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Meghan: Cookies & pancakes

October 24, 2010

Friday afternoon and I’m sitting in my overlarge sweatpants and a tank top sipping away on extra strong espresso, curled up in a blanket and watching The Simpsons. Indeed, it has been a perfect afternoon. I wanted nothing more than to return home after two hours of class, unfortunately in the early morning, and just relax. A tentative schedule has finally begin to form; a quick breakfast with the necessary cappuccino, a brisk walk to my Italian Literature class followed by Romance Philology or Contemporary Italian History, depending on the day, then back home for a quick lunch and study session. Some days, I take my habit of procrastination to heart and give in, preferring a leisurely walk around the city or spending some time with friends; until it comes to that point where you can no longer put off your readings or lesson planning, unless you are prepared to really regret it in a few days.
In all, my life has finally begun to be ruled by a comfortable routine, still flexible, but established all the same.

Speaking of lesson planning, I finally feel at ease planning and executing lessons that are effective and interesting, at least for the nine and ten year old boys on Thursday evenings. Let’s see if I feel the same way once I start teaching their Mom and Aunt in the near future.

At times I feel like I’m really on track, things seem to be going perfect; the way they should be in any case. Then, one of those moments arrive when you realize you were missing something huge; for example the small fact that I have about 12 books to read by January, meaning at least a book a week, before exams. Surprisingly, I’m not as stressed as I should be. Perhaps it’s the cool breeze in the apartment with the distinct smell of fall that has finally arrived in Bologna; the few trees changing colors and losing there sparse leaves. Perhaps it’s the calming effect of writing and contemplating my day-to-day life; something I’ve truly been neglecting do. I’ve come to the point now where things seem normal; the beautiful porticoes have become just regular streets that I numbly walk by everyday to class…even eating gelato has lost its shine! The thought that I am taking the absolute beauty and unique life in Bologna for granted by slowly becoming numb to it isn’t have as disturbing as the fact that I’ve done the exact same thing, for longer than I can remember, at home, in the Midwest. How many times have I walked around my block wishing that I lived somewhere else; somewhere warmer, somewhere interesting and lively? How many times have I taken for granted waking up in the morning with birds singing outside my window instead of the loud scooters speeding on their way to work accompanied by the sounds of construction workers clanging away in the early hours of the morning instead of the pesky squirrels dropping black walnuts all over the yard and patio; little bombs slowly destroying our yard. It makes me wonder how much I’ve taken for granted; how numb have I become to the world around me in Milwaukee and Minneapolis. Will I do the same here? Now that I am aware, will I be able to take a step back often enough to never lose sight of the wonders around me?

Italy has made me appreciate a lot of things that before, I took for granted; such as chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven and pancakes. I never thought this day would come, but I can honestly say that I am dead sick of pasta, and pizza is on its way. So to appease this annoyance, cookies and pancakes went on our list of things “all American” things to do. So, Marta (a friend and intern at the school) as well as Kylie and Britta came over and we got to work making some of the best cookies, and slightly not the best pancakes, ever. Having such an American dinner, Marta thought it necessary to buy a bag of chips, and a huge bottle of Coke to seal the deal. Lets just say that our food choices that night were not the best we’ve ever made—our stomachs definitely let us know that later on. I don’t regret a minute of it!

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