Class and Laughter

It's Wednesday and I've been to all of my classes that I'll be taking here. I really like all of them, as well as my professors.
Italian - Still can't believe I'm skipping Italian two and three and going to four. It's seriously so much fun being able to understand (more or less) everything my teachers tell me in Italian. I know the other kids here are having a lot of fun, but I feel like I'm getting so much more out of it. Being able to walk the streets and talk to anyone without being afraid of them actually responding in Italian, is incredibly liberating. Even if they ask me a question in English, I'm in the habit of responding in Italian anyway. Basically, I think that being able to speak the language is the sole reason why I won't be as homesick as the other kids in my program.
English - We're reading Boccaccio's The Decameron in English class...a HUGE book filled with 100 short-stories told over 10 days by 10 people. My professor is really brilliant but also sits down at a desk like ours during class, and talks to us. I can tell it's going to be a really awesome class.
Art History:Leonardo - Ahhhh I love this class. It might be difficult to stay awake sometimes as it is from 4 - 5:30 (my third class of the day), and involves lots of slides. My professor, however, is really interesting, and is passionate about the subject. I was thinking yesterday, with all of these professors here who have dedicated their lives to the study of one person, or one family, how risky that is. People can disappoint you, alive or dead, and I would imagine through years of research, you could form a relationship with your subject. What if you discover something about them that you didn't expect? Would you feel betrayed? Would you appreciate them more deeply at the sudden reminder of their humanity? I think it's possible to depend on and possibly love someone who died a long time ago, and who you've obviously never met. I wonder if I could turn this into a paper...
Photography- Photography will be awesome. The first class was pretty technical; we talked about the first cameras, how they worked, how they evolved, what's inside our cameras, how lenses work, how light travels, how our eyes work...all in the first class. I've always wanted to learn the technical side of photography - how to mess with depth and light, that sort of thing.

So laughter...one thing I've noticed about Italy so far is that Italians frequently tell us that Americans laugh a lot. I've been out to dinner almost every night since I've been here and it seems like a pretty accurate generalization. I think it's interesting that Italians are widely regarded in America as a culture where people take time to enjoy life, where the pace of life is slower - but apparently laughter doesn't necessarily go hand in hand with free time. This is one cultural difference I'm afraid I can't mask. I laugh loudly, I laugh often - especially here in Firenze.

1 comment:

The Inner Marker said...

You do laugh, Racheo, and it's a beautiful thing. I can't wait to tour the area under your wing while admiring Italians wave and smile everywhere you go.