What began as a blog chronicling my educational trip to Rome has, it looks to me, has not of late been about education of the classroom kind. In fact, there hasn’t even been much Italian being written on here, and today, there probably won’t be much again, simply because my head is rather swimming with Italian verb tenses. I won’t make excuses.
I graduated from the third level and into the fourth (of 10), and with my graduation enjoyed not having the same teacher anymore. Besides the fact that he dressed in a way that would make Richard Simmons proud, I just didn’t like him much. I also got to continue to enjoy classes in the morning. They are so much better because the whole day and evening is before you to do and see all that you want without interruption. I continued to be taught grammar at a astonishing rate proving the fact that the best way to learn a language fast is immersion. I started to realize, and know for sure now, that my listening skills have improved significantly more than my speaking and writing. I suppose until I become completely fluent the four skills of reading, writing, speaking, listening will fluctuate in their relative strength to each other.
At the end of the fourth level I got into the fifth on faith that my test did not accurately represent my skills, which it did not I believe on the sole fact that most all of the important words I didn’t know so it was near impossible to complete the exercises with the correct grammar. I am able to keep up with the rest of the class so I am grateful for the faith of the school. Unfortunately my classes were changed to the afternoon and as sad as I was about that there were two advantages. One, the teacher. I had seen him around before and he led a coordinated pizzaria event through the school I had joined and knew him to be a very fun (albeit, slightly ADHD; but in a good way) and was excited to have him as my last teacher. He was both fun and funny, but also a good teacher. I say this in the past tense because after the first week, for whatever unexpected reason, we were given another teacher, the same one from the class before actually. She is also very good, I like her, but you always miss the one that made the whole class laugh through all the grammar. And second, having a limited amount of time in the morning to go out, often left me with the option of studying for a few hours. It helped that most of my to-do list was complete and was not a priority, but I also started to feel the pressure to not fall behind, which is a great pressure to kick me into the study mode.
If I was not leaving at the end of this week, I would specifically ask to stay behind and repeat the level. Level 5 takes things to a whole other level and what I really need is to stay here for about a month and really, really *know* all these tenses (3, or is it 4? new tenses this level alone, many of which are compounded together making more tenses) and there’s just a lot to sort out in order to use this new grammar smoothly.
So tomorrow is my last day of class, Saturday, then Sunday I leave to go back to Canada. Rome is fantastic, and so is all of Italy, and there is much I leave behind, but Canada is home. I have family who awaits me, two very cute kitties, fall colours, smells and sights, a hockey team (which is looking like it’s going to be locked out…grrrrr. Silly NHL x_x) and a virtually cigarette free environment, of which I am very, very much looking forward too. Europe in its entirety has missed the memo that it’s not cool to smoke anymore. Nasty.