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Mi Scusi.  It’s already June 6 and I’ve delved into my 6th resolution without introducing it.  How rude!  My intention for this month was to take an Italian language class at Los Monitos, a great language school for adults and kids here in town.  This would prepare me for my upcoming trip to Italy.  However, I should have looked over the Los Monitos website months ago to learn that the courses began in early May.  Had I known that, I would have enrolled with the head of the MFA program and the Summer Semester Abroad Program Coordinator.  They are the only two in the class, which is being taught by the father of one of my son’s friends.  Louisville, the ultimate small town city.  So, that didn’t happen.  I spoke with Gionatan, the instructor, about private lessons, but quickly reached the conclusion that 1-3 classes with him wouldn’t get me very far.  Foreign languages are not my thing.  I had French instruction from grades 1-5, then again in high school.  I comped out of 2 semesters in college (somehow) and ended up with a tutor for the only semester I took.  Then in grad school, I flunked the language test first go-round; passed the second.  When I went to France in 1995, it took me a week to muster the courage to buy a stamp at the post office.  The clerk understood me, I think.  I got the stamp (une timbre, I believe).

So, Italian.  We’ll be in Rome for 3 days then on an organic farm for a week.  The farm is run by a foundation with roots in both Italy and the U.S. so I probably won’t need much Italian while there, but I also think it’s rude to expect everyone to understand English.

Okay, my plan is a wee bit lazy and definitely on the cheap.  I have found a couple of free podcasts that teach basic Italian and am listening to them, sometimes repeatedly. The one I really like is Free Italian School (freeitalianschool.blogspot.com). I also have an app called 24/7 Tutor which has been awesome!  It has multiple choice tests (I scored 96% on the last one and I did it while waiting in carpool last week!) along with flash cards, puzzles, and write-in tests.  It also offers pronunciation.  The categories are basic phrases (which I’m still studying, grazie), questions, town & country, food & dining, and opposites.  Several friends have recommended downloading a translator app for road signs and menus.  I’ll look into that too.  So far, my accent is atrocious and I feel like I’m using way too many hand gestures, but I know more Italian than I did a year ago.  If I can do a little every day, I will have accomplished this resolution.

I’ll leave you with Eddie Izzard because whenever I tell the Huz that I’m learning Italian, he imitates this routine.  Ciao!

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