So, I could spend a little while apologizing for the lack of posting. I think the last time I posted here was sometime in November? Wow, that’s a long time. Alright, I am sorry for not getting anything out to you guys in that time. I have a couple of excuses—more like explanations—but I figure we’ll jump right into those and skip the messy bits, yeah?
November was a flurry of getting ready to send the fall semester students home, prepare for the arrival of spring students, and get my own shit together to go home mid-December. I never knew how much paperwork was involved with the whole behind-the-scenes staff at schools, and I for one do not envy them anywhere. I don’t envy myself. Never mind that I’m in Italy doing this, but at this point, I doubt location will make anybody happy when they have to deal with the nonsense we’ve dealt with here. Honestly, I don’t see what’s so difficult about having all of your paperwork in order, but I have to concede that my experience with travel has been a magnificent teaching tool in regards to keeping paperwork in order. All in all, though, fall semester came to a close with fewer catastrophes than could have happened (though one kid did fracture his jaw before finals and had to go home a week early (mind you, best time to go, after all the good stuff has happened)).
I meant to discuss this before, but Florence wears winter well. It really doesn’t get cold here until January and February (so I’m in the thick of it now, damn it), but as soon as “winter” officially begins, the coats, cloaks, and fur come out. The Florentines definitely know how to dress to suit the weather. I have nothing so fancy as fur, but I’m definitely rocking a heavier wool peacoat and a frock which I absolutely adore. Going home promised some warmer weather, at least for a few weeks, as well as seeing my family again for the first time since August.
Being home was fantastic. It was great to see my parents and my brother, as well as the rest of my extended family. There’ve been a lot of changes recently in terms of jobs, school, and babies! so I liked the opportunity to catch up with everyone. We had the traditional Christmas dinner at my aunt’s house, feasting on black bean soup and paella and snowball cookies until we rolled ourselves home and to bed. My brother and I made out with some pretty awesome gifts, too, including matching onesies, Nintendo 3DS’s, and the new Pokemon and Zelda games. Despite being 22 and 20 respectively, infantile joy arises regarding such childish gifts. CHILDREN FOREVER. I’m sure my mother laments this. And absolutely loves it in secret. I know, Mom. I see you trying not to smile.
Ultimately, though, my break had to come to a close. It was hard coming back to Florence, even though I knew how much I enjoyed being here in Italy. I knew that there was more work to be done, new students to greet, etc. but I’d become accustomed, as ever, to being at home. I think that’s something that everyone feels, and it’s hard to shake off intentionally. That long-ass flight wasn’t much incentive either, especially when I was delayed out of SFO for close to two hours, resulting in a mad dash through the Frankfurt airport to get to my Florence flight. Thank God for dual citizenship and EU lines, otherwise I’d have definitely missed my connection.
There were a couple of bumps getting everything situated in my apartment when I arrived. The hot water wasn’t working, for one, so I ended up washing my hair in boiled water off the stove, but at least I didn’t need to show my face in public until after those kinks were fixed. I have a new batch of roommates to contend with, not quite like last semester’s but we’re working things out. Being a staff member is always off-putting in the beginning. I hope that they’ll be able to ignore that, for the most part, but I did lay down some ground rules regarding what I will and will not tolerate. It’s going to be something of an adventure, as none of them can cook or (apparently) put clean dishes away where they belong. Oh well.
Exciting bit of news: I might have mentioned months ago that I submitted some poetry for review? Well, issue 10 of Decades Review just came out, and my poem, ANTHROPOLOGY, made the cut! Definitely go check it out and leave me a comment with what you think! Follow this link and it should take you right there. Alright, well I’d best get back to work. This coming Friday I’ll be going to Chianti with students, so expect photos! Next Friday is a trip to the Ferrari Museum as well, so that’s going to be awesome. I’ve never been before. More photos! I promise. Baci~