Guess what I learned in school today? That I am 100% incompetent when it comes to playing simple games like Tic-Tac-Toe. I was completely crushed by my classmate this afternoon, and it was sad. I didn’t stand a chance against him, and I was so predictably awful. My sinister side tried to challenge him in Hangman, but since he’s Turkish and English is not his first language, he was too smart to fall for my trap. Better luck next time…
Archive for January, 2011
I realized that I haven’t written anything about the real reason I’m in Italy. I came here to travel learn Italian goof off go to school. I’m 29, haven’t been in school in 8 years, and am at a school where I am one of the only native English speakers. Let’s just say I figured there would be a large and painful adjustment period.
So far, school is fine. We’re in our “lecture phase” and I forgot how tedious lectures can be. Though this is an English-speaking school, most of the lectures have actually been in Italian… we’re told the instructors want to feel a “connection to the language of design” so need to speak their native Italian. Welcome to Italy.
The lectures are translated real-time, and most of the translators have been very good (the Italians in my class have been testing them out and confirmed this). We had one translator who kept yawning, dropping her headphones and spilling her coffee everywhere, which caused her to miss giant chunks of conversation. THAT was a fun lecture… but at least it only happened once.
Getting to the point- and the reason I chose this topic- I’m one of the oldest people in the school! I’m not one of those who obsess over age, so I don’t mind being the grandma of the bunch, but a lot of the students have no real work experience. That’s what makes me feel old; I feel like I’ve been working forever! Maybe it’s because I was a journalist, then a web developer, then an interaction designer that makes me feel old. And the fact that I’ve worked in 5 companies in two states. And the fact that I’ve been hired, laid-off, unemployed and then re-hired. I’m definitely not the most experienced person at school, but I am starting to feel a little like Rodney Dangerfield in the 80′s cinematic masterpiece Back To School.
But since my school has no sports teams whatsoever, I’m going to have to figure out what this grandma can bring to the kids’ table. I need a design-school equivalent of the Triple Lindy!
When I think of “green” countries, Italy is definitely not at the top of my list. The land of a billion cars and even more smokers doesn’t exactly scream “eco-friendly”. But Italy is green (inadvertently) when it comes to coffee. There’s no damn paper cups!
I am struggling with Italian coffee. It’s freezing in Milano, and the only thing I really want on a winter’s morning is a giant Texas-sized cup (or two) of good ol’ American Joe. And, of course, Italian coffee is the size of a child’s thimble. And you drink it standing up. And it’s so bitter it makes your toes curl, no matter how much sugar you mix in. So what’s a girl to do when she can’t find the right coffee? Follow the Golden Arches!
Yes, I went to McDonald’s. And it wasn’t entirely for a cup of American coffee… I really wanted coffee in a paper cup! Italian coffee is served in ceramic cups, and you drink it in the bar. I wanted a cup of coffee I could carry around with me and throw away like a regular, eco-destructive American!
In the end, McDonald’s coffee in Italy is still Italian coffee (even if they call it americano). I’m still on my quest to find coffee here that I actually like, but I may just have to give up hope and become a tea drinker