Day 8 – New week means new teacher and classmates

First day of the second week of the Italian school in Lucca, Italy

Today was a bit of a strange day at school. Classes normally start at 9:15am, but since there were new students and the students need to be interviewed to determine which class they should be placed in, classes only started at 10:30. To make up for starting an hour and 15 minutes later than usual, class finished at 1:30 instead of 1pm and the break was shortened from 30 minutes to 20. I know in my day job I focus a lot on numbers, so maybe it’s just me, but the math doesn’t seem to add up!

When I was a new student the week before, I thought it was a bit odd that we were asked to be at the school at 8:30am, fill in a form, have a 5 minute discussion with a teacher and then were told to go to a cafe for a coffee (with other students of course) and to return at 10:15am. It didn’t bother me (as much) at the time, because it gave me a chance to meet other students, but for returning students, we effectively lose a lesson because there are new students. To make up for our lack of school time, Tina and I met at a bar for a caffe with lovely views of San Michele (and paying 3 euros each for the privilege!). So overall, not a bad way to start the day …

With a new week and lots of new students, it means that I also have new classmates. This was very noticeable for me since I’m the only one from my class last week that’s still at the school. This week is also a week when beginners can start (they only have beginners start every other week) and there’s also a “cooking a learn Italian course”. Altogether I believe there are 40 new students this week.

I’m now in the same class as Bjorn and Tina, with the rest of the class of ten students new this week. I also have a new teacher since my teacher from last week, Sylvia, is teaching a beginner class.

Today’s lesson was fairly easy and not overly exciting. We spent the first hour going around the room and introducing ourselves and getting general information about the week. With a group of 10, there are limited chances to speak unless you speak up, and I’m finding it quite different to my class of seven the week before.

After the break, we split up into two groups and had a chat about ourselves and then also came up with questions to ask people from the other group. We then asked those questions for more discussion. Their questions for us were “what was your favourite holiday, what’s your favourite meal” while our questions were “what do you think of Donald Trump and Brexit”. Needless to say, the discussion was interesting with a mix of English and American students in the room! That was about it for the day. It seemed to go by quickly, most likely because it was a short day!

While walking home, I saw a couple carrying folders from the school and after hearing them speaking English, I thought I’d introduce myself. They were a couple from Florida and had just started the beginners class. They were going to a passticeria for a sandwich where they’d heard the sandwiches were good (recommendations are a bit unnecessary since I’ve yet to eat anything ‘not buono’). I invited myself along and helped them order their lunch. Seeing as I’d tagged along without being invited, I ate my panino as I walked home 🙂

For dinner, I thought I’d cook something but then ventured into a shop that sells some groceries but also uncooked meat and cooked food like pasta, vegetables, other miscellaneous things I don’t know, etc. In my best Italian I ordered a variety of vegetables including a container of mixed cooked vegetables, a muffin size thing that I discovered was cooked potato held together with cheese and herbs (yum) and then something I’d seen a few times but didn’t know what it was – a baseball size ball of cooked green stuff which I guessed was spinach. When I asked him if it was spinach he said ‘Non e [something I didn’t understand]”. I thought I’d try it and it turned out to be cooked swiss chard smushed into a ball. It definitely wasn’t the nicest thing on my plate. To finish the meal, I bottle a half bottle of wine from Montecarlo (a nearby town). In the end, a somewhat healthy dinner for me.

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Piazza dell’Teatro
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The butcher / miscellaneous store
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My vegetarian dinner. Notice the limited carbs!

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