Monday, June 18, 2012

June 18th - Classes Start!

Market this morning! It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the quantity and variety of produce and wares available.

We ended up stopping first at a cheese stall where the seller charmed us by telling us again and again how beautiful we all were, and wasn't this my sister (pointing to my mother)? He was quite a character, but we sampled and bought a few different cheeses. I have a feeling we'll be back there again. The last thing we sampled was a soft cheese on bread and I think we'll be back there again to get that the next time.

We also stopped for some salami and then to buy a variety of fresh fruits and lettuces. We stopped to get some olives and the seller there had us each sample some meats as well and the one he gave me was the most delicious salami. We definitely got some...

Through the gauntlet this morning when we first got to our school. They asked us if we'd had any language experience with Italian, and said, yes, we had. We took a language coarse through a school in Cincinnati earlier this year. But when there was then a question of where to put us, he said we might be bored in the beginning classes, and did we want to take a test to maybe put us in the next class? Sure...why not. Mistake. :)

Page one of the test was just asking for name, profession, those kinds of things. But I could already tell I was going to have a problem with it. Page two and on dealing with grammar and conjugations were mostly left empty. Yes, all of it is familiar - but can I spit it back out on paper? Good grief, no! So, the three of us all clearly stopped writing very early on and Morgan I started scribbling notes to each other on the backs of our papers. Much more entertaining then the test.

Following the test a teacher went through each of our tests in front of the group and placed us. Kind of nerve racking, but at least we know where we want to be now! Which is definitely the beginning class. When that class actually started about ten minutes later, we'd missed the first hour and a half of it, but it was very clear that we were more comfortable there. Very clear. :)

I hit my wall of exhaustion around 11:00 this morning. So tired. I'd love to take a nap but I've taken mini naps the last two days and I've slept somewhat poorly. Whether that's a result of the naps or the noise outside, or simply jet lag, I can't be certain, but the only one of those that I can easily give up to test the possibilities is the nap. So the nap goes.

Also, as we've been in most of today, I hadn't really noticed, but it's hot here today. About 91 degrees F. Kinda warm. I think that calls for more gelato....

Our second class for the day (just me and Morgan) was a fashion design class. Our teacher is a woman in her early thirties with dark dreaded hair and a variety of facial piercings. In a word, cool. Her English is a bit so-so, or rather everything comes out with an Italian accent on it - "Come-uh, here-uh. Let me cut-uh some paper for you." She's constantly apologizing for her English, but really it wasn't bad.

She had us start by tracing some human forms on thin see through paper, trying again and again to adapt a shape off of our models that looked the way we wanted them to. It took me a bit to understand that we weren't going for realistic body proportions necessarily, but rather long lines and angles to be able to draw clothing on. "No, she's too fat - in my opinion - she's big. If you like, why don't you make her waist a bit skinner?" Like that. It was quite fun.

Most hilarious moment was approximately five minutes after Morgan had graduated to free hand drawing (I'm still happily tracing and skinny-fying my drawings). We're sitting there - me tracing, Morgan drawing - and a small group of ten 10-12 year olds come in and are receiving a small guided tour of the complex. They come into our room and then stop - for five minutes (!) - as the man explains in Italian what we're doing and what the studio does. But the children weren't just sitting there minding their own business and listening. No, they were craning over our shoulders looking at what we were doing! And then, to top it off, they started taking pictures of us! Ah! Now, it was already pretty awkward for me as I sat there looking semi-professional with my little tracings - but poor Morgan! Once they finally left she heaved a sigh of relief and said "Well, now time to try drawing for real again." Her observed drawing was not very good. There's nothing like watching eyes to put the pressure on. :)

Off for a walk we went, on the prowl for some drawing/note taking supplies. Easily found we then wandered back towards the Doma. The next hour or so was a bit of a blur for me as the second and much stronger wave of exhaustion settled in. Soooo tired. My legs... Anyhow, we finally stopped for dinner at a delicious pizza place. The pizza, delicious. I'm happy to say we have leftovers. The Carbonara? Also ridiculously delicious. In may ways it tasted like Macaroni and Cheese, but sooo much better.

Off to bed a little earlier tonight. Hopefully I'll feel more rested for our second day of classes tomorrow!

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