La Scuola — il primo giorno

Early start to the first day because I needed to take a test to place the level of classes I will take.

La Scuola Leonardo da Vinci is in Piazza dell’Orologio or the Clock Square. It was raining when I went to the school but it stopped by the first morning break so I could take this photo.

The clock in the piazza

I am in a middle beginner level. I couldn’t remember enough verb conjugations for past and conditional tenses. Our first day included working on prepositions, something I definitely have difficulty with. Disappointingly, I don’t feel I was assessed at too low a level.

The group I’m in has a young man from Brazil and a youngish woman from Peru, but the other 7 in the group are younger middle-aged to closer to my age from USA, India, Germany and South America—Argentina and Brazil. Our common language is English although the 4 South Americans are speaking Spanish to each other.

Surprisingly, I found the art history lesson to be easier, or at least, less effort. There’s only me in the class and the instructor, Eleanora, spoke slowly and gestured a lot to help me get the words. It was class room instruction with a slide show. She would point to different things in the paintings we looked at so, for example, I could figure out that she was talking about a ledge, although I didn’t know the word ‘mensolina’ before. And I was able to follow her history of Caravaggio’s life since she had a list of years and some phrases on her slide, added to which, I knew the context and general timeline. But I did learn new information and was able to follow her interpretations in some detail. It helps that a lot of the art history terms are Italian, like chiaroscuro. Every once in a while, she’d ask me a question, and I understood and could answer. I may have been using the wrong verb tenses sometimes but she didn’t correct me.

La Scuola

Every afternoon, usually at 5:30, there are free things to do or opportunities to practice. Today the film “La grande belleza” or The Great Beauty, will be shown. It won the Academy award for best foreign language film. I’m planning to go.

I’m writing this back in the apartment, taking a break from homework. It has been raining again and I’ve heard some thunder. It’s been a good time to stay indoors and do some laundry as well as homework. I just hope the rain quits before 5:30.

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