thursday, and then i have TWO WEEKS of spring break! my parents are coming which is going to be amazing, and i'm not going to have ANY SCHOOL.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

ha now i have a midterm on thursday as well, and a paper due the thursday after that. why so much work all the sudden? well at least a week from tomorrow i will be (theoretically, if everything goes well) completely done with three classes.
there were lots of students signed up for the exam today, so i actually don't have to take it til tomorrow after 1500. more time to study, and i didn't have to miss my language class again today!

Monday, March 23, 2009

translation of the last post, because now i have a quick second.

i go away in earphones
i don't speak anymore to anyone
i dance, i pass by, and i say hello
now that i have the sountrack
i have become mute

it was in a poem we read for my theater class today, and it reminded me of myself! i have brand new earphones, and i really can't part from them. i prefer walking around town in earphones because it discourages salesmen, sketchy guys, and homeless people from trying to start conversations with me while i'm walking around, but i don't do it anymore since my old ones got stolen by walking around town in them.

history exam tomorrow...although my number is in the 50s so i might end up having to take it wednesday, which would be perfectly alright with me!
me ne vado in cuffia
non parlo piu' a nessuno
ballo, passo, e saluto
adesso che ho il sonoro
son diventato muto

Sunday, March 22, 2009

these next two weeks are going to be crazy and exhausting.

monday - paper due, theater class, study all day for history exam
tuesday - history exam, language class if my exam finishes early enough (it won't)
wednesday - theater class, pilates
thursday - language class, massive language class work catch up, volunteering as a photographer for big event
friday - helping someone with a photo project
saturday - buy the rest of my anthropology books and study study study
sunday/monday/tuesday - continue to study like crazy for anthropology, occasional classes in there
wednesday - anthro exam, theater class if i make it (which i won't), pilates
thursday - grammar class
friday - florence with friends to celebrate (what i hope will be) an end to two classes!

i'm currently finishing up the paper i mentioned that's due tomorrow, and it's agonizing. gah.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

i've been pretty horrible about keeping up my blog lately, but school's been getting really busy so a lot of my time is spent working or sleeping. :P

however! on thursday afternoon, i took a taxi to the airport, flew to stansted london airport, took a bus into the actual city of london, and took another taxi to my friend annie's dorm to see her, kathleen, and kate! i'm so glad this trip happened, because i had the greatest time ever with them. between thursday afternoon and now (6pm on saturday) i've gotten five hours of sleep total from collective naps.

i didn't do much sightseeing in london; most of my time was spent catching up with my lovely ladies. kathleen and i did walk around town some, but it started getting dark and really cold so we didn't actually get to the city center where we were headed. we went into a bunch of music shops all on the same street and looked at instruments for a while, which was fun. there was a street that was all used book shops as well, and we spent some time there too. i got new headphones to replace the ones that got stolen, and i got even better ones for about the same price i would have bought the old ones for online. the shop owner gave me something around a 20P discount; i'm not entirely sure why but i'm not complaining. we all went out on thursday night with some of annie's friends, and friday night we went to a club. the club was awesome and ENORMOUS and insane and i've never been to anything like it. it was also significantly less sketchy than the little discotecas here in bologna haha. i was able to get a box of jaffa cakes while i was in london, which i haven't had since i was 17 years old (the last time i was in london) and i've been pining for them. i also took the opportunity to get some new books to read in english.

unfortunately after going to the club, i had to catch a taxi around 4am so i could get to a station and take a train to the airport to catch a 7:25 flight back to bologna. my taxi driver was so awesome, we talked the whole ride and he narrated the histories of all the sights we were passing for me. navigating the airport with massive sleep deprivation was a challenge, but i made it to bologna with no problems and took a taxi from the airport right to my doorstep so i could collapse into bed.

my love of london has been renewed, and seeing some of my best friends albeit for a sadly short time has lifted my spirits enormously. i also feel awesome about coordinating all the transportation the trip required (without getting lost once i might add).

the rest of my weekend is going to be all work unfortunately, but it's only fair after having a lovely time in london. i also found out that my internet does expire after 30 days pass, not 30 days worth of time on the internet. i was given 30x24 hours, but i can't use them anymore after today so i'll have to buy another 30 days. oh well, i guess i knew the price was too good to be true!

Monday, March 16, 2009

someone's singing opera in the hallway. like honest to god straight up opera. loudly. yay italy. :D
woo working hard! i've got a paper due next monday and an exam to prepare for next tuesday; very exciting. i'm also busy preparing for my mini-vacation to LONDON to visit three of my best friends from home. i can't wait.

i went to venice this weekend with a friend from high school who is doing a tour of italy for his spring break, and it was a lot of fun. the weather was great and i went into a couple places i had never been before, like inside the doge's palace and up in the bell tower.

i had/have pneumonia, but i've already taken four days of antibiotics and i'm feeling much much better than i was.

according to gilberto and an italian proverb, it's unhealthy to be in the sun during months that have the letter R, such as february/febbraio, march/marzo, and april/aprile. he told me this when i was reading outside on the balcony today and insisted that i return to my chilly room since i was already sick. i asked him if the january sun is okay (gennaio doesn't have an R) and he said it was. :P hmm.

i think i'm going to make wheat free foccaccia tomorrow. :D

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

i am exceeding ill!
so much that i'm quoting much ado about nothing, apparently.
my sore throat got worse and my voice is really unpleasant to hear, and i've got these horrible wet coughs. very appealing, i know. my program directors made a doctor's appointment for me because they wanted to make sure i actually had one haha.

the only reason i'm at the internet point and not sleeping like i spent the rest of the afternoon doing is because i have to find an article from an online italian newspaper to present in class tomorrow. i decided to skip out on the program party and aperitivi with friends so i don't spread my plague.

in theater class today i asked the teacher if i could just observe instead of reading lines today, and he told me to read anyway. it was so embarassing, i sounded horrible and it hurt, and i had an increasingly bad headache. just like any charming italian professor would do, he yelled at me repeatedly whenever i didn't speak loud enough or pronounced something incorrectly. i just went with it even though my throat was getting worse with every word, because unfortunately my grade depends on pleasing this crazy guy. alas! i don't have theater til next monday though, and i'm sure i'll be better by then.

today i learned about this thing called a sabbiatura, deriving from the word "sabbia" meaning sand. basically it's something italian people with arthritis do to help their joints. they go to the beach and get their bodies buried in the sand with the hot sun shining on it, and the heat of the sand theoretically pulls the moisture out of your joints and makes you feel better. it sounds kind of crazy to me, but interesting nonetheless!

it's finally nice enough that i can run every day now once i feel better. this is an excellent thing, because i could use the additional exercise. i'm probably going to do pilates with jessica and maureen (only 36 euro a month!), which will probably be painful and awesome.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

hello everyone! sorry for the temporary radio silence. everybody on my program is getting allergies or a cold or something so i'm tired and losing my voice and such. i didn't do too much this weekend, i decided to just take it easy and enjoy the sun.

last wednesday i went to a discoteca with some new friends after the program's party. thursday i went to the wine tasting class which was excellent. i learned so much about wine, including how to pour it elegantly, how you should hold your glass, how to identify tastes, smells, and quality, and all the various terms to describe what you're experiencing. they also gave us excellent meats and cheeses to eat with the wine, including pecorino cheese and mortadella, some of the emilia-romagna region's claims to fame. yesterday i hung out with jessica and we made dinner together, which consisted of pasta, red tomato sauce, pancetta, onions, garlic, peppers, cherry tomatoes, and zucchine. she and her adorable roommate lucilla have dubbed it "sexy pasta".

tomorrow there's another party through the program with some italian students from unibo, and afterwards i'm going out for aperitivi with some friends. thursday i might go salsa dancing again. i plan on spending the whole weekend working, because i have a paper due on the 23rd and an EXAM the 24th and i'm going to london between now and then so i've got to get cracking!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

i think i might go to parma this weekend (for real this time). i meant to go last weekend as we all know, but they are also the closest city playing the watchmen movie this weekend.

the dentist went well today, i got my filling after three shots of novocaine. i discovered that filling out medical history reports is just as tedious in italian as it is in english. the office was pretty far away and involved an hour of busrides and about 40 minutes of walking in the rain, but the staff was really nice. i think it was cheaper to get it done in italy than it would have been in america.

thinking in italian a lot. dreaming in italian all the time. failing spectacularly at english on a regular basis. might switch back to novels in english for a while.

life is exciting and i have things to talk about, but i'm exhausted and sore and i think i'm going to go hit the hay.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

the program party was lots of fun, and i made some new friends with some people who have really really excellent taste in music. they invited me to go to a discoteca tonight that's having an "american night", and it sounds like a lot of fun and i REALLY want to go (i also said i'd go) but my joints are not cooperating. :( i also don't think i'll be going salsa dancing tomorrow night because the people who would go with me are both going out of town. alas! perhaps i'll "relax", whatever that is.

in other news, i went to the duomo the other day, which is not to be confused with saint petronius' basilica, and it was so beautiful and peaceful i ended up staying for almost an hour. even though it's tucked in between clothing stores and restaurants on bologna's main drag, there was such a sense of serenity once i stepped past the doorway.

interesting tidbit: in a lot of the churches i've seen in bologna and milan, there have been electronic votive candles instead of real ones, to prevent fire hazards. you put your coin offering into the box and then one of them lights up. some of them flicker.

i can't decide what i'm going to do this weekend. i want to go to the basilica of saint luca, which has 4km of porticoes leading up to the church and a magnificent view of the city, but if it's raining then perhaps not. we'll see! i will be seeing the watchmen movie FOR SURE, but i'll have lots of time outside of that.
what a day!

yesterday a cavity filling fell out, leaving a big hole where there really shouldn't be one in my tooth. i am not the biggest fan of this. however, i located a dentist and called this afternoon complete with my dentistry vocabulary list, and talked to a very sweet receptionist who got me an appointment for tomorrow morning. i have to take a train and walk a bit to get to the office, but it seems like a really nice place and there are some american dentists there who can speak with me in english if necessary.

this morning i had my theater class, and we did articulation exercises! i have never had a problem with articulation in english (except when i'm nervous and my voice jumps two octaves and i can't form eloquent let alone coherent sentences...ha) but it is a rather challenging thing for me in italian. however, it is a welcome challenge! we were given two poems that we read over and over, varying speed, emotion, and enunciation. it ended up being a lot of fun and we all made significant improvements by the end of class.

i also had my last history class today! :D at the end of class i went up to my professor to ask where and when the exam was and how i'm supposed sign up for it. as i mentioned previously, when i'm nervous my voice is a bit high pitched and light, and this is pretty much a given when speaking with professors (in any country). i also blush a lot and it's dumb. so there i was in front of a bunch of italian students trying to get some info from my most terrifying professor. he said everything i needed to know loud enough so everyone could hear, but so quickly that i had to ask him to repeat it so i could write everything down. he asked me where i was from and i said washington d.c., and he was like oh REALLY and gave me this horribly disdainful look. bleh. then he gestured toward the group of students waiting to talk to him and he was like can someone please help this clueless american girl figure out what she's supposed to do? fortunately some guy patiently and politely explained everything i needed to know. siiiiiigh. -.-

i now have my returning flight booked, and i will be flying home on may 10th through amsterdam and detroit!

now i'm off to a party at the program office, which should be fun.

one quick note about food before i go. yesterday i had tortelloni smothered with a gorgonzola sauce and walnuts, and it was such an excellent combination of flavors that i was really sad when it ended.

Monday, March 2, 2009

fun fact: college text books are a horrible horrible ripoff no matter where you go. D: luckily i did find a store that said they'll buy used books, but i don't know how much i'll be able to get back.

my history teacher gave us the low down on our final exam today. basically we just need to give him a 10-15 minute oral presentation on a topic we discussed in class that particularly interested us. the first exam date isn't until march 24 (which feels like a long way away) and i already know which topic i want to talk about, so i feel excellent about this exam. i'll start preparing now, and by the 24th i should be such an expert on my topic that hopefully he'll give me an A, regardless of my american-ness. he also said he won't be asking any questions, so i feel really good about this!

today i went to the fruit stands to restock my apple and banana supply, and the guy who sold me my fruit was so refreshingly friendly and cheerful! he didn't do anything particularly remarkable, but it made my day regardless.

still raining, kind of a humdrum day. it's going to be a crazy busy week, but i have lots of fun things planned so it should be good.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

sooo train stations in italy list trains by their final destination and departure time. yesterday there were two trains leaving for milan at 9:24am, and i meant to take one of them to parma with laurel, but i picked incorrectly. after the train started moving, there was a PA announcement that said that the train was going to milan and should arrive at 10:20, NO INTERMEDIATE STOPS. i looked at laurel with absolute dread because picking the wrong train was 100% my doing, since she got there at the last minute and didn't have a chance to look at the boards. i've been wanting to go to milan, and fortunately laurel had been too, so we decided we'd spend the day there instead of parma!

i'm so glad i picked the wrong train, because there was a huuuge carnevale festival going on in milan when we got there. i definitely would not have enjoyed milan as much going any other day. we saw the outside of teatro alla scala. we walked through the markets and saw all the high fashion stores. we went to the duomo which had the most amazing stained glass i've ever seen. we went to a big castle but didn't go on the tour so i'm not really sure which castle it was. i think it started with an S (i'll look it up later). we stopped for lunch and i had INCREDIBLE gnocchi with saffron. we went to the church and museum where da vinci's last supper is, and the church was small and beautiful but all the tours to see the last supper were booked for the next week. we stopped for drinks and pastries at a little cafe with an awesome owner who chatted with us for a while. we watched a little bit of the parade going on, but it was too hard to see over the milanese horde so we peeked into another church nearby. we walked around for a little longer just peeking in shops, and then finally took the (correct) train home.

i loved seeing everyone in costume all over again, and i definitely saw batman and spiderman holding hands running down the street. i was SO covered in confetti by the time i got on the train that i left a little puddle of confetti behind when i got off the train. i thought carnevale was over, but apparently it's going on until this tuesday.

today is the first of march, and it's raining. :( we had a good run with the sun, it was only fair i suppose.

i finally figured out who that famous person i saw go into the hotel was. he's a player from the italian soccer team FORZA INTER. i've actually been following inter's games (soccer games are always playing here wherever you go), and they're a pretty sweet team. neat!

busy week:
-philosophy of music starts on tuesday
-history ends on wednesday
-program party wednesday night
-wine tasting lesson thing thursday night
-possible return to salsa night at the discoteca
-study for history in all the other free hours
-buy anthro and music books to start reading

i just realized one of the books i have to read for philosophy of music is written by the professor. gee i love it when they do that. -.-