December 28, 2009 | Italian

I Can’t Leave Italian

It is almost certain that Italian will receive a one-month extension.

Monday! As soon as I woke up, I got to work in my yellow Barron’s grammar book. I am feeling as though some of the verb stuff is really coming together now. One thing I spent some time on was passive voice, which is complicated in Italian. Still, all went well.

Good Passive-Voice Practice!

The audiovisual guy was here for a couple of hours fixing problems with our sound system (which have been preventing me from playing language CDs!), and while he was working I did some cleaning and organizing at home and also down the hall in our office. I can never concentrate on mental things when there is a stranger working in my home.

I did some flashcard practice in the late afternoon and was pleased at how much I remembered. Julian, our Italian-speaking pianist-neighbor, then called to invite us over to meet his girlfriend’s cousins.

Brandt and I went over, supposedly for a few minutes, and stayed instead for two hours. I find that happens a lot when we go over to his place.

While we were there, Julian said he wanted to tell me something, but the look on his face made me stop him and ask, “Is this going to make me upset?”

And he said, “No, it’s good.” And continued. “My father didn’t believe you had been studying only that long because your Italian was too good.” (As I mentioned in a previous entry, Julian’s father is Italian, and I recently enjoyed a brief Italian conversation with him during one of his visits to New York.)

Initially I was pleased to hear that. Then a few moments later it occurred to me: “Wait—so your father’s calling me a liar?” Which doesn’t make me feel great.

But I know that I didn’t speak any Italian on November 1. My conscience is clear. So I will just take the compliment and run with it. My sister-in-law and her husband, plus their children, can in any case vouch for my total lack of skills prior to November 1.

After we left Julian’s, I worked into the wee hours (nearly 2 a.m.) on Italian verbs in my favorite Italian verb book. I really love that book, but it is so badly copyedited. In one of the exercises I did tonight, I counted something like five problems/errors in the answer key.

My studies went well today. I am really starting to remember things. So I really, really, really don’t want to stop Italian on January 1. It is almost certain that I will keep going. And I want to enlist my nephews and my niece to help!

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