Ciao Amici (Hey Friends)!
I'm just starting to realize that I've been really nondescriptive about my classes and what I actually do in Padova. I guess I figured it wasn't as exciting as my trips on the weekend. I'm in the middle of midterms and swamped with reading. I'm getting a little frustrated that I can't speed read through my books. For example, I have 70 pages of art history reading to do before my exam tomorrow and what would normally take 3 hours may take 7. Well, it's 5:30 and I guess I'll be done at 12:30 am.!
Despite the frustration with the textbooks, I really like my classes. I'm taking Art of the Renaissance, History of the Veneto (the region where Padova and Venice are located), Italian Language and am taking this extra seminar (ie: I'm the only student, which can be a little intense) called History of the Jews in Italy.
My favorite class by far is my Art History course where I learn about all the major Italian Renaissance artists, sculptors and architects. To me, the usefulness of a class is really important, so you can imagine how psyched I am to have the teacher say things like:
"So this guy Andrea Mantegna was a key figure in the Renaissance. He was very important to the development of perspective. He was an innovator but also paid homage to Classic, Roman style. But why don't you check him out for yourself in the NEARBY town of Mantova where he painted the "Camera degli Sposi."
This course wouldn't be as interesting if I took it in the states. But here, I learn about an artist's technique and then my teacher tells me where to go see their work!!! It makes me wish I had some sort of craft or skill. I think it's amazing to be able to produce something, something tangible that you could hold on to or give to others. What kind of artist would you guys be?
Yiran, how are your art courses going???
I think I'd be a sculptor. Or work with mosaics. Like make my own tables and floors. I saw some mosaics in Rome of horses that were so lifelike (while only using stone squares!) that I was mesmerized for like 5 minutes. I know what you'd want to be Komal, you'd blow glass, so Venice is the place for you. They're famous for their Murano glass.
But when I'm not out and about, I am,sadly, at class.
I usually have class from 9 am./11 am. to 5:30 pm. with some breaks in between. I then go and do homework with my friends at local cafès, like the historical Cafè Pedrocci. At 8 pm. I eat dinner with Ashley and my family. They are so cute and Luisa, my host mom, is a good cook. After dinner, Ashley and I do some work. But back to the out and about part!:
On Wednesdays we go out around 11 or 12 (everything starts late here!) but I'm a night owl so I don't mind.
There's this fun dance club "Fish Market" that has Erasmus Night on Wednesdays. (Erasmus is this yearly exchange program for European students) They play good Latino music and you can always spot the Spaniards jumping excitedly to Juanes' "La Camisa Negra." I love the Spaniards. The Italian style of dancing is so different. Much more electronic and impersonal. haha.
As you can tell, Wednesday is the best night to go out in Padova. Early in the night, our school program hold these wine and cheese test tastes. Each week is a different region and I feel so posh being able to swirl, smell and taste the wine "properly." we're given these sheets to write down what we think of each wine. I like to invent ridiculous descriptions to mess with our pretentious wine instructor, Mario. Last week, after drinking red wine, I paused and he looked at me for my reaction...silence..."This smells like...flowers...early on an April morning...in China. Wait! no no no, definitely Japan. and it feels like...like a baby's pinkie is gently stroking my tastebuds." Yeah, he never called on me again.
I love white wine. Padovans drink this orange drink called a Spritz that is made with Campari and quite sour. As the cold sets in, I miss seeing Italians flock to piazzas checkered with tables, drinking and chatting around sunset.
So November begins the month where Ashley and I are not going to travel much and form some ties to Padova and Padovans. Let's see how that goes. Twice, I've made friends with some crazy Irish people. Two irish guys invited me to stay with them in Dublin for St. paddy's- anyone in London want to meet me?!!!
I miss you guys and appreciate when you update. Please post a quick blog or mass email every once and awhile. We all appreciate it! I promise I'll post a comment.
Ciao for now,