by Guest Blogger, Tom
Five and a half hours of school a day, six days a week plus two hours of homework each night. I am so overwhelmed.
One thing I noticed about Italians is they love to yell. During math class, unless your equations are written very neatly in black pen and the numbers are perfectly aligned, the teacher will pound on your desk yelling, “piu ordinate!” which means more organized. In Technology, if you get up to sharpen your pencil or blow your nose, the teacher will scream “seduti!” (sit down). French is impossible, because they are teaching me a foreign language while speaking a language I don’t fully understand. They have different names for their music notes in Europe, which doubles the frustration in Music class. Even English is hard, because my English teacher can’t pronounce simple words like “umbrella,” “poison,” “daughter,” or “hello.” The kids are somewhat polite, but they don’t help each other out, so if I don’t understand the directions, it’s tough luck for me.
We have a dress code. This is the first and only time that I have been forced to wear jeans. And to make matters worse, I need to wear a button-up, white, collared shirt. Even on P.E. day I am not allowed to wear shorts. I don’t think I will ever get used to the dress code. I would run home after school and change into more comfortable clothes, but with the weight of my backpack, my top speed is only three miles per hour.
I am so wiped out when I get home I feel like taking a three-hour long nap, but I have to complete my homework first. My assignments wouldn’t be that hard if they weren’t written in a foreign language. Just converting the text to English takes forever, and by the time I am finished there is very little time before dinner. My parents got a tutor to help me out, but she just makes it worse. Even though my tutor can speak a little English, she refuses to. She won’t even allow my mom to translate the directions for me. In addition, Paola (my tutor) is strict and the sessions are supposed to be 30 minutes long, but they wind up lasting an hour. Sunday, which is my only day off, is equally difficult. My family goes on small vacations every Sunday, so a third of my day I spend packing, driving, and unpacking. The only good thing about Sunday is that I get to wake up early to watch the Husky game.
School has been ridiculously hard, but at least I have mid-winter break to look forward to… oh wait, I forgot they don’t do that in Italy.