Classes started today after a week of introductions. Perhaps it sounds weird to say but I was actually really looking forward to classes beginning. It’s a chance to meet new people and to begin “real life” here. I mean swimming in the Adriatic twice a day and eating gelato is good, but I guess it was a nice reminder that I came here for a reason.
IB classes, part of the curriculum taught at the school, are divided into two levels: higher level and standard level. Students generally take three higher-level classes and three standard-level classes. I will be taking Economics, English language and literature, and Italian at higher level and Mathematics, Environmental Systems and Society, and World Arts and Cultures at standard level. I love that most everyone takes the same amount of higher level and standard level classes. Everyone has already worked hard to get here, and I think this system helps to eliminate students overworking themselves and any unnecessary competition.
My first class of Italian this morning moved at rocket speed and I loved it all. We covered so much in one hour. Our teacher, Cristina, is a native Italian and she forces everyone in the class to guess, and try, and really put themselves out there. My second and final class of the day was economics. We talked about the news over the summer and how nearly every issue related back to the economy on either a local, national, or global level.
The academic subjects, however, are not the only part of the IB. Students are also required to participate in at least one social service activity, physical activity, and creative activity. This week first years are having “taster sessions” for the different physical activities and next week will be creative activities. This week I will be trying kayaking, international dance, yoga, and badminton this week. Yikes.
The highlight of this past few days was definitely the “Welcome Show” that the “secondi” (second years) put on for all of the “primi” (first years) on Friday night. There is a lot of Italian lingo here, I know. It started with an incredible rendition of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” and then continued with many other songs, skits, and international dances. The whole thing was kind of breathtaking. Some things really are not meant for words.
9 Weird Things About life in Italy (because I couldn’t come up with 10):
1. No screens on the windows.
2. Everyone says ciao to everyone.
3. The dogs are really vicious.
4. Binders and notebooks have four or two hole punches, but never ever three.
5. One must hunt for college-ruled paper.
6. There is pasta at every meal forever.
8. You have to pay to use a shopping carriage.
9. Cats wander the streets. So do little geckos.