Monday, February 28, 2005

Today, you get a novel

Yay for weekends with friends! So Friday Liz and I just hung around Trento with my friends here, and then Saturday we went up to Bolzano, about 40 minutes north, to explore the town and its Germanness (my region is split into the Italian and the German regions…it was so weird, everything is in both languages there, it really made me appreciate how comfortable I am with Italian, being surrounded by a language I understand nothing of!). Anyways, there wasn’t a whole lot to see really. We tried to go to the castle in town, but it was closed for repairs (bastards), so we just got to see it from a distance. Then we went to the archeological museum (which was the whole reason we came to Bolzano in the first place over Verona, because as soon as Liz saw that the Iceman—the 5000 year old guy discovered like 14 years ago frozen in the Alps—is at the museum in Bolzano, that decided it for her), which was nifty. It started with the Stone Age (boring) and worked its way up to the interesting stuff (Roman and early medieval). It was actually kinda cool, because the stuff in the early medieval section was stuff I’d just learned about in my medieval history class. Anyways, we headed back before dinnertime (spent like 5 hours total there, and saw plenty…small towns around here).

(pictures are up, btw, photos.yahoo.com/berkeleybunny Oh yeah, and I also put up the Venice pictures…one of them is a group shot we took, and this woman was waiting to cross the bridge but she was waiting til we took the picture, which was nice, but she was leaning into the shot so you can totally see her! Which I think is hilarious. Oh damn, I just looked at it, and it’s blurry!! Bloody hell. Oh, and you can also see the campanile that ours is modeled after…and sure, that one is the original, but really, I think ours is prettier. Completely unbiased, I am, of course. The two other girls from Berkeley and I all took our picture together in front of the Campanile, in honor of Cal. We took one from really far away, so you could see as much of it as possible, but you can’t see us like at all! You can just make out three figures in coats.)

(I've also created a new special feature here at RevaItalia, called "Reva's walk to class." That's right, I took a series of pictures along my walk to class from my apartment, so it's almost like you too are going to class in Italy! You can see it on yahoo, too. I think mostly that one's for my mom. =) )

Liz headed back to Siena in the morning so she could get back home in time for dinner. We had fun…it was nifty. =) Of course, then I started freaking out about finals coming up soon (does that not sound like the weirdest thing ever??) and started trying to figure out my schedule here for the remaining time I’m in Italy…I really only have like 11 weeks left, or just a bit less, actually. I can’t believe it! I’m trying to work my schedule magic, though, so I’ll be done super early and then hopefully I can just spend my last couple of weeks traveling or whatnot. But I digress. So I panicked and spent Sunday studying etc (Sundays are so boring here…there is just absolutely nothing to do, everything is closed, everything!). This morning my friend and I went back to the canile (dog shelter) to give volunteering a try again. But it was a disaster. My friend's alarm didn't go off, so we left late. Then we either took the wrong bus or took the right one in the wrong direction somehow (I swear it said 1 on it!), and so we got there like a half an hour later than we would have otherwise (which already was late). Then when we finally showed up, there was no one there to let us in! We waited for like 15 minutes, rang the bell, and there was nobody but the dogs. How ridiculous. Luckily we made it home, but what a waste of a morning that could have been productive. Or with more sleep. Went to Shakespeare class this afternoon and got to do some more reading...woo. =) I tried buying a couple of books for my Cold War class, but one of the bookstores is closed on Monday (the one I ordered book one from), of course, and the other one I'm having trouble finding because it's in english. Hmph.


My roommate came home tonight, but only for a week, thank goodness. I like her, I really do, but I can’t take living with so many people anymore, and at least this will give me peace in my own bedroom. I’ve decided I don’t care if I might go insane and talk to inanimate objects (not a word, Liz! Not a word), I can’t stand never being alone anymore. If I can’t convince one of you people reading this to be my super cool roommate, I’ll just live alone, I think. I always thought living alone would be impossible, but now I’m starting to believe it’d be better than just living with a random person (or people). At least I’d have my own space. I must be getting old or something.

I have more to say, but I think I'll save it for another day when you aren't drowning in words. =)

Friday, February 25, 2005

Friday yay

Liz made it to Trento last night! Yay indeed. So far I have given her a little tour of some of the historical stuff here (and she says I'm a very good tour guide, for the record. =) ). This morning I met with the woman from the castle and she just said to me, so when do you want to work? It seems she will let me do what I want when I want, so that works out great for me! I have to just give her a schedule of when I want to work (which means I have to figure out when I want to travel and how quickly I want to try to get my hours done), and then I'm ok. Yay! Now we're trying to figure out how to work spring break (our attempt to go to Sicily etc), so hopefully those plans will cooperate. Oh, I wore flip-flops for the first time yesterday since I got here. The first time! It's amazing. I just wore them to pick up Liz from the train station, so it wasn't for very long. And I got the strangest looks from people, I swear. Like they've never seen feet or something before! I guess they just forget what they look like in the winter, between the boots outside and the slippers inside. Silly people. And today I finally am wearing a skirt! With tights, of course, sadly it's not that warm here, but it's still so nice. Really makes me appreciate the California weather, I gotta say.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

argh

Stupid damn computer lab computers...they randomly log people off sometimes, which means everything I had opened is completely gone, of course. I have computer ADD (meaning that I start something, work on it for a couple of minutes, then move onto something else, and keep going around and around never finishing anything til right before I leave), so when it kicked me off I lost my post for here (not yet sent), and e-mail (not yet sent), and it interrupted the Sports Guy. Argh!!

Anyways, Liz is coming into Trento tonight. Yay! I have no idea what we will do, probably spend Saturday either in Bolzano (German-type town north of here) or Verona. And my roommate is out of town, which means she actually gets a bed! Tomorrow I have an interview/meeting with a woman at Buonconsiglio castle here to see about doing an intership. It would be super cool (Hi, I worked at a castle in Italy), but I have to see if they'll let me have the kind of flexible schedule I want or not. So we shall see how this whole thing goes.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Ramblings

Yesterday my roommate's French boyfriend made us all something called gallette for dinner. It was a crepe-type thing. I can't really tell you what was in it, but it was good. =) I got to be the english expert again. Today was my long class day, but it went relatively well. I got to read a poem aloud by Sir Walter Raleigh in my Shakespeare class because it was in english. It's nice to sound like I know what I'm doing for once. Maybe I should have done it in a British accent, though...

Oh, I don't know if I've said this before, so forgive me if I'm being repetitive. So like a month ago or something, this guy called me up trying to reach his friend, who is not me, and he just ended up chatting with me and now has called me back just to talk. He lives far away, so I'm not too concerned about it. And then, the exact same thing happened again yesterday!! Some guy, also far away, called looking for his friend, and ended up chatting with me and has already called me back (but I was in class so I didn't have to talk to them). So, ridiculously friendly or desperate? You be the judge. But I think it's really bizarre that that's happened not just once, but twice! I must sound super awesome on the phone or something. =)

*Funny thing about Italy: the advertisement for the VW Golf, ie not the hugest car you've ever seen, is all about not being constricted, and giving yourself space. The tagline is "take your space." For a VW Golf!! Only in Europe would that be a roomy car.

*Seen on a tube of toothpaste in my bathroom: "the first protective toothpaste made with Arctic Lichen." I didn't know it was so prestigious to be a toothpaste made with arctic lichen. Seems kinda weird to me.

*They don't have neosporin in Italy. What do they do when they cut themselves?

*Like at least half the music on the radio here is in english, and the people can sing along, but we're pretty sure they don't have clue what they're saying. Case in point: last night at the gym, during the cooldown, mind you, they started playing the song Fuck it (I don't want you back) by Eamon, which include such lyrics as

You thought, you could,Really make me moan,I had better sex all alone, (laughs)I had to turn to your friends,Now you want me to come back,You must be smoking crack,I'm going elsewhere,And that's a factFuck all those nights, I moaned real loud,Fuck it, I faked it, Arent you proudFuck all those nights, you thought you broke my back,Well guess what yo, your sex was whack

I mean, at the gym?? I think that's strange, yo. And definitely a sign they don't know what they're singing.

*Chip and Dale, as in the cartoon squirrels, are know as Chip and Chop here.

*They don't eat while they walk here. I kept getting weird looks when I was eating breakfast as I walked to class (like everybody does), and it was finally confirmed when my roommates looked at me like I was crazy when I walked out with a piece of toast and asked if I was super late or something. Sorry, if it's sleep versus food, I'm going with sleep. So I'll have to be very un-italian here.

*They say Levi's like "levys", adidas with the emphasis on the first "a," and nike like it rhymes with "Mike."

That's all for now. More of my fascinating cultural observations to come. =)

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

English Yay

My roommate's boyfriend is in town right now. He is French, she is Italian (of course) and they met last year in Finland studying english. Of course. They don't speak each others' languages, so they speak in english together. Which meant last night I got to be the word expert. Finally!! It was very exciting. But I had to work really really hard to speak slowly in english so I could be understood. It's hard. As you call can imagine, knowing me =) Oh, and I finally signed up for a gym, thank goodness. It's ridiculously expensive, though, and the schedule isn't as cool as the RSF's. But it's the best one I've found here so far. At least it's only for three months. Actually, less than that. Can you believe it already! This time three months from now graduation will already be over.

Anyways, today was a super cool day because in my English Theater class what did we do today? That's right, we watched Shakespeare in Love. In english!! It was so relaxing. It's amazing how much easier regular classes seem in comparison to always having to be focused on the professor here (which is bad if one happens to be a daydreamer). The guy I am friends with in that class said he'd ask me if there were some words he didn't know, and I said sure, of course. And what was the first word he asked me what it meant? "Anon." Of course, he's gotta start with the old English. =) But it was highly nifty, regardless.

Oh, and it snowed again! Yesterday afternoon and this morning it snowed, but not like before, where it was really heavy and stuck. This time it was much lighter, and it melted right away, so there's no snow on the ground here. And now, this afternoon, it's like five degrees warmer or something! Crazy weather...it's practically like Texas here. (ie it changes a lot in a really short period of time)

I just saw that SoCal is having crazy rain right now...hope everyone knows how to swim and houses remain not underwater. Oh, and I totally missed that yesterday was President's Day...for some reason they don't celebrate it here. I should have skipped class in protest. I think I'll do it tomorrow instead since it's my long day. =)

Monday, February 21, 2005

So it seems to me that people here don't buy or read books for class til right before the test. Because this morning I was being all good and reading my book (well, one of them) and my roommate asked me, do you have an exam? Because you were reading... Then in class I asked this one guy if he bought the books yet and he was like, nah, I won't do that til class is over. I think their system encourages procrastination.

Venezia!

Friday night I went to go see the Merchant of Venice here with my friend. I didn't actually like the particular interpretation that much (because the original play is a comedy and the movie is a super serious "Jews vs. Christians" thing), but it was still really cool because they didn't do a modern version (they left it set in 1596), and since it was dubbed in Italian, I got to see like historical Venice in the Italian instead of just British accents. Which made it very cool =). And then Saturday morning we went to Venice! I went with seven other girls (big groups=not the easiest to travel with), and we spent the weekend exploring, buying lots of glass stuff, and having fun. I actually didn't get a chance to explore the famous palace and everything because we ran out of time! So I'll have to go back again. We did get to go to Murano and see them blow some of the glass themselves, which was super cool. And the awesome part was, I got to see Liz there! She was in Venice with her whole big class, so Saturday night we met up (we met up on the Rialto bridge, and I had to wait for her cause a stupid man took her to the wrong place when she was confirming directions, and when she ran up to me she said, I had to make sure it was really you, you look so Italian! Hehe, score!) and got to hang out for like two hours. Not too long, but it was late. We all went on a nighttime "tour" along the grand canal (basically rode the water bus around to see everything) but it was so damn freezing we couldn't really enjoy it. But Liz is thinking of coming to Trento this weekend to visit, since she has a three-day weekend and my roommate is going to be gone. Yay! It's funny, but being in Venice really made me appreciate Trento (and I know my friends felt the same way). The city is so damn crowded, full of tourists, there's english everywhere. It kinda sucks. I'm so glad I'm in a nice small town where I'm one of like two dozen americans total, probably. And that includes the random Americans I've met here who aren't students but live here for various other reasons (like we met a woman who is living here for a year with her family because of her husband's job...what kind of job transfers you to Trento, of all places?). Anyways, got back last night, and I was really tired so I went to bed early, and now today I start week 2 of 3.5 of my classes =) I'm trying to start the reading for one of my classes, but the books are really big and seem to cover topics not addressed in the class, so I'm going to ask her today if I really need to read all of it or what to focus on or what (because do I really need to memorize the dimensions of all the theaters in elizabethan England? Better not). I really don't want to go to class...but I remind myself, it could be worse, I could be starting work today and be a real adult now... ;-)

Friday, February 18, 2005

*rolls eyes*

So you'd think getting to class a whole damn 20 minutes early would be enough to get a damn seat, but no, the stupid class is already full!! How dorky are these kids that they get to class like that much ahead of time all the damn time? (and I only arrived that early out of necessity). I mean, come on. That's the problem with not having students sign up for classes. Sure, it means you can take whatever you want and don't have to worry about it filling up, but they never assign classrooms that fit! Two of my three are way to big for the rooms and it's like impossible to get a seat unless you're there camped out like the night before. And since I usually have another class right before, I'm screwed. Also, they're really rude. They can't be quiet for more than like 10 minutes at a time before having to take a talk break, and they talk right over the prof. It's so hard to hear, damn them!! For shame, chiachierroni, for shame!

Friday woo!

So last night I got onto AIM and stayed until the building closed (11pm my time) and got to talk to all kinds of super cool people...yay! If I didn't get to talk to you, keep an eye out, you never know when I might pop up online. Anyways, this morning I got up and went to the immigration/police department/DMV place (I'm not really sure exactly what to call it) to go start up the paperwork on this pass thing I have to get for some unknown reason, which was about as fun as you'd imagine an immigration/police department/DMV place would be. And momentarily I'm off to yet another class (I feel like I have so many! And lots of my friends haven't started yet, so I'm very jealous). Afterward my friend Katie and I are going to one of the Trento suburbs to go to the doggie shelter to see about volunteering there. Hopefully it isn't too far away, we're not really sure. But at least we get to see some doggies today =) And this weekend I'm going back to Venice, because just going for the day at Carnevale wasn't enough. We want to explore the cool historical things and buy pretty things made of glass =) So that should be pretty nifty. And then after today, only seven more lectures for each of my classes! Thank God. I need a vacation from this...vacation. =)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Pics

Oh, and I added some more pics too...from our trip to the citta' fortificata, and some more under "people," too. (added at the end)

Ahh

So I decided to just go home and grab my laptop and come back to the computer lab after dinner, and I gotta say, it's so much nicer at night. =) There are only two other people in the whole room, so it's nice and empty and I don't have to worry about running out of time or squishing in for a space or anything crazy like that. That's good times, yo. So went to class this afternoon, and the medieval history class was somewhat more interesting, so that's good. But the important thing is that it's 2/10 lectures done already, and after tomorrow it'll be 3/10. Woo. =) Last night I went out with my friends, and I wore the brand new stiletto heels I got in Verona (doesn't that sound cool?) and not only did I make it through the night, but I made it through without doing permanent damage to my feet. So that's what happens when you don't buy ten dollar shoes from Ross. I just read all 25 entries to be the Sports Guy's intern, so I'm feeling very "stream of consciousness" right now. He's so the best ever...I didn't even know he was having a contest to replace the intern, that's how out of touch I am. I cry for myself sometimes, I really do. I am planning on going onto AIM once I finish this entry, so some people better not be in class (or asleep right now). Tomorrow I have to go to the police department-type thing to get my pass so I can stay in Italy, which totally messes up my whole morning (which is why I am here tonight with my laptop instead of doing it during daylight hours). Hip hop makes me so proud to be an American. They were playing it last night, and it felt like being home. I'm 8-0 right now...it can't last. If I could change one thing about Italy, it would be the hours that things are open. That I can decide right away, but if I got two choices, that would be trickier. It could be like the whole they don't use dryers thing...or it could be the using the metric system thing...see, we just open a whole huge can of worms. So I'm going to stick with just the one change, and make it the hours. Oh no wait, I just realized, the number one thing would be internet in the apartments, so then I guess the store hours would be number two. So we'll leave it at two then.
Ok, so not only are grocery stores closed for unknown hours during the middle of the day (seems to be 1-3:30 and the one near me), they are also closed Wednesday afternoons!! Which I did not know til I showed up. I'm sorry, but when do these people work??

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Fun fact number 37

Oh, and in my head when I say websites or e-mail addresses, intead of saying like "bob at berkeley dot edu" or "imao dot us", I've started saying punto. Like, "berkeley punto edu". Scary, anyone?

Ick

I think today is just one of those icky days. Maybe it's because I had to get up early and had class straight from 8:45 to 2. And I mean straight. Or maybe it's because it's quite cold and windy today. Or maybe it's because I need to go grocery shopping but I can't now because of course the stores are of course all closed from one to four. See, I need to stop this. I started doing this game of "name all the things that suck right now" on the way to the computer lab (that was also on the list) and it's just getting me depressed. So I tried playing the "name all the things that are good instead" game, and that was better. I just need to go back to that one. But not right here.

Anyways, got up early, as I said, for my Shakespeare class, and that was fine, then I went to the Cold War class, and the damn room is so small they have people (including me, of course) spilling out into the hallway. At least for the first hour, then after that we switched to a larger room, but it's only available for the second hour. And then I went to the first day of my third class, on early medieval history. The professor seems nice, but good Lord the class was boring! Another american girl was thinking about taking it too, but after the first half hour she rejected that idea. I'm hoping it was just boring because it was the first class, and boring introductory "what is the medieval period" crap, and that tomorrow will be better. We'll see tomorrow...

Yesterday I was chatting with one of my roommates a bit, and was explaining to her the way the American university system works, and she was just horrified. We can only take our exams once, we never can do them orally, we have to take them right away when the class ends (not months later)...she said she's never going to school in America now. =) It's funny how different our systems are. Ours seems the one that makes sense to me, of course, but I guess if you're used to theirs...well, then you're just crazy.

It's amazing how your whole class can be only three and a half weeks (as mine are here...how crazy is that, yo), but it can still feel like a long time. Thank God I only have the 8:45 class on Wednesdays, which means I only have to do it twice more. It's what keeps me going. =)

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Day Two

Ok, so today I had two classes. I started off with a little, history of the Cold War, which was intimidating because the room was too small and so it was packed. And also, there weren't any desks! Just chairs. So we have to take notes like on our laps. Not so comfy. But it seems interesting, and she's a good lecturer. I can totally understand her. And she said that the book she takes a lot of her lectures out of is written in english, so if we can understand english, it'd be to our benefit to read that book. Hehehe. And she's giving the option to take the exam written or oral, which is nice. I went and talked to her in her office hours briefly, and she seems pretty nice. Not as nice as Shakespeare, perhaps, but still pretty nice. After that class, I went to Shakespeare class, and she did the whole lecture on English history, which I happen to know a heck of a lot about (seeing as I've taken classes that spent a whole semester on what she covered in an hour and a half). So that was a nice little break for me. Tomorrow I have those two classes plus a third one I'm gonna try, medieval history. I hear the professor is nice, so fingers crossed. I feel so busy now!! It's not bad, just very...busy. Lots of stuff going on.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Not bad

Ok, so I went to my first class today. It was kinda scary, scarier than I'd expected. Just being there, waiting for it to start. We were really early (like a half an hour) because we weren't sure where it was, but the scariest part was, we weren't the only ones that early. Like half the class was there already. What is wrong with these people?!?! I was actually debating whether I want to take the class or not, but the professor is soooo nice, I'm definitely gonna do that. I talked to her after class, and she was so flexible about the exams and everything, and she asked if I wanted to speak in english (which I didn't). The friends who went with me decided not to take the class, but at least they were here today. And this nice guy showed me where the bookstore that has most of the class books is, so I won't have to wander around searching deseperately for them. We're reading the plays in english, so the professor is gonna make me read aloud for the class. Lucky me =) I just hope my other professors are as nice as she is.

And...

Oh, and you know what else? I'm totally addicted to pizza now. Like, when I visited Italy like five or six years ago, I wasn't so fond of the pizza (it's quite different from American pizza). But now, I love it. And if I don't have some at least every couple of days, I go like through withdrawal pains. It's a bit different in Trento than it is in other cities, though, and I like our Trentino style better than the Veneto one, at least, that we had on Saturday. But really, it concerns me a bit.

Happy Valentines Day!

So this Friday we (most of our class...not that one girl we don't like, but pretty much everyone else) got together and spent the afternoon into the evening celebrating being done and the birthday with many bottles of wine. It was good. Then Saturday I had to get up at a truly ungodly hour and meet at 8am to go on a field trip with my class. One last test of my patience... Actually, it was kinda nifty. We went to three places, but the coolest was the second one. It was a fortified city, ie it still has the wall that surrounds the whole city from the Middle Ages. It's the best-preserved wall in all of Europe. We got to walk on it, making the tour of the city. It was kinda scary being up that high, though, because I don't trust the guardrails they installed. I mean, a bit of metal stapled into concrete, and I'm supposed to trust that to keep me alive? I don't think so, buster. Actually, in a couple of parts they had this little bridge stuff they constructed recently, so we could see the wall from the side, too, and I have to say, I felt a hell of a lot safer on the real wall than on some flimsy little wooden structure thingie. Oh, and we had a lunch of traditional Veneto foods, and oh my lord, we were eating for like two hours. Not sitting at the table for two hours, eating. I think we almost died from too much food. And we cut them off, too, they wanted to serve us another meat dish, and we had to tell them no!!!

Anyways, Sunday was the super laziest day ever. I read some of my book for fun (biography of Catherine the Great--woo history!) and then spent like hours trying to figure out travel stuff, and dreaming of internet access. Then I went to a new church, which was cool, they have stars painted on the ceiling, and it's of course from like the 12th century or something. Then just hung out with people. And now this morning I am on a search for more travel information (seeing as I can get online here) and I have my first class this afternoon! It's a Shakespeare class. Fingers crossed it doesn't suck.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Done!!!

Woo, I am done with my stupid class. Done! Had my oral exam this morning, and I think I did quite well, if I do say so myself. Of course, you never know here, so I'll still not be totally comfortable til I see my final grade. But at least I know I won't have to take the remedial class they're making people do if they get lower than a B.

Now I'm still trying to figure out what classes to take at the actual university. I had two classes I was going to do Module A (Feb 14th to March 8th), and then two more Module B (March 9th to April 14th--it's longer cause we get like a week and a half for spring break). But then last night, when I was supposed to be studying but instead was procrastinating, of course, I got to thinking...what if I did all four classes module A? Then I'd be totally done by March 9th, and as long as the professors let me stagger my final exams...it would be doable. Then I would have all this free time to travel at my leisure and not worry about more classes. But, it would mean a really icky three weeks. Like 8 hours of class (6 of them straight) on Wednesdays. And it might be just more worth it to do it two and two instead of all four at once. So I'm debating. I probably won't decide til later next week. Cause you don't actually sign up for classes here, you just show up. So I might see how awful it is on Wednesday, see if I could do it or not. Because the two I am definitely doing are the first to on Wednesday, so maybe if I just can't take it any more after that I'll just call it a day. Who knows.

Tomorrow morning we're meeting at 8am to go on a field trip. I'm sure it'll be interesting and all, but 8am?! Not so nice. Especially since we want to celebrate the last day of ILP today (and one of the guy's 21st birthday today). But hopefully we can sleep on the train or something.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

woo!

I got my first piece of mail today. Woo! It was a valentine from my grandparents =) See, if they can do it, so can you.

Darn computers...

Well it looks like y’all are gonna get to see those Carnevale pics a little earlier than I’d planned. Apparently part of my computer is broken, and I can’t really remove my CD-rom or put in the A-drive. Those little bits of plastic just aren’t as sturdy as they used to be, I guess. Cause they seem to be broken. So I had to bring in my laptop today to e-mail myself my damn essay since I couldn’t save it on a disk and just bring that in. Of course. Oh well, at least the cd-rom is the one working, since it’s (usually) a hell of a lot more useful. Same website as before, photos.yahoo.com/berkeleybunny

And I realized I forgot to tell you something about my presentation yesterday. The teachers have a really bad habit of talking to each other during the presentations, about the grades they’re going to give or whatever. Towards the end of my presentation, they started doing it again! So I paused for about 10 seconds…nothing, they kept talking. So I talked a bit more, and the I briefly switched to english…nothing. I changed the damn language on them and they didn’t even notice. Nice to know they put that kind of effort into it, isn’t it? And they do this all the time. It’s ridiculous. But I was the first person to try and test them like that…and mwahaha, it was fun. Everybody was just laughing quietly because they all knew what I was doing, it was only the professors who were totally unaware of this.

The room is full right now, but people here have this terrible habit of setting their notebooks down at their spot and then leaving for extended periods of time...so I'm just "borrowing" someone's spot right now. I thought it was kinda shady before just sitting down wherever, but now, screw it. Today's the last day of regular class, woo! And then just the final tomorrow and I'm free...it's a beautiful thing. And it feels warmer today, probably both because it is a bit warmer (the sun is shining) and because I'm used to freezing now. Either way, as long as my brain thinks it's better, it works. =)

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

lol

From my dad:

Drinking out of the bottle? You make me PROUD!!! :-)

Gotta love my family =)

hmph

Ok, so I did my presentation today. And, if I do say so myself, I rocked it. Of course, I don't have to say so myself, as luck would have it, because my friends all said I did super well. And the professors asked me a couple of questions and that was it--they were helpless in the face of my thoroughness. Of course, what grade did I get? A-! Hmph. So I asked, what did I do that lowered my grade down? Apparently not all my words were right. I asked, did I not use enough technical terms? Oh no, I did a great job of that. But I sometimes messed up, like saying il stilo instead of lo stilo. While I was talking. Without notes. I'm sorry, but that pisses me off. All the grades I know so far are so damn arbitrary. This one girl went and got an A+, and she did a good job, but she had plenty of errors too. Not fewer than I did, I'm certain. But her topic was one they knew nothing about, nutrition and diseases, so they had nothing to say to her. While other people who also did great got like some sort of B. It makes me so mad because they have no rubric or anything, they just grade how they feel like it. GRRRRRRRRRRR. And I'm not just mad because I didn't get an A. Although that doesn't help. I'm mad because it's always like this. They just make some sort of vague reasoning, and somehow that's supposed to be enough of an explanation. And I have my final exam, oral of course, with them on Friday, and it's just going to be more of the same, more them giving whatever grades they feel like at the moment. I'm gonna be so damn happy when this thing is over. They're nice enough ladies, but jeez, give us a break.

Oh, and we stopped by the cute little pet store to see the puppy in the window, and the man inside is so mean. We walked in, and he gave us this look, so I said, we just want to see the puppy. And he said, he's sold. And I said, that's fine, we just want to say hi, and he said, he doesn't need to be said hi to. What is up with that?! I swear, half of Italy is so super nice, and the other half need to move to France to be with their bretheren.

Carnevale woo!

Yesterday was lots of fun. But real quick recap of Monday...or at least, one thing annoying from monday. We had this professor come in to do a guest lecture and she was supposed to talk from 3-4, and then at 4 we were supposed to be done with class. But lady talks until after freakin' 5pm!! She just wouldn't shut the hell up. And it was interesting, but we have not that much free time already during the daylight hours, and she just took it. We were all so pissed.

Anyways, yesterday we had class from 9-11. Right now we're doing these "academic presentations," which are like a half an hour and important for our grade. Three girls yesterday went, and two of them just got grilled for like 45 minutes each. Brutally. They were about to cry. Mine is today, in a few minutes, and I'm scared to death.

So then after class we ran to the train station and caught the noon train to Verona. Then we had to switch trains, but our train was 20 minutes late, and we missed our connection to Venice by one minute. Literally. So we lost an hour, but we made it to Venice by 3:30. We got there and there weren't too many people at first. We wandered around, bought masks, and made it to Piazza San Marco, the main square. Then we had two other friends meet up with us there (they caught a later train), and we wandered around, drinking wine and champagne (right out of the bottle...cause we're just that classy), and seeing all the people in their amazing costumes. Some people had stuff so elaborate, it was amazing. Like 18th century dresses with the full-on wigs, etc. Pretty awesome. We hung out there, listening to live music, just generally having fun, and then we caught the 11pm train back to Trento. It was so full, cause it was going to Germany, so we sat in these super uncomfortable, pull down from the wall seats, for like half the ride. Then this nice man came out and said there was room in his little six-seat room for more people, so my friend and I went in there and fell asleep for the last hour. (the others had found other seats already). We made it back at like 2, I went to bed at 3, got up at 10 to practice for my presentation today. I'm quite scared, now, seeing as they were so evil yesterday, so I'll let you all know if I cried or not. But it was totally worth it. Carnevale was awesome. I'll post my pictures soon, when I bring in my laptop next. You can see our cool masks. =)

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

dieci minuti!

I think I only have like ten minutes to be online today. Class starts at nine am today, and I got here a bit early so I could at least check my mail today. Class ends at 11, then I catch the noon train to Venice for Carnevale! So I'll just have to keep it short and fill you guys in on all the exciting stuff from yesterday, and whatever happens today, tomorrow. I know it'll be hard, but try to wait that long.

Monday, February 07, 2005

il weekend (they actually say that)

This weekend was a productive one. Which means kind of boring. I wrote my paper that's due this week, so that's good. The only problem is that it's crap. Not the italian part of it, but the fact that I have this giant-ass topic (the Council of Trent in the context of the Reformation and Counterreformation) and no where near the length to address it properly. So the paper is terrible, full of giant holes that just pain me. But I'm sending it to my prof today in hopes she'll look it over and tell me it's fine. But at least the damn thing is done! That means all I have to do tonight is prepare my presentation for Wednesday, and I can go to Carnevale tomorrow! Woo.

I went out dancing with my roommates Saturday, which was cool, because it was hanging out with my roommates. I discovered, though, that I can do the salsa thing for like an hour or two, but afterward I need some musical variety. Maybe if I actually knew how to dance it properly it would be more fun...but sadly, I do not know (cause that one class/dance thing we went to doesn't really count after all this time). Good bonding time, though. Oh, I think I would have had more fun too but my knee was starting to hurt after a while, because I have several bruises. Three in total, actually, between the two of them, and I can only recall the cause of one of them. Such is the life of the super klutzy.

Last night I tried my hardest to watch the Super Bowl, I really did. I was tired because of the whole up late dancing thing (it's really funny to call America and have someone go...isn't it like 4am there?) but I stayed up anyway and at 12:45 was flipping through stations looking for it. I had been told that it would be on...but apparently they were lying. Cruel people. All I found was damn soccer...and of course a very strange infomercial to buy these porn movies from the 1910s-1940s. Now that was odd, because on Italian tv, they show you just about everything. Gotta say, would have preferred the Super Bowl. But on the plus side, then I didn' t have to feel guilty for going to bed and not watching the whole thing. Thank God this isn't fall and I'm not missing the entire season. I have my priorities.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Oh, my eyes...

So I used to read the Corner every day, pretty much start to finish (which is an accomplishment and takes dedication, as some of you well know), but I haven't read it at all since I came to Italy, because any computer time is pretty much totally devoted to e-mails and writing here. But this afternoon I was browsing around John's blog and he had a link to Jonah's most recent column, so I read that (about Groundhog day, the results of which I still don't know, btw), and then proceeded onto the Corner. It's National Review's blog, in case you don't know. Anyways, I'm scrolling down, just reading what's gone on for the day, and I haven't gotten very far when all of a sudden I see Jonah's posted his "first post of the day!" post like he always does. And I was like, hey, wait a minute, how can we be only at like the early posts still? It's the afternoon! See, three and a half weeks in Italy, and I still don't quite get that there's this wacky time difference. I'm not proud of it, but I tell you anyways so you can laugh and shake your head and think, oh Reva, you wacky girl you. I'm also officially in the top 5 for klutziest American in Europe right now. I don't think I've managed to get through one day yet without tripping and/or managing to have food go flying during meals.

(...an hour passes...)

Argh, my eyes are about to glaze over. I've just been trying to find classes here and their online schedule of classes is psychotic. Take a look: http://orari.lett.unitn.it/ It's only is good through March 21st, too. My brain hurts trying to figure this all out. But it's crazy--classes will last only like three and a half weeks, and you're done! Now that's strange, yo.

3 down, 1 to go

Three weeks over and done with of my class here! Just one more, thank goodness. Of course, next week is gonna suck cause that's when my presentation and paper are due, but at least I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think I jinxed us in my last post thought when I said the weather was getting warmer, cause now it's cold again. Damn me and my big mouth! So now I have to figure out how to undo the damage I've done.

Some of us are trying to figure out how to watch the super bowl here this weekend. It think it starts at like midnight, but it would totally be worth it if we can find out if they show it on regular tv here or what. And I'm not quite sure how to find out, either.

Damn, have to get back to class now. Stupid too short breaks. I don't know if I'll be able to get back on a computer or what. Stay tuned...

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Yesterday in class, we had a professor come in and give us a lecture for an hour, so we'd have an idea of what a class here would be like. Oh my Lord, it was like the most boring thing ever. I could understand what he was saying just fine, but he just kept rambling on and on and on, and darned if I could find a point in the whole damn thing. And then when it was over (after 4, mind you, when we're supposed to be released back into freedom), the professors just kept asking him questions! We just wanted to run away, we were all looking at each other like we wanted to shoot ourselves. It was not good.

This morning my alarm didn't go off again. Apparently my phone just went nuts, and after shutting it off and turning it back on again, it's working now, but it would have been nice if it didn't randomly go insane.

Everyone I was supposed to go with on Saturday to Carnevale has backed out because we have so much work due this next week. Some people are going Tuesday, the like big day, but I have my big presentation on Wednesday, so unless I'm like super done and ready to go, I don't think I'll get to go...which really pisses me off.

Oh, so yesterday was Groundhog Day. Does anyone know if he saw his shadow? And if the shadow/winter thing applies everywhere? Cause I'd really love it for spring to come now. Actually, ever since February started, it's been a bit warmer here. I'm wearing my not super heavy coat today! I'm excited.

So, I gave everyone my phone number here, but then you think to yourself, I don't want to call Reva, I want to send her a letter! Or something of the like. Don't worry, I have addresses too! Two, that's right, it's plural. If you want to send me a package, it's one address, and if you want to just send me a letter or stalk me, it's another address (packages go to the study center, letters go to my apartment). So here's my apartment address:

(my name)
Via Antonio da Trento, 22
38100 Trento
Italia

I'm going to assume no one is going to send me packages but my mom, but if you really want that address too I can give it to you (just e-mail me). And feel free to send me letters, cards, or anything else that will break the monotony that is Italy ( ;-) )

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Overslept this morning because the alarm on my phone (which I am using as a clock right now, plus a watch since I lost mine...oh, poor time-obsessed me!) didn't go off. So I had to move quick, since I only had a half an hour, but cool as I am, I managed it. We had our orientation, relatively unhelpful and certainly not worth getting upa t 7:30 for (or 8, this morning, accidentally). More class this afternoon, fun fun. I was going to bring my money to pay rent today, but I forgot it in this morning's haste, so I'll do it tomorrow (I have til the 5th). Here, I have to pay in cash, at the post office. Kinda strange, isn't it? And I'm back at the computer lab today, of course, so no more pics or anything interesting...but I am glad you guys got to see some of them. Not much to report on since I blogged so late yesterday and it's early today. Oh, here's proof I've been studying too much history--in the book I'm reading on the Reformation, I am totally recognizing woodcuts and paintings they have there from previous study of the subject! Definitely need to change it up here. Ok, off to class now.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Check

I'd say check plus, but it's not quite check plus, because not everything is totally working right (I still can't download my e-mails onto my computer using Eudora, I have to keep using calmail online...anyone know why?), like for some reason I can't upload pics onto my blog, but other than those two problems...we're doing well, people =) Of course, I keep hitting the - key instead of the apostrophe because in less than three weeks I have managed to totally retrain my fingers because that's where the key is located on Italian keyboards oddly enough...who woulda thought. So for my pics, what I did is I uploaded them to yahoo, so you can see them at photos.yahoo.com/berkeleybunny. I separated them into categories to help you kinda know what is what, but I can't (or at least I don't know how) to put in little descriptions or anything, as I could do here if I could post them, so you'll have to kind of guess. But you're all smart. =) And now that I know I can get photos here somehow, I'll take more random ones so you can see what it's like here! Like I know you're all dying to know what my kitchen looks like. And there's even a picture of me looking like a ridiculous marshmellow in the snow. So I hope you're all happy. Oh, and be sure to note how ridiculously tiny my bed is here. It's even smaller than a regular twin bed in the States. And mom, don't you say it. I mean it.

Today after my stupid presentation we went to this museum about ten minutes south by train from here, and I have to say, maybe I just am art retarded, but I don't get how a woman standing still for an hour letting a python slither over her is art (there was a video of this as an exhibit). Or a taxidermied squirrel at a doll-sized table with a mini revolver next to it, as if it had just committed suicide. Seriously, that was there. Unless the taxidermied squirrel is part of a mini army being put together by Janitor, I don't want to see it. And I will freely admit to being to provincial to understand such beauty. Hmph.

We were late to the train, so we had to run part of the way (me with my laptop in my backpack too..woo hoo) and of course I managed to trip and fall. Luckily I didn't get hurt really, just got my jeans dirty...cause if I got hurt, we would have missed the damn train. It's really funny to see your teachers running down the street, though. One of them was having trouble keeping up too, and I was thinking, this is why you shouldn't smoke! But of course I didn't say that, I just said it's hard to run with a heavy bag, and she was like yeah, and I smoke too. Which I thought was kind of funny.

I think I'll try to bring in my laptop once a week or so to upload pics or whatever. And hopefully I'll be able to dowload my mail onto my computer at some point, cause otherwise I'm gonna have a million messages in May. =) But I feel so successful, like I've really accomplished something just by getting online. Dratted third-world country... =)

I'm in love...

with the tech guy here. I brought him my laptop and he worked some magic and now theoretically I can get online here! See, all the students here, including the Erasmus ones (Erasmus being the international students from around europe) are enrolled in a particular facolta' here (equivalent of L&S and Berkeley), and when they do that they have particular usernames and passwords. The american students are just about the only people in the university who are enrolled in the whole thing. This means that I can't do a lot of stuff online that they can, like sign up for exams. So when I went to log in online, it didn't recognize me either, because I'm not enrolled in a particular place. But they fixed that too so now I can go online!! Of course, I'm not actually on my laptop now...you see, the room where laptops can connect to the internet is always half empty. Always. Except today, now that I actually can get on, I can't get a damn seat! And most of the people sitting at the tables aren't using the internet, they're just studying. Just enjoying ruining my plans, says I...So after class (which probably won't be til like 6, since we're going to a museum this afternoon, which is cool, but I hate losing my whole damn day) I'll probably come back here and try to find some space. Damn people in my way.