“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” Lou Holtz

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." Confucius

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


3 days into the 2 weeks of school and  this language school is one I’d highly recommend; it’s is much more efficient and professional than the previous one I went to.  There must be heavy promotion in Japan and Switzerland since there are many students from those countries with many of them staying for up to 6 months.
So my day starts with a 2 km walk to school arriving early enough to be able to swig a quick espresso in the café next to the school followed by a dash up the 91 steps to the classroom in order to beat the rush  of students who clog the WiFi bandwidth to crawl speed..

This is the entrance to the school which is right in the heart of the city
 these are the first of the 91 steps I climb to my classroom...I could take the lift of course.

 a slightly out of focus pix of the Swiss/Brazilian/Italian/Australian(missing) morning group
one can only wonder at what happened here!

The first class of the day is dusty dry grammar  and after a 20 min break (down 91 steps, into café, swig espresso, climb back up 91 steps) we have a conversation class til 12.55.  Then we have a 1 hour+ 5 mins break for lunch (down 91 steps, eat lunch while walking/sight-seeing, climb back up 91 steps….my cycling fitness has dropped but walking and stair climbing are keeping total deterioration at bay and I have a sore hamstring and a blister on my toe to prove it!). 

The afternoon class is another conversation class and this one has been a hoot…we are given a scenario eg going into a shop and just wanting to browse....the teacher is the other half of the conversation and  since she is a born actor  the class is a riot and the 2 hours pass very quickly. We fumble our way through the scenario we are given and then she tells us the more colloquial expressions we need to know eg grammatically when asking how much something costs you’d say “Quanto costa?”, but Italians say instead “Quanto viene?” My conversation skills are well below those of my morning and so I’ve opted to change that class into private lessons to allow me the time to converse without stress and at my own level…first one today.
So every day is a full day from 9am to 4pm with time at the end for a bit more sight-seeing followed by a meal, homework and bed.
The school organises tours most days, but we’ve avoided all so far except we are signed up to go to Luca on Saturday; Sunday may well be a day for hiring a car and exploring Tuscany although the Cinque Terra also beckons.
bikes everywhere
yet more padlocks
just gotta love those street names

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