Jun 3, 2012

I can't believe I spent 7 weeks in Italy... and it's over.

So here I am, in Cinque Terre winding down from my longest trip to Italia ever.
I have spent the past 6 weeks doing and seeing many exciting things!
I originally started by flying into Naples and  meeting with a few friends there... BUT it was not how I planned to get there.  I had booked a flight with Air Canada to Milan and I was going to meet friends there and drop off one of my enormous suitcases with a friend in Milan.  Then I was going to hop another plane to Naples that evening (ryanair) and pick up my suitcase a week and a half later in Levanto.

Well, I got to Toronto and things got tricky.... it was 3 hours and 3 different flight bookings later before I found my way to Italy... The good news was that I ended up getting booked direct to Naples so I didn't have to worry about my luggage at all!  The sad part is they used up my ugprade credits which shouldn't have happened, because I didn't end up on the flight I was supposed to end up on... darnit! Well I made it oh well.  And all my luggage too.

So I spent 5 days in Naples... There was some drinking, lots of eating, walking around, HEAT holy hell it got HOT...  It was quite beautiful and I had a great time.  I only wish I'd made it to Capri.  I got a trek mount Vesuvius and explore Ercolano, and it was amazing!  I took hundreds of photos.

After my stint in Naples, I scooted off to Florence to meet my landlord.  I had rented an apartment for exactly one month while I attended a course.  I was taking a 4 week intensive CTEFL course.  Here I would spend hours and hours every day studying grammar, and writing projects and lesson plans, I had no idea what it was I was getting into and it was one of the hardest things I've ever done.  I spent 4 weeks isolated, talking to a basil plant.  I didn't go out except to eat (and I spent money going out to eat that I didn't budget for only because I was desperate for human contact!) 
The course was very informative.  I took it at Via Lingua, "Istituto Americano" in Florence.  They started us teaching in the first week, which at first was a shock but we sure learned fast from that.  It was 120 hours, and each student got roughly 10 hours of teaching time.  I barely passed that course, mainly because of my grammar.  I didn't realize it until this course, but I never learned any grammar in school.  Noun, verb, etc, that's it.  Could I tell you every verb form, tense and function?  Hell no.  Every part of speech?  Grammatical function?  No way.  Not a chance.  I spent week studying all that jazz... and barely made it.  I'm actually motivated now to seek further education with the English language.  When it comes to communcation and creative writing I have no issues.  My spelling and punctuation is alright, and I know what SOUNDS right, I just didn't know WHY...  Sheesh.  Now I know.
I also was certified to teach business English, and I took the optional class for teaching children.  I can do it all now, baby!
I spent 4 weeks with the same 8 students (including myself) and 2 teachers... it was actually a little sad towards the end.  Even more so that the teachers were rushing us along as they prepared for their next class, it seemed impersonal and I admit I was a little crushed (as were some others in my class...)  BUT we did enjoy a wonderful Italian dinner at one of our classmates home in the outskirts of Firenze.  That was the last night we will ever see each other as a group.  Now we've all scattered our own directions, almost every one of us has already found work.
Anna is off to summer camp in Northern Italia.  Arianna stayed in Florence.  Kristene went off to the USA back to her career... MVP is traveling about.  Harley is working in the UK and Amy's off to Rome to find her destiny.
I still haven't a clue where I'll end up... not a clue...

So here I sit, now having left Florence behind, back in my "hometown" although I'm laying low for the time being 1) because I'm low on cash and 2) cuz I pissed off a couple of ladies here and would rather avoid conflict altogether.  I might head back to Firenze for a day (I forgot a couple things there anyways) then on Thursday I have to go off to Milan before jetsetting home again.

I can't believe it went by so fast.  I don't feel like this was a vacation at all... just like a weekend or something...
next time I guess I'll have to make it 8+ weeks and without school... sheesh!