Two nights a week I sit in a room full of intelligent adults and speak like an idiot. We all have our normal lives as professionals, parents and/or business people but still we are forced to gather in an attempt to practice something other than our mother tongue. It makes for comedy, primarily from watching the teacher’s frustration at the consistency in which we screw up in a class that is called “conversational” Italian. Ancient Neandertal conversed as well, although through grunts and stick figure drawings in the dirt, we are not so far off in our methods. In each class I feel like David Sedaris, although unlike Sedaris our teacher does not verbally abuse us, rather she is fascinated by the fact that every student, without exception, bought all of their furniture at Ikea.
Speaking for myself, thankfully in English, I have transitioned into a new level of “student”. I think it comes from not really caring, and knowing that if I fail, at worst, I will just look foolish when trying to get my skis tuned or make changes to my Italian cell phone service. I do take my study of the Italian language seriously, but working all day in English, being self employed and having the necessary communication skills to succeed, it is very, very difficult for me to slow down and find work arounds for my sentences. It is just not natural for me to not have a rapid fire response to, “How is it you are so tan but claim to work fulltime?” Ma va…
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