05 June 2007

Lo amo la pioggia (I love the rain!)

In New Mexico, it will rain, sure. But, the rain will last, if we're lucky, 5..10 minutes at most; maybe longer if it's monsoon. But o man!! It was storming last night, remember? All that crazy thunder, Roberta was late because of the rain, our windows shock from the thunder...ya. So it NEVER STOPPED! It has literally rained all day long. Vicki and I have given up really getting ready in the morning. Sure, we'll take a shower, but after that much, there is really no need to do anything else. When we left this morning it had stopped raining hard, just a little sprinkle and I am so glad i brought my umbrella!! Our class schedule goes from 9-5 everyday with a couple of breaks and a lunch. We stayed inside our school all day because almost as soon as we got into the villa, Siena was in a downpour! And not a little light sprinkle...legit don't walk outside rain! But after class was over, Vicki and I had to walk back to our flat so we would make it to dinner later. As you may recall, our flat is about a 25 minute walk back from the school....Now since it has been raining ALL DAY the streets are pretty much flooded...Vicki wore flip flops so that really sucked for her...I thought I was smart wearing real shoes but in the end, it really didn't matter because when we got back to the flat, we were soaked all the way up to our knees!! Vicki's feet were just wet and I had puddles in my shoes. After about 2 minutes of trying to stay semi-dry, we gave up and started jumping in puddles!!! It was no use to stay dry...so we just made it fun!!

So school today....

First we had Italian deaf culture class with Rita. We didn't really talk about anything specific to deaf culture, we mostly focused and what we have noticed as far as things that are culturally different here compared with the US. Rita is really cool and she likes to play devils addvocate with us. We will bring up something that is very different in our cultures and she will make some point that will spark a heated conversation. It's really fun!!! Some of the things we talked about was the difference in the rush that America is constantly in. America is full of fast food, drive throughs, easy this, easy that, take your coffee in the car, eat on your way to work etc...here in Italy, this is unheard of! People do not take their coffee to go. There is always time to order and drink coffee. People will stand at the bar, finish thier coffee, and then continue on their way. People don't get their lunches to go and eat while doing 5 other things. In America, people will eat lunch, talk on the phone and respond to e mails all at the same time. It's very interesting. Americans will find everyway to make things faster and more convenient. Not in Itlay. Italians take the time to get done what needs to get done and are not in a rush. (for the most part mind you) The point is that America is driven by the need to work work work and make money and do it as fast as possible. Italians aren't the same way. They are more relaxed and seem more content and happy. Very interesting.

Along the same lines we discussed the differences in cars and people sharing streets, food proportions, paying more to sit and eat in some places, welfare in Italy and their universal healthcare system, taxes, fashion, drinking and smoking etc, etc.....It would take to much time to explain these in further detail so you can ask me later if you like... :)

Rita taught us all about different hand gestures that Italians use. Not as signers, but as hearing people using these gestures. Some of the gestures, however have made their way into becoming signs. For example, you could walk into almost any coffee shop and use the gesture/sign for coffee and you will get your coffee.

During our break it seems that our ritual will be to go to the bar right down the street and get a pick me up coffee. They are starting to recognize our faces so we are close to that point where they will just make our drink right away! It's fun!! Except for Errol...he seems to always get something different, for example today he changed it up a bit and ordered a rum and coke!! Ya it was about 11 in the moring...we who cares!! Get whatever you want right!! He stayed awake all day so ... good on ya, Errol!! :)

Next we had our LIS class...which is by far my favorite one. I look forward to this class everyday because it is so challenging and really fun. I enjoy having to 'throw away my ASL' as Luigi says, and figuring out what he is teaching us with the minimal LIS that I know. The whole concept of emmersion seems to really be working because I am picking up LIS quicker than I had expected. I am starting to make a video dictionary of the LIS signs we learn everyday so that I can always have that reference. Webcam is cool....HAHA anyways....in LIS we learned everything pertaining to a family tree. From mom and dad to grandma and grandpa, cousins and step brothers and sisters. The signs for all these are a bit more complicated, yet simple at the same time. The concepts of defining gender are pretty neat. If I can figure out how to upload videos to this page I will show you what I mean. He also showed us numbers 31-100 (remember we already learned 1-30). This first 30 numbers were fine...but up to one hundred...to say it lightly...SUCK!! (or if you're my mom....are not fun!! :) ) I'm not sure why but there numbers are very complicated compared to ASL. It will definately be something to practice....a ton!!

We really wanted to eat outside for lunch today since we had been couped up all day long but the rain just wouldn't let up so the 5 of us hung out in the little kitchen and talked about the day thus far. Messed around on the internet for a while, talked with the deaf kids from Gallaudet and tried to keep ourselves entertained. After 3 days of rain you kind of run out of things to do...so we all ended up back in our classroom and helped eachother with LIS. So one of the guys from DC (which is were Gallaudet is) is amazing....he is deaf and is an amazing signer. He just so fluid and animated that you really like listening, if you will, to his stories. Well he has picked up LIS so fast...and ya it may be easier for him since he is a native signer, but DANG!!! He is so good at signing with the Italians!! His name is Martin fyi cause we are gonna be hanging out later and I'm sure some story will arise!! So now lunch is over....

Finally, last class of the day is Italiano...the hardest one as you may recall. I did my homework and actually did it all right!! So that was pretty cool!!! I'm really enjoying learing Italian, even though is super hard, but the more I hear it, the more I can start to seperate words: I mean, before when I heard people talking in Italian it sounded like all one word and they when I heard more than one word, they are sounded the same!! Now I'm able to pick out words that I know!! When we were walking home I heard someone say Hello this is so and so ...nice to meet you and you are? We learned that yesterday!! I'm good....

We are learning how to congegate verbs which is funny because I thought I didn't pay attention in Spanish in high school...but somehow it is all coming back to me! I remember how to congegate and Jesse Johnson, my HS spanish teacher would be so proud!! I'm glad I remember though because it is making it, a tiny bit easier to figure out how to use verbs in Italian. Plus it helps that they are so similar anyway.

We learned a lot about introductions, formale and informale and who to use which with. So Mariarosaria (the teach) had a little sim-party!! She left for a few minutes and came back with some cups and a bottle of water, some paper an scissors. She had us 'decorate the room,' which consisted of most of us making orogamies (I don't know how to spell this) and putting them in random places around the room. Then she had us all play a role and act as if we had never met the other 4 people in the room...to practice using introductions. It was really fun. She used water because she said, yesterday she saw that their was wine in the kitchen, but today it was gone so we had to settle with water!! Haha settle with water... (there is also a bottle of Bacardi in the fridge at the school...) I actually need to go pretty soon so that I can finish up my Italian homework...cause wouldn't ya know its about 12:30 in the morning here. We stay up too late, but we did take a nap earlier when we got home from our walk in the rain!

Anyway, that was our day and we will rest up for a day of pretty much the same thing for tomorrow. CIAO!

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