Two weeks ago I started taking private conversation lessons with Lucia, to supplement my 4 daily hours of group grammar and conversation classes at school. Lucia, una Fiorentina, is a Italian language and political science professor who has also taught at Holy Cross, Boston College and Georgetown. I found her on Craigslist.it. I knew immediately after a quick meeting over caffe, that she would be perfect for me. Like everything else, it's all falling into place.
Lucia comes to my apartment every Tuesday and Thursday to focus only on conversation. And I see Filippo every Wednesday and Friday. With all these resources, I should be speaking Italian very quickly....right?
Lucia just left my apartment, and some of our conversation revolved around the dynamics of aquiring a new language. I expressed my frustration of not acquiring the verbal skills as quickly as I want. "But Barbara", she said, "the Italian language is like wine....you must drink it slowly, or you get drunk. You must decant it, let it open up, expose it to the air and let it breathe. You must smell it...you must taste it little by little". She was suggesting that I am expecting too much, too soon, and that I need to slow down just a little bit. She was suggesting that I might be getting drunk.
The echo of the Duomo bells signaled that our session was already over. I think I will close my books for the night, and watch Il commissario Montalbano over a glass of wine.