I must admit that I am not as interested in getting to know my classmates here in Firenze as I was in Siena. Largely because I am only here for the week.
A quick idea of how things break down at the school is that there are about 2 hours of grammar, followed by a short break, and then about 1 1/2 hours of conversation.
For example, today we learned about combined pronouns (I swear, in my wildest dreams I never would have guessed I could dislike pronouns so much!) that come to be when you have to say things like “yes, I gave it to him”. I am wondering when I will be at a stage that I can actually think of putting some of these in a sentence as the can be the craziest looking words, i.e. “glieli” and “glielo” and they aren’t pronounced like they look (I’m too hot to attempt including a phonetic example).
In terms of the students I have met, there are quite of few Japanese, two girls from Mexico, two girls from Vancouver, and three students from Switzerland, and one girl from Poland that can speak faster than just about any Italian I have come across. Some of these students are in my grammar class and some in my conversation class (not sure how/why they have divided us up differently).
Two of the Swiss students are women from the German speaking part of the country (not sure what cities). They are not together but they act the same! No fun and games! It is verboten! They both seem to take great offense when anyone in the class doesn’t say something correctly. It is very funny, really!
One of them has a bad cold that I am sure I am going to get as somehow she keeps turning my way to hack.
I heard the second one in the hall the other day asking one of the beginner beginners if she found the language difficult and when she responded “yes”, the Swiss woman looked at her cockeyed and said “why”? She happens to speak five languages and this poor girl only speaks English. You’d think she could at least feign sympathy for a brand new student!