and I’ve screwed up this post now that I’m trying to put pictures on it after the fact. So I’ll try to compose again. The school is called Centro Lingua Calvino Italia or CLIC for short. It is run by four hard-working people, Massimo (director of the school), Gabriella (director of the accommodations), Leonardo (director of academics), and Sven (in charge of the techno stuff). They are all right out front, like the receptionists at a hotel desk, available to us all of the time, and I am very impressed with the school.
Below see photos of Massimo and Gabrielle!
I signed up for four hours of group lessons and two hours of private per day. So at 9:00 a.m., we begin, five of us. Two of us from the U.S., one from Australia, and two from Germany. They are all younger than my children, or at least young enough to BE my children, but my Italian is neither better or worse than the rest of the group. Actually, the other American and the Australian struggle more than I do, and one of the German woman, though she is probably better in her vocab, gets quite stressed quickly. The other young German woman, with fabulous cheekbones, seems to have a pretty good handle on the language at this level, and we all have a group sense of humor for our difficulties.
The second half of the morning group is taught by Marco, a mid-thirties young man with the most amazing blue eyes and the longest lashes I’ve ever seen. He’s quick and fun with our struggling group, and his hair looks like he slept with twelve books on the top of the thick mop. (I wrote some of this in a different form earlier, but somehow my blog-edit monster ate it, along with my original text about the school, Massimo, Gabrielle, Sven and Leonardo, etc. Sorry about that. I’m still learning!
See Daniele and Marco above or below or wherever you now find their photos!
After a very quick 30 minutes to catch my breath and try to eat something resembling lunch, I’m back in the same classroom on the top floor, this time with Leonardo who is my teacher privato, and who seems to have the ability to explain anything to anyone at any level in a way that makes the student relaxed, perhaps even laughing, while Leonardo smiles with the difficulties of someone who is new to the language.
He is, as I said above, the director of academics and I am very fortunate to have him for two hours in my afternoon. He helps me have conversation and then teaches a point or two or three in the midst of whatever we’re talking about, to clarify the usage or the idiom or the conjugation. Avere or essere? Which do you use with all these irregular and regular verbs when you are talking in the past? We spend a lot of time on this difficult process, but he seems to make it more clear and I’m grateful.
Today I’m going to the train station to check out the schedule for my weekend. I have made a friend, Marja Bot, a bit younger than me, who is studying for one week here from Holland. She is twelve years more advanced than I in her language study, but we are very compatible in friendship. I mentioned that I want to go to Lucca for the weekend and she happens to have a Dutch friend living outside the Lucca city walls, who runs a B & B there, with a beautiful garden. Marja gave me the e-mail this morning, I wrote to the woman, Ankie, and she called this afternoon after my class. She will send a transfer car to meet me at the train station tomorrow evening, and have dinner ready for me tomorrow evening. I will stay two nights with her, for 40Euro per night, and I’ll probably wander in Lucca for most of Saturday, perhaps eating in town before I walk or bicycle or take the transfer back to her house. Sunday afternoon, I’ll take the train back to Firenze and my host family (more about the host family in another post).
Must go now . . . a domani.