Thursday, October 05, 2006

University getting you down? Have a party

I can’t even begin to express how frustrating an experience university has been so far. In the United States, all your classes start on a certain date, the class is available, the assignments are mapped out for the entire semester and you will know when the exam will be. In Italy, classes seem to start a little haphazardly, all starting after a certain date, but perhaps starting a week or two afterwards. As for the professor for the class, he or she may still not exist during the week when the class is scheduled to begin. Homework? There isn’t any, go figure out the reading for yourself in time for the final and only oral exam.

I find myself sitting in class and trying so very hard to understand what the professor is saying. At best I get 60-70% of what he says, if even. I’ve got the same art history professor for two courses and he strangely has a very different style in each course. Same person. I find the whole university experience extremely frustrating. On top of my usual existential crisis of what the hell am I doing at university, I’ve got the added bonus this semester of what the hell am I doing in Italy. But I have to be strong and positive, know that I’ve got friends and family rooting for me. I can go and speak with the professor and figure out my academic life so that by the time the final exam hits, I will go in confident.

On the verge of crying, giving up and seriously considering the possibility of giving up, last night my roommates threw a little party. Given it was Wednesday night, students flooded the main piazza and a bunch of Marco’s friends filled our small kitchen. We had a good time, I bonded with the roommates, joking about my painfully low tolerance for alcohol, marveling at the taste of Disaronno and field berry vodka with Stephanie, and being told perhaps 6-8 times by this one girl Ambra that I was nice (tu sei simpatico! Yea, she was hitting on me…She even said she wanted to marry me). By the end of the evening at 3am, many cigarettes had been smoked by the Italians, plenty of alcohol had been consumed, and loud conversation continued. We went to bed almost instantly, not without a quick cleanup, and woke up nice and early this morning to receive the plumbers who are installing a new shower.

I guess the lesson is not to take life too seriously; you’ll have a good time in the end. Things will figure themselves out, things always work out. Just like the certainty that each day will inevitably spill into another, each of the moments in your life will certainly pass and perhaps yield better, brighter days.

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