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(Day 96) Sorry!

Friday, 9:33 pm

Apologies for not coming in to write when I said I would — and sorry for not writing now, because as it so happens we are still doggy-paddling our way through that river o’ work.

Doing a blog post will, if all goes well, be one of my many rewards tomorrow night for *FINALLY* finishing this paper and presentation, so I’ll try to get on that.  See you tomorrow : )

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Posted by on December 2, 2011 in Classes, Meta


(Day 56) Heads Up

Sunday, 8:47 pm

Week of freedom over, back to work — now with the knowledge that we are over halfway through our time here and are now counting down instead of up  O.o

I am carefully squeezing the last drops of permitted laziness out of my Sunday (it’s called being ‘pigre’ here, and I’m a big fan), but just wanted to let you know that it’s very likely I won’t get to post again until next weekend.  The last week of October was always going to be one of the busiest times here, because we’ve got those visiting professors here on top of regular classes, and now this insanity is finally upon us.  Over the next four days, currently looking at:

  • Two sessions of Weaving the Tale, one of which takes us to Palazzo Davanzati.  Have to keep doing the readings and start wrapping up our assignment for the “Decameron,” including one 8-page assignment and then an essay that’s 5-6 pages and needs a visual component.
  • Three sessions of Italian, one of which involves another test.
  • Three sessions of drawing, and work on the sketchbook assignment.
  • Two sessions of the Medici class, one of which takes us to the Uffizi and the other to the church of Santa Trinita.  Study for the midterm, and prepare oral report.
  • A definitely scheduled guest lecture on Tuesday at San Marco.
  • A guest lecture Wednesday morning.
  • A guest lecture Thursday at the Galleria dell’Accademia.
  • And at least one shift in the ACM library.
…Just move, don’t think, look up and it’s the weekend.  Fingers crossed : )
BUT, in the meantime, more Italian YouTube, because it is an addiction that cannot be helped.  I am sorry to inform my father that there is no such thing as an Italian Sesame Street, but I hereby offer to screw up your sense of the familiar* with five minutes of the film known here as “La Storia Fantastica.”  This was one of the first things I made sure I knew how to say, so:
Have a good week ^^
*Just a sort of fyi, but anyone who’s going to be studying here may want to pay attention to that feeling of so-close-but-so-wrong, because it’s going to be like that ALL THE TIME.  It’s fun if you let it be, but just make sure you’re not overly attached to your comfort zone ; )
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Posted by on October 23, 2011 in Classes, Language, Meta


(Day 48) BREAK

Apologies due again, apparently, because it is very clearly Saturday and not Friday 😦

SO, crazy week — between all that end-of-class stuff going on, my epic two-weeks-and-counting cold got way worse, and I ended up having to go to the doctor and start the dreaded antibiotics.  But none of that matters now, because we’ve made it; I took my test, I went to the last on-site visit, I did the readings, I (cut it very close but I) finished my paper, and I’ve accidentally gone and gotten about 14 hours of sleep so we’re finally good to go.

Also have I mentioned that I am on ~*BREAK*~.

Think I’ll just go ahead and do a brief run-down of pretty much everything that’s been up lately, but first I’d just like to say that I realize that I have answered basically no emails since around Tuesday or Wednesday.  That would be on account of me running back and forth between homework and passed-out-sleeping, so please know that I was not ignoring you and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

  •  Last Friday: This would be the first real fall day we had, and a day full of drizzles to boot.  Went in to work on the library for a bit, got a haircut (negotiated all in Italian, btw — and everything went just fine, but I am *so* glad it was just hair and not dental work or something), went to the ATM, and walked over to the nearby San Lorenzo market.  This would be the outdoor street market famous for its leather stalls (which are set up in front of actual leather stores), but you can also find notebooks, scarves, random touristy souvenir stuff, etc.  Started to downpour while I was there, and it was pretty fun to watch — shoppers scatter to the sides, stall cover extensions are pulled out and up, shoppers sidle back out, business resumes as usual with a lot more bobbing umbrellas.
  • Also Friday, another bus strike.  Italian unions, I have found, like strikes very much but don’t really seem to get how they work.  For example, they announce in advance that they’re going to have one, but they also announce when the strike (the ‘sciopero’) is going to end and at what points during the strike they will not actually be striking.  It is not terribly efficient, but at least I got to take the bus both ways.

  • Saturday: The trip to Lucca with Alex, Kari, Katie and Willi.  We went to just have a nice relaxing time in a quiet country town, and that’s exactly what we did — on what turned out to be just a really perfect fall day, cool and crisp and colorful.  Mainly we just walked around and looked at churches, because we are creatures of art historical habit and we couldn’t help ourselves.  Saw another saint’s corpse, and the churches themselves were beautiful, but there were two highlights of our visit and they had nothing to do with that: 1) The Caffe Di Simo, a beautiful old-fashioned cafe that was once frequented by the composer Puccini and which we were drawn to on account of its jaw-dropping pastry display, plus  2) The medieval city walls.  The nice thing about these is that they encircle the whole city and have had wide tree-lined paths put in, so you can actually walk up there with the city on one side and fields and mountains on the other.  Bellissima ^_^


  • Monday: Italian class and figure drawing.  The very first week of the drawing class, half of us did a drawing from a live (and nude — that seems to surprise some people) model, and then we switched with the other half and went downstairs to work on cast drawings in charcoal, and this last week we were back to figure drawing.  And no pictures to show you yet, but I think I may be improving a bit : )
  • Tuesday: Italian class, a literary discussion in the Weaving the Tale class, and then straight over to an on-site visit to the San Marco religious complex.  Fascinating place — but you will be spared the earful because I am tired.  (However, we *are* going back in a couple weeks to talk about the crazy-intense preacher who was arrested there, so maybe later?)
  • Wednesday: A lot of work on my paper for the Medici class, Italian in the afternoon, figure drawing in the evening.  And this would be the night that got my host mom really concerned, because the mutant cold was Very Not Good at this point.  Early bed times all around!
  • Thursday:  Had to be at the Bargello (a sculpture gallery with a pretty twisted history) by 9:00 am, and almost had a heart attack because my bus stop was ‘temporarily abolished.’  But that turned out to be alright, so just spent an hour and a half walking around the Bargello discussing Donatello, then a walk back to the school for another hour of class, a quick lunch, and our Italian class + quiz at  1:00.  Booked it over to the doctor to get there before the clinic closed, over to the pharmacy, over to the other side of the river for the final drawing class, dinner, and then a very sincere attempt to get my Medici paper done — which failed, because I fell asleep.
  • Friday: Up early in the morning to *finally* finish that paper, caught a bus downtown to turn it in, shared a great deal of confusion with other students over where to turn it in, figured something out, went over to the grocery store for lunch, ate lunch, back to the apartment…and at this point we get the 14-hour nap interrupted only by dinner.  And it was amazing you guys ❤
  • Today, Saturday, is the day Gabriella’s cleaning-assistant-man comes in, so I had to actually get up and shower in order to be able to vacate the house for a couple hours.  And finding a way to waste the time turned out to not be a problem, because a snafu with the buses turned what was supposed to be a quick trip to the store and ATM into a 3-hour sit-and-wait nightmare of hanging around various bus stops cursing #12 and making like a turtle to try to block the extremely bitter wind we had today.*

And I had other stuff I was hoping to say, which I will hopefully still remember tomorrow, but I have just this second gone exhausted again and I think we’re going to have to call it a night.  But I can promise that, for the next week, I’ll be able to get something on the blog each and every day, so hold on to your hats because here comes postage.

Round of emails tomorrow to everyone who’s sent me one lately, and ttys anyway to everyone else : )


*Because Florence is in a valley, wind is pretty rare here, because it takes more than a light breeze to make it past the hills and down into the city.  But this apparently means that the winds that *do* make it down are real thugs, so that’s fun.

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(Day 45) Sorry!

Hey everybody,

Apologies for not writing lately, and for not really writing now; we’re in the last week of classes before break, and this means that I’ve got a paper to write, a test to study for, readings and more readings to do, and not much time for anything else.  But, will definitely be in to offer up something on Friday — so see you then : )

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Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Classes, Meta


(Day 35) Karma

Yesterday, I made fun of my internet for being sluggish and whiny.  Today, my cold came back with a vengeance and I fell asleep three times on accident and spent an hour and a half trying to slog through 30 minutes’ worth of homework.  Which I haven’t actually finished yet, because Gabriella brought me sympathy tea and then I fell asleep.


I’m so sorry, but give me a little while to get back on top of this?

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Posted by on October 2, 2011 in Meta, Persons & Peoples


(Day 34) Askfdjsl.

Had a really, really wonderful time on the bike tour, and Venice stuff is coming very soon, but my internet connection is apparently feeling poorly and thinks that uploading pictures is too much of a strain.  So guess we’ll be humoring the invalid and trying again tomorrow.

But happy First of October!


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Posted by on October 1, 2011 in Meta


(Day 32) And again…

Lost internet for a long long while and have only just gotten it back; we’re good to go now, but if I horribly offended anybody by not answering emails, that would be why and I get to call do-over.

It’s a bit late here right now, but I’ll be back tomorrow to start talking about Venice and the Wednesday night concert and my first ever sight-size drawing.  Yup, good times : )

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Posted by on September 29, 2011 in Meta


(Day 9) Oops

Tuesday, 11:00 pm

So apparently saying ‘definitely back tomorrow’ makes my internet seize up into a hardcore panic attack, because I have been net-less for most of today while it rocked itself back and forth between hyperventilation and extreme lethargy.  Everything finally appears to have returned to a state of calm functionality (* insert squinty suspicion*), but it’s too late to actually do anything — so I’ll try to make it back tomorrow, but we’re taking a class trip to Fiesole (a very ancient town not 20 minutes from here), so it might be Thursday.  Or, since we’ve actually got a trip on Thursday as well, it might be Friday (D:) — but we’ll see what we can do : )

Have a good one ❤

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Posted by on September 6, 2011 in Meta


Update in Miniature

Apparently this is the week where people start coming over for those one-on-one goodbye visits, so getting kind of busy but in a very good way.

Only thing I can throw out quick is that we have finally entered deep-phase packing.  I have taken over my absent brother’s room and am currently transferring my rat’s-nest pile of personal possessions from my floor over to his, so now I can finally go to sleep every night without having to plow a path to the bed first.  Corralling will soon be complete, and next comes the sorting, the packing, the weighing, the repacking, the itemized inventory list of everything I’m taking and everything I’ll need to buy when over there.  Then the haphazard unpacking, because those are my actual clothes and I still need to wear them for two weeks.

Speaking of which, two weeks.  Aaaaagghhh ❤

Other than that, just continuing my reading and re-listening to all my Pimsleur CDs.  Pimsleur, again, would be the language program I’m trying, just to make sure I’m on the right track with my pronunciation and to get a couple phrases under my belt.  So far, the thing I am most confident saying is this: “Mi dispiace, sono americana e non capisco l’italiano.”  To the best of my knowledge, this translates as “I’m sorry, I’m American and I don’t understand Italian.”  If it comes out garbled…well, then that really only underscores my point, doesn’t it?

Still want to talk about money and intercontinental communication and academics (because I’m reading some of our class texts and they are glorious), but people-visiting comes first so I’ll get to it as soon as I can.

(P.S. — More ACM bloggers have joined the party, and the “Other Blogs” page has been updated accordingly.  Seek page, see links, begin frenzied clicking.)

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Posted by on August 8, 2011 in Family, Meta, Persons & Peoples


Cross My Heart

Alright, so I had to wait for more things to happen so that I could talk about them, but the end of July got out of hand so now I’m a little behind.  But I have a plan!

For the next x number of days, I’m just going to do updates on a bunch of different preparation topics, as in-depth as I can make them.  That way, anyone who is (or is thinking about) doing a study abroad trip like this will get some insight into the process, and anyone who’s already done study abroad can snicker quietly to themselves about all the mistakes I’m making.  But hey, we live and we learn and we maybe waste some money here and there, ’twill be fun regardless : )

I would start tonight yet (I’m pretty pumped), but I’ve got Very Important company coming over soon, so we’ll start the ball rolling on this tomorrow morning.  Or at least tomorrow.  That is a most solemn promise.

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Posted by on August 1, 2011 in Meta