Molto Monday: Acacia's Touch of Class -- Sort Of
This weekend, she will be in Venice. Hopefully, she will not have to tread water in pursuit of art, culture, and pasta.
By Acacia O’Connor
BOLOGNA _ Monday was a beautiful spring day in Bologna—temperatures in the 50s (I still don’t know what that means in Celsius…25?), warm bright sun, blue skies.
If it weren’t for the fact that the date is February 5th, it would be perfectly normal and wonderful.
After a quiet weekend, I was more than ready to face the next phase of the semester here: University classes.
Because courses in different departments, called Facoltà, begin at different times of the month, some of my friends in the program had a long weekend.
A couple of my friends went to places like Amsterdam and Paris. I stayed and cooked pancakes for my Italian housemates.
My roommate, Raffaela, was telling her friend about them later in the day—“I woke up and Acacia was cooking pancakes! Just like in the American films!”
Needless to say, my Facoltà (Lettere and Filosofia) began classes today.
At 9 a.m.
I’ve been getting used to waking up earlier and everything is so relaxed here I find I don’t really mind.
In fact, several times in the past two weeks I’ve gotten up before dawn to go for a run to Giardini Margherita.
Believe me when I say that in the past, I was never an early riser.
But there are several advantages to running before Bologna awakes—but more about that in a bit.
This morning, I was up and out in plenty of time to walk to the Department of Italian Studies for my first potential class: “Letteratura Italiana Rinasciamentale” (Italian Renaissance Literature).
Via Zamboni was full of students making their way to classes in the departments all along that street.
I found the department and followed a stream of students toward the classrooms. Most of the students seemed to be going into a large lecture hall.
“È questa Aula uno?” I asked the man in the glass information booth.
He looked confused for a moment, but then nodded.
“Sì, aula uno.”
I went into the hall and squeezed into the middle of one of the rows.
The professor came in and turned on her microphone, so as to be heard by the sixty-some students in the classroom, and began her lecture.
She began talking about the different types of “didattiche”—didactics?
Ten minutes of note-taking later, I began to have doubts. Was this my class?
Soon it became apparent to me that this was not Renaissance literature, but some sort of Social Education class.
I wanted to escape to find my actual class, but my foolish choice of seating made that impossible to do subtly.
On the plus side, I understood everything and learned a little bit about the different types of didactics and what comprises them.
Unfortunately, I missed the chance to sit in on either one of two classes I may take that met at that same time.
After consulting the schedule board outside, I noticed that they had changed the Aula, but hadn’t updated the website. Thank You, Unibo.
I had the rest of today free, so I decided to go to the park and shoot around.
On the ten-minute walk to the park, I was confronted by the many confused faces of strangers. I realized a while ago that it is strange and abnormal to walk around outdoors in either sweatpants or shorts.
Even if I am ostensibly jogging, physically running as a mode of physical exercise in the direction of the park—I feel like a weirdo.
Hence the beauty of running in the morning.
In the dark. When no one is around.
At the park, I was shooting around when a guy in a sweater and jeans asked if he could shoot, too. Down at the other end, a group of people in jeans and sweaters were playing 2 on 2.
Apparently even on the court, wearing basketball shorts and a t-shirt is odd.
Soon after, three Albanian guys wanted to start a game.
I agreed, but I realized soon after it might’ve been a bad call. These guys were playing for fun, which I completely respect.
But they were the out-of-control, shots off the backboard (or missing the backboard completely), run-straight-at-you-while-you’re-taking-a-shot type of player you sometime meet in rec ball.
The type of player that brings terror to the mind of every injury-fearing athlete.
Fortunately, I escaped with everything intact and our side defeated the Albanians 21-4.
Tomorrow I will be attempting to attend classes again.
Maybe my blatantly foreign self will go for a run in the light of day.