Friday, 26 December 2008

A merry Christmas

My sister did her best to arrange the tree and Presepe! She did a good job indeed!

A merry Christmas, full of laugh, of people, children happy to receive so many and wonderful presents, friends smiling and joking, my family joint together, delcious food prepared with love, new traditions to carry on... That was my best Christmas present!

What about you? did you have a Merry Christmas?

Love and peace be in your heart in these days of Joy!
Buon Natale

Saturday, 20 December 2008


I decided to study languages because I believe in communication: I think it is a great opportunity the ability of talking with people of different culture. I like the idea of meeting people with different tradition and to communicate with them.
I was very happy, last year, when I came in contact with these technological tools that could help you to learn a language, but also to get in touch with different cultures.
Last week I was talking with a friend of mine, a not-very-technological woman, and I was explaining her that all I have done for Christmas, so far, was finding a new template for my blog. She stared at me, and said: "You have a blog?!" and I felt a bit ashamed of saying "Yes, I have".

Of course, there is nothing to be ashamed of, but my attitude to this kind of thing is that. None of my friend know the URL of my blog, and I don't want them to know it. Not because of what I write here, but...

Probably is because of the way people think about this kind of tools, and about people who use them. I don't write much personal stuff here, and I don't use it as a personal diary, but I don't want to explain every time what is the difference in my use of this things... That's probably why...

Saturday, 6 December 2008

A place called home

How many places can you call home?

Well, of course there is my home, where i come back every evening, and where i'm not always happy to be back(travelling is much more fun). But there are other places that I can call home, and I realize it every time I go back there, and I can find my way there...

My Granma used to tell me that her house was our home, that we should consider it so, because whenever we need to be at home, we could go there, and so it was! Even now that she is no longer in this world and her house is something completely different, I consider it home.

One of the first time I went to my uncle on my own (after several years...) I went out for a walk in the country around there, and there I realized that I could perfectly recognize where I was and I didn't lost, I felt at home. It was ages since I last walk there, but even though I was alone I managed to find my way...

My mum's uncle live in a beautiful place near Treviso called Valdobbiadene, and they make a marvellous wine called ProseccoandCartizze. I seldom go there, last time it was a couple of weeks ago... everything is the same. Only it seems to me a bit smaller! The huge room where we used to have lunch when I was a child is now so tiny. How could we run in such a small place?! And the kitchen where my mum's aunts used to prepare so much food (those lunch started at 12 and ended not before 4 p.m., children were allowed to leave the room before the end of lunch!). And again finding things the way I can remember them I felt at home

These are the things that make me feel at home, places where I can wander, people that loves me. Places where I can arrive and leave whenever I need, where even being away for so long, once I'm back everything is the same.

So, How many places can you call home?

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Nice trip into science world!

No photo this time!

Another meeting for bloggers, but without any evidence! I'm just back home (well, I had dinner before start writing!) from Pisa, where I met A.C. and qualcosa di bello, and her "baby"! We spent a beautiful day trying to understand something about scientific research. If You have any question ask qualcosadibello, she knows!

It is always a surprise that there are so many different ways to get in contact with people, and that just writing some random thoughts, you have the chance to meet such beautiful people.

I have no other words for tonight, (I had few words during the whole day!)...
but thank you!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Let it snow, let it snow...

This morning I woke up early enough to bring my sister to the train station by car because it was raining and when I got back... it was snowing!! I live near a crowded street, full of cars, expecially in the morning, and today it is particularly silent...

"let it snow, let it snow, let it snow..."

Discover Dean Martin!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Surprise surprise...

foto from Flickr

It is at least surprising with this great crisis, money crisis, University crisis, whatsoever crisis... that my University was able to buy three (not just one, but three!) new German vocabularies!

I'm almost moved... and pleased, because the former were impossible to use!
... I attend to the 2nd oldest University in the world, you know!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Out of my window...

Image taken from here.

They go on saying that the world is changing, or better, is changed. The new President of United States of America, is the final sign of this change.

Before the election I was (most of all) curious to see whether Americans were brave enough to elect a President like Obama. Yes, you need courage to have such a President, for several reasons that I'm not going to investigate here. I'm happy that he's been elected, because, even though I'm not American (and proud to be Italian, despite Silvio...), I'm aware of the great influence of U.S. on the world. I'm happy because he seems to be a man able to do unpopular choices.

Since the day of his election I see people exulting there(in America) and here (in Italy). It is clear why Americans are happy about it, but it is not so clear to me why the Italians are so happy! I mean, we're governed by the same people as before, the only hope for us is... an invasion(remember Fascism?)! And what is more, we would have never elected such a candidate! And I'm not talking about the colour of his skin! I'm talking about those unpopular choices that we're not able to do... We want our leaders to be the image of what we would like to be, and not real persons who tell us what the real problems are.

So, keep on celebrating, but out of my windows it is still raining...

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

My head is so heavy...

I'm cold! Again.
I'm realizing how important is breathing, seriously!I hate feeling like this...

Probably is due to cold, or probably not, but I fell like I can't focus things I have to do and things I need to do, I feel like I'm wasting my time, but I don't know... I'm doing many different things...

I don't think it is only due to my cold...
(I'm so concentrated on breathing, that even thinking is becoming difficult!!)

Friday, 31 October 2008

Trick or what?!

I have already written about Halloween... I have nothing against this day, but I can't stand children wandering asking trick or treat...
I spent few lines to explain what importing a tradition from another culture means to me, and I don't want to repeat it again...

This evening I was going shopping and I saw some of this children dressed as witches or monsters. The first thing that came into my mind was :"Why here?! There are no Houses here around!" The second was: "If they dare even think about coming to my door I'll throw them rotten eggs!"

I don't hate children, mind you! And I can perfectly see that it is not their fault, but that's not a celebration of our culture and I cannot see any serious reason to celebrate it...
Thank God tomorrow there will be no more Halloween!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Back to my passions...

This year at University I don't have regular courses, but just few exams left, and that's why is so difficult to work hard! Also, I want to start playing my guitar a bit more this year. I have a project, well, I have this project since the day I get my degree in guitar, but I found several obstacles so far...

This time I want to try seriously this way, and who knows where it could lead... I miss it so much! Playing my guitar some hours each day...
Sometime I wonder how I managed to study at the University, and in a Conservatory for so many years, but it was not tough, never! In Italy classical guitar in a conservatory is a ten-years course, and when you start it you think it is such a long path that you probably never see the end, but when you reach the end of this path you realize that you're never ready, or at least that's what I experienced, I could never thought of me ending my studies...

Teaching music is a way to keep me in contact with my studies even when I don't have time enough to study, but now I want something more, I want to try to do something more!
wish me luck, or better "in bocca al lupo" (musicians are always superstitious!!)!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

foto from Flickr

I'm back to my last courses at University, and because I know I will have no time for choosing books to read, I read a final book for my pleasure before starting!

Of course, when you start reading a book you hope it will be pleasant, but when I started to read "girl with the pearl earring" I was totally and completely fascinated by the story of this young maid. I entered her world in her house and then starting to feel what she felt. It is so well written, that even though I read it in English ( I'd rather read in the original language when I can do it!), I was really involved in the story! I watched the clouds with her trying to figure out the different colours, I felt ashamed for the attention of a butcher's son, and confused for the secret errands she had to do for her master...
The story deals with the life of a girl who is the maid in Vermeer's house, and besides her duty as a maid she starts helping her master preparing the color for his paintings. There is nothing morbid about their relation and the way they work together, but there is a kind of unsaid attraction between the two. Things become a little bit complicated when Vermeer's Patron notices the girl and wants to be painted with her...
I won't tell you anything more, but be sure that is worth reading!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Some hours in Rome...

...not even a day! I had time just for a walk, starting with San Peter.

Passing by, because I had no time to stand in a queue...

Then I passed by Castel Sant'Angelo, and I stopped few minutes in the park, just to read my map and decide the next target...

Which could not but be Trinità dei Monti, and to reach it I went along a street, where I could see Bulgari, Cartier, Buccellati... and I was wondering what kind of place it was... The to decided the next stop of my trip I realize that I was passing by via Condotti!!

It's almost impossible to take a picture without people in it, when you're in Rome...

I went up the stairs, and up there I decided the next stop...

...can you guess where I am?!
I thought I could sit for a moment, bu when I reached Fontana di Trevi I realized that it was too crowded!

So, I stopped just a minute to watch the tourists taking picture of the wife/son/daughter/boy-girl-friend throwing a coin...

Then through unknown ways I arrived in Via Venezia from where I could see Altare della Patria, but I didn't dare go up the stairs here! (once in a lifetime, and I had already done it!)

When you're there you cannot avoid to see Colonna traiana and Foro di Traiano, of course!

And if you go up to reach Piazza del Campidoglio you can see the whole city (almost)...

And then you can easily recognize Marco Aurelio when you arrive...

So far I was almost tired (it is a really long way...) but I thought I could take a bus to come back, so I decided to go on (Colosseo is so near...)

...but I just managed to reach Tempio di Vesta which is just opposite La Bocca della verità! Then I had to come back, no more time, and no more energy for my quick trip in Rome!

Saturday, 27 September 2008

more Photos!

These days I had time enough and I wondered trough the blogosphere. By chance I found a beautiful blog (click here to see it). The photos you'll see are wedding photos!

I must confess I am not exactly fond of wedding photos, usually (or at least in Italy) there are people in unnatural pose with strange expression on their faces.

But these are totally different! There are unusual landscape and photos taken during the party or the ceremony that seem to reflect the different personality of people. Probably the best thing is go and see!
Hope you'll enjoy as I did!

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

simple and cute!

Saturday I went to a marriage. We have a little choir for friends, usually, but this time was for people we didn't know. They are friends of a friend of ours... Anyway, when we went to the church Saturday morning we could see little sunflowers everywhere! Such a beautiful landscape for this marriage! Sunflowers were surrounded by little green and pink meadows...

These 2 guys are really fantastic, he is from Colombia, and she's Italian, they have been living together for 5 years because they were married in Colombia, and now they are in Italy too.
She cut her hair at the beginning of September in order not to have problem in hair dressing and he was so nervous before she appeared that Saturday...

So sweet, and so simple...
After the ceremony we were allowed to steal a sunflower! Unfortunately it won't last long... but they were so cute!

Thursday, 11 September 2008


09/11/2001 I had one of the best ice cream of my whole life. I was in Sirmione on the Garda lake, and suddenly everybody went to watch the TV nearby, I went too and I saw what seemed to be a film. The attack, the tower collapsing... so unreal! I didn't realize immediately what that could mean, but then I remember that the strong feeling we had was fear. What will the Americans do after that?!

In 2003 I was attending my first year at University, the very day of the attack on Baghdad I had a lesson in the Political Science department! When I reached Piazza Antenore I understood that reaching my class that day would have been really hard. There were many students outside, complaining for the attack. I had economics, and since I don't understand a thing about economics, all I wanted was to go and see whether my Professor was going to teach us something that day. He arrived and was going to do his lessons when some students came in to call us to join the demonstration. After deciding to stay there, our Professor asked us “Do you know what happened on 9/11?!” Who didn't?! And someone asked back: “What year?”

I had already read The House of the Spirits, And I knew what happened in Chile in 1973, but I had never realized that the day of the coup d'état was 09/11...

On 11th September Augusto Pinochet overthrew Allende's government, with the help of United States intelligence. During the military Junta of those years there was a word largely used: desaparecidos, disappeared. All those who had something against the government simply disappeared.

In 1998 Pinochet was arrested for Crimes against Humanity. He was practically never processed, because of his health problems or many other little reasons.

Today is 09/11, and even though I live in Italy there are many programs on TV remembering us what happened 7 years ago. I respect those people who died in Twin Towers attack, and their families too, their sufferance.

But is there any respect for the more than 3000 people who died during Pinochet's government?! Are they once more desaparecidos?!

Friday, 5 September 2008

Things you learn going to University...

This morning I sat the German written exam, I had to translate a text that my teacher took from La Repubblica, an Italian newspaper.
So far nothing strange, but the article dealt with the biological problem in language learning! Researchers from the University of Chicago have found out that there is an area in our brain that help us (or doesn't) to learn a foreign language. If this area is well developed you'll make no particular effort to learn the language, instead...

Was she trying to tell us something?!?!

For those lucky of you, who know this marvellous language that is Italian the article is

Friday, 29 August 2008

As I promised

here there are some images of my holiday!

As you can guess I don't feel like putting my guys' pics here,

so, enjoy the landscape!

We couldn't bath here unfortunately, too cold!

But so beautiful!

And that's the best way to keep you warm!

Saturday, 23 August 2008

and now...

...I'm back home! the climate is hot again (and wet!), no more marvellous landscape around me, and my head full of worry for my next exams.

I enjoyed so much those days with my guys, lightening a fire every night, and somehow going back to what is really important to me. What I absolutely need in my life, and what i don't!

It is so strange that ten days make my life somehow so different, it is not only a matter of contact to nature, probably is due to the people that were with me, the feeling you have when people surround you and are ready to help you...

I spent 10 wonderful days, I've been so tired this week, and now I know I have so many things to do... but I'm ready and back home!

P.S. I'll post some photos in the next few days, the thing is I didn't take them with my camera, so be patient (as I am!!).

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Ready?! Go!!

I'm going to the mountains! I'll leave on Sunday morning. Me and 20 boys and girls from 12 to 16 (and some other adults with me of course!!) 10 days sleeping in a tent, lighting a fire to prepare lunch and dinner, and living in what is really Nature.

One could say that is not exactly holiday, no rest (definitely) and taking care of other people. But I really enjoy this 10 days (I do this kind of holiday every year!), even though some mornings I'll wake up wondering why I decided to go there, and some other I won't be able to get up, some days I'll be discouraged by the weather or what else... But when back, I'll be so happy, and smiling, and tired, of course, and I'll remember my guys' smile during these days...

So, ready??!! Go!!

Saturday, 19 July 2008

My birthday present has bloomed

A huge flower on a not so big plant. It lasts only a day. Then you have to wait until the next flower.

Friday, 18 July 2008

new opportunities

As you should have understood so far, I'm desperately trying to find a good way to improve my German (I'm not saying that my English is perfect...). I subscribed a blog with German podcast, without finding there a real help, mainly because I have no great time to spend with podcast, but today I found there something very useful for a "languagelearner"!
In this site you can subscribe (totally free) and then receive e-mails with words and phrases in the language you are learning. Unfortunately now there are only three languages available:
But you can also subscribe for language to come, among which I found German.

In the meantime, I have also subscribed portuguese, because it has always fascinated me. Such a strange language, with a peculiar sound...

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Language learning is relative....

My father always says that learning Italian is quite easy.

Then he usually goes on saying that the reason why Italian is so easy is that words are pronounced the very way you write them. This is more or less true. We have pronunciation rules, that's all. German too! But we also have a very complicated verbal system composed of several modes and tenses.
At this point in the conversation my sister usually says :"Some modes and tenses are no longer used in Italian!". She refers to passato remoto, and some kind of congiuntivo. Go and ask to southern people if they no longer use passato remoto!!

Passato remoto is used to narrate events that happened very long ago, or at least that's what my teacher told me when I was 6! Speaking Italian I very rarely use passato remoto (telling once-upon-a-time stories, imitating southern people...), a class mate of mine, who come from the south of Italy used passato remoto to tell me about events that occurred the day before...

When I spoke to Elena (American student), during the exchange, I had the opportunity to ask her what is her greatest difficulty speaking Italian. I expected she to say: Italian verb system. She told me several things that were difficult for her, but she didn't mention verbs! I must confess I was a bit disappointed!

My German teacher in my first year at the University, used to underline that Italian is far more complicated than German, because irregular verbs in German show their irregularity in precise "points": 2nd and 3rd singular person, Praeteritum, and Partizip. No more no less. While in Italian you don't know where you can find irregularities.
Anyway someone should remind her that German still have declination for nouns, articles, and adjectives, and there is no way at all to guess the gender of words!

So... time is not the only relative thing, I assume!

Monday, 30 June 2008

be correct-ed!

When we were having our student exchange with American students, Sarah told us to pay attention when we talk Italian with them, not to talk too fast, not to use strange words and structures, and not to correct them too much when they talk!

Then, I asked Elena whether it was all right, in our exchange, the way I talked to her, the words I used, if I was too quick. That was mainly because Sarah told us they were intimidated by our English, and their Italian was not at the same level (consider they've been studying Italian only for 4 years).
I've always said to Elena that she could feel free to correct me any time I deserve it, she's never done it, not because I didn't deserve it, just because she's very kind! I corrected her only if she said incomprehensible words or totally failed the structure, and that happened rarely too.
I noticed that sometimes native speakers avoid doing so. When I talked to Sarah, or with my cousins, I realized that I had said something wrong (always after having said it!), but they never interrupt me. I like the idea of finishing my sentence, but I also appreciate the opportunity of improving my language, so I don't feel uncomfortable when someone corrects me!

I didn't. Last week I had an oral exam on linguistics with an American (native speaker) teacher, she's never corrected me while I was talking about the subject matter, but when the exams finished she corrected me 3 times while I was asking about my other marks... I made some very silly mistakes (...she didn't told us...), and I felt so irritated! And I thought about those things Sarah told us about correcting people that are learning a language...

I still think I need corrections, probably what irritated me so much is the particular relation I have with that teacher, and so it was not the correction, but the one who was correcting me! But probably I've also learned that when you are learning a foreign language you need to talk, first of all.
My best friend went to live in Germany, and when she was trying t learn German her boyfriend's family always corrected her mistakes (German is a very difficult language!!), and she hates them doing so. I tried to explain her that they probably had the best intention, but without a real success.

Italian and German are not so popular as foreign languages (German is becoming more popular, but still schwierig!), and so Italian and German people are not used to talk with people who are learning their language, while English people are used to, and so a bit more polite, probably.

Anyway, probably you shouldn't correct each and every words one says, but sometimes I found useful that someone, politely, underlines my mistakes, to help me improving!

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

my boring, boring studying....

Once again I'm studying hard for my exams. Today and the day after I'll be sitting German (tomorrow I'll have a 5 hours written test: a torture!), then it will be English (linguistic) then German literature first and second part and English literature. And then I have finished for June and July, because I've done some continuous assessment during the lessons...

I don't have much energy for these exams, I hope they'll finish soon, but I know I will be feeling guilty in the end because I haven't done so many as I wish...

Anyway It has been such a full year for my learning that I can be satisfied!

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Blogging or not blogging?

Actually, I've already found an answer to this question but the thing is: Will I be able to do this without Sarah asking me to write a post every week?

One could say that if I like to write my blog (as I've said more than once...)... well, Yes I can (It seems to bring luck, this slogan... not in Italy!)

Those little flags...that's the kind of help I need... and comments (also corrections!!), of course!

Will you help me?!

Monday, 2 June 2008

I am 1716

It is an experiment, to see how long it will take to get 1,000,000 blogs to list themselves on this site.
Now, I'm 1716, go and sign in if you find it interesting!

Get listed at

My personal language environment/2

Here we are thinking about our way of learning, the opportunities around us, and how to use them properly. Here we are, again.
I don't think there is much difference from the first time I analysed my personal language environment. The greatest change is that I am going to finish my classes at University (I hope, let's see my next exams...), and so the larger part of it will be informal. Those new tools I have added during this course, and in my years at the University, will play a different role. I have found many new occasions of improving my language and to test my intercultural competence, and I had the opportunity to decide what is better for me. I won't attend regular lessons (perhaps), and so I have to reflect on how keep on learning, and I'm ready to reflect on it,because I have many different tools.

I think the blogosphere is going to play a great role in my future learning experience, because I found an enjoyable way of training my skills, I found people who are (surprise, surprise) interested in what I write, and who give me advice and opinions. Relating my learning experience to people is a great way to keep on learning, because I'm always interested in communicating with other people and because, as someone told me recently, 'life is all about people'.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Learning grammar...

Male student:
"You sure do make love good."
Female teacher, in bed next to male student: "Well. I make love well."

Grammar Snobs are Great Big Meanies-June Casagrande

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Thinking about it....

For the end of this second semester we again have to reflect on our intercultural competence. To help us in this hard task we had a questionnaire.

It is always a good thing to stop and reflect on what you did, in order to understand what concrete goals you achieved, and in what way.

This exchange with American students gave us first of all an occasion to reflect on our own culture. I had to reflect on my culture, in order to explain her things in the most objective way, and then to add my opinion. I was always glad to answer her questions and discuss the "topic of the week". I like the idea of comparing our two lifestyles, but sometimes I had to remind me that she's younger than me ( Elena's 18, while I'm 24), and probably we have different approach to life.
I have never had problems or misunderstandings, even when we compared things different for our cultures. For example when we talked about death penalty, although our opinion were so different, we compare our ideas respectfully, I really appreciated it.
I learnt many things about their lifestyle, about education, and of course many about election system that was the topic of our final project.
Another particular thing was that those guys are children or grandchildren of immigrants, and so discussing with them about immigration provided a particular point of view, it was no more a matter of American and Italian culture.
I really appreciated this activity, and I think I was particularly lucky because doing it not inclass but in my spare time there were always just the two of us talking. I hope that Elena too had found it interesting, probably the fact that at a certain point we realized that we spent more than an hour talking together reveals that we enjoyed the conversations.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

To whom it may concern...

... here it is the URL of our webpage on the wiki. I'm posting it just because in the latest comments someone told me that was interested in it.
The lay-out is almost fixed!

Hope you find it interesting.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

The three of us...

chatting together to organize our page on the wiki... a mess! Definitely a mess!

Elena is so kind, she wants to do more than what is her duty, because she's worried that Anna and I are doing too much! Anna is trying to understand our project and wants to make some changes, but it is no time for changing, our deadline is next Monday! She's doing an awesome work with graphic! She added marvellous pictures!

But chatting instead of talking was... such a confusion, because we were writing at the same time three different things, and when you're writing you don't wait until the other finish what she's saying...

"excuse me, can't we have a call?"

Oohh, ok girls, that works! We managed to decide who's going to do what...

Just to answer to some of your comments, after Monday I'll put a link to the page, so you can go and read a bit of stuff! Remember, part of it is in Italian!!

Thursday, 1 May 2008

so much time...

... I haven't been writing for so much time!

But I was busy trying to understand what to do with my final project, and preparing the presentation for Prof. Taylor (also English), and trying to find something interesting for the final project with prof. Busà too. Yes, our English course consist of many different parts (this year only three, but in my last year before the degree there were 5 different exams to take and last year they were 4 written, and 2 oral parts to have the final mark for Lingua inglese I!), and I have to dedicate them time enough now, in order to do other exams in June, like German literature and so on...

This idea of comparing Italian and American culture through the analysis of a particular topic is really a good thing! The other great thing is that we're working with American students! Tomorrow I will be skyping with Elena to point out our job, what she is going to do, what I'm going to do and so on, and I'll make sure she has properly understood how the elections in Italy work, while she will be solving my doubts about American election system!

I keep on wondering in the blogosphere, and I always find something surprising! I've put a couple of new URL in my blogroll, and I visited different websites! And I'm still fascinated by the possibility of technology...

Friday, 25 April 2008

This week... Skype! Elena and I decided not to skype this week in order to get some material for our final project. I thought I could have a bit of relax today, but eventually I decided to study a bit, considering what I have to do next week!

So, no relax for me, and a bit of study!

Today in Italy we are on holiday, it is the day in which we celebrate the liberation from Fascism, thanks to some real heroes that gave their life to have freedom for the whole country!

I've heard of some politician (man, or woman) who's not celebrating this day... I hope I have misunderstood...

Thursday, 17 April 2008

A wonderful occasion!

Last Monday I went to Venice where I find qualcosa di bello, literally, I found her and her husband and we enjoyed together a bit of Venice. They are so kind, I don't know how to say, but I felt as if I already knew them. And then I found a post on her blog...

This is the first day after Monday that I can see my blog and find the time to write a bit, I've put some pictures in the post I took on Monday, it was a wonderful day and we had wonderful weather!
I really want to thank them both for the wonderful, wonderful day!

Skype exchange: 2weeks in one post!

The topic Elena and I discussed last Thursday was the election in Us and in Italy. We talked about election last time too, but on Friday we focused on the candidates and I wanted to know a something more precise about American candidates, unfortunately she was able to tell me about the Democrats, but not about the Republican! Italian TV are not talking about republican candidate because of the primary for democratic party...For Italian people is quite strange to think about two different candidates running for the same party, and she explained me that Obama and Hillary have more or less the same ideas, but they are proposing a different idea of leadership.

Honestly, last time we talked, we discussed deeply about elections, and of course we finally even talked about the candidates, so after we hadn't so much time to spend on this topic, and I asked her a bit about her language learning experience with Italian. I was curious to know what are the main difficulties in learning Italian, I thought the verb system was the main one, but Elena (admitting it is difficult) does not think so! She 's making a great effort in this exchange and I really appreciate her courage!

This week we started talking about the final project, we are supposed to compare a cultural issue in Italy and in U.S., not that easy, eh?!
We decided to talk about electoral system, the idea is: I'll get some information in order to understand how the American electoral system works, and she'll get some information about the Italian one, then we explain each other and try to be sure of what we understood. Then we will work together on the comparison of the two!

Our final project should be written in English and Italian, I'll write the English part, Elena will write half of the Italian part and I'll do the other in Italian... I think it could be a great occasion, even though it will be hard work, mainly because we are juast two, while in the other group there are four people, se they can divvide more the job!

Anyway, that's all! I feel we'll do a great job!

Friday, 11 April 2008

My pleasures

One of the amazing things since I have a blog in my second language (English) is to click on my Feed jit map to go and see how many people from different countries come to read me! I can see that someone has probably written a wrong URL or has just clicked on a link without real intention to read what I wrote, but when I see those little falgs on India, Brazil, Australia, and from different places in Italy as well, I feel a bit "proud".
And I like very much the idea that I can reach people so far from me...

Monday, 7 April 2008

Near and far from America...

This week, our topic to discuss was Election. The election system in Italy and in America, the candidates and so on...
The first question was really difficult, because she asked me my opinion about Berlusconi, I wanted to be as objective as possible, but I'm not! The election will be in a week, and I've got an idea of who I'm going to vote, so I have even a precise idea of who I'm absolutely not going to vote. Anyway I tried to explain my reasons and that is my own opinion, and if you ask my class mates you'll find many different opinions.
Then she asked me about "quote rosa" because we wrote something on the forum about it, and again she asked my opinion... And again I tried to be as objective as possible, but I'm definitely against this "anti-discrimination system", because I do not think it is effective! I can't imagine to vote someone just because they are female (or male), and not because of their opinion or their value. It is anyway, unfortunately true that women have no place enough in politics, but I think we should try other ways!

I particularly enjoyed this discussion on Friday with Elena, because I asked her something about death penalty, it was a topic we discussed on the forum, and I understood she agree with it. It is something strange that two 20-something girls who live in the west have so different opinion on a topic like this. America is the country in which there are less cultural difference with Europe (I think...), but anyway we see it in two completely different ways.
I didn't try to convince her, and she didn't try to convince me, of course! But it made me think about how far we are sometime even though our origin is the same...

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Yoga, nothing to do with the physical exercise!

I've been told since when I started University!
"You should be able to assess yourself."

I'm not! Or, at least, not without great effort! But I perfectly agree that is important to know how to assess your personal ability in order to reach new goals!
To assess my personal intercultural competence was particularly difficult, because there are many things that work in our mind without we are conscious of. Schemes, stereotypes, help you to comprehend the world around you, and they are not always a negative thing, but we are not always conscious of how much they influence our perception.

So, to assess my awareness of negative reactions to differences was quite a problem, how can I be sure that I do not think my reactions are due to the cultural differences when it is so?
Our mind sometime reacts in a very particular way (take an exam of social psychology if you don't believe me!) and we cannot be aware of that.

Anyway, I really reckon it is useful to value these different things (Awareness, Knowledge, Attitude, Language Proficiency and Skills), to stop and think about it let you know that these kind of mechanisms exist, and then maybe next time you'll be able to suspend judgement, or just to be aware that your judgement is due only to the cultural difference!

Thursday, 20 March 2008

About technology

There is only a thing...

Today I've been talking for an hour with a girl who lives in the USA, thanks to an exchange organized by my Language course at the University.

This morning I had to take a train To go to Padua to pick up a piece of paper to do my Easter homework for my Language course at the University.

Technology is a strange thing!

Hello, are you there?

There? Where?
I don't know, but that was the first thing that came into my mind to be sure that our phone call started! at the beginning it was...awkward! Because we do not know each other, but we were supposed to talk about several things!

We started in English, so that Elena could feel at ease, and talking about University, and why she decided to study Italian, I understood that her family (or rather part of it) live in a city very near to my Rovigo!

Then we went on talking about the new topic: terrorism and immigrants. I learnt a lot of things!For example, I thought that the"typical" immigrant in US came from Europe, or China, but now there are a lot of people coming from Mexico!
I appreciate the opportunity to ask her how did she feel about 9/11, because in Italy we saw it was a tragedy, but probably we felt it as a thing very far from us. I think she was a bit disappointed for my answer about terrorism, but she asked me about an "experience" (my own or my parents') that I could not tell her. It is quite strange but these are events so recent that we didn't study at school, and we are too young, so we didn't experienced it!
We talked a bit about election too, because Iraq is an important point in the candidates' programs, and it is time for election in US.

It was a nice experience! Really I was worried to succeed (technology problems of any kind could emerge!), but everything was all right!
I enjoyed it.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Padova-Dickinson: task 3

Ok group,
our task for Monday is to come up as a group with an interesting question about American Culture, looking at the answers they've given to the questionnaire!

We can start from my blog, where I'll suspend "moderazione dei commenti" for this week, and then we will post to our course-blog the question!

Looking at the wiki, I read that two topics we were interested in are politics and immigrants, and those two are the more different visions between Italy and America.
Then, there is another interesting observation written by Alberto about the idea of individualism...

The thing is Sarah pointed out we should come up with a question that could provoke interesting discussion, not that easy eh?
So, start making comments to say what you think could be an interesting topic!
I'll be waiting for your answers!

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

listen to the music....

I'm working quite hard, and I have little time to write... But I'm not only studying... the 7th of March I will have a concert, so my sister and I are studying, or at least trying!!

We'll perform a very particular duet: bassoon and guitar! we'll play this Paçoca, among many other works of Brazilian authors. I particularly like Brazilian music, and so to make you forgive my absence I post this video, obviously a flute and a bassoon are very different, but I hope you'll enjoy!

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

That's why I'm not blogging...

Have you ever heard of "Le sudate carte"? Leopardi knew how hard University can be !

That's what is keeping me busy!
Hope to finish soon...

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Viva Viva la Befana!

As far as I know La befana is a whole Italian tradition, and once it was the only occasion in which children were given gifts! The Coca-cola hadn't provide Santa yet! (Before I was born, of course!)

When I was a child I accurately chose the socks to put near the window (we haven't a fireplace, so...). They had to be long, and strong enough to stand the weight of all my sweets... Before the 6th I wrote a letter to her explaining what a good girl I had been, but I've always found a bit of coal inside, which is the gift for those children who didn't behave very well, probably it was a way to explain that we can always improve!

Once, I saw her coming to our house, she arrived not flying on a sweep, but with an old Fiat Cinquecento; me, my sister and my cousins were outside in that very moment, playing something or running, I cannot remember, but what I cannot forget is that I was so scared... My cousin, who was a little older, and couldn't believe in such things, went on claiming that she was a fake, but the thing was that all our relatives were there, so it was hard to identify her real identity. To my eyes she actually was the real Befana, and I think that was the better gift I could receive!

...something like 10 years later we finally managed to understand who she was, anyway that's not important, our parents organized a marvellous surprise!

La befana vien di notte
con le scarpe tutte rotte
col vestito alla romana
viva viva la Befana!