Posted on February 13, 2009 at 11:31 am
Bon Giorno! I'm back in school. After 17 years of being a college professor, I've decided to go back to school. Actually, I'm only taking one class: Italian. It's something I've always wanted to do, and this year I decided to actually go for it.
Every weekday morning, I join crowds of students in rushing up the steps into Irwin Hall - I, the lone student in my slacks and blazer (proper professor attire), amongst others who don the college student uniform of jeans, iPods, and flip-flops (in the middle of winter).
Being in the role of a student has allowed me to observe the academic energy from a different perspective, and it has been invigorating. As I sit at my desk, waiting for class to start, I can hear the echoes of professors greeting their students in the hallway. It's exciting to sit with students, eagerly anticipating another day of past proximates and conjugations. This past week, I even gave my first presentation, entirely in Italian. I was so nervous I had to refer to my notes despite practicing dozens of times at home.
What's great about the class is that not only do we learn language, but also Italian culture and context. We listen to Italian opera and translate the libretto. We learn about Italian art and culture. Once we all had to cook "biscotti," which means twice baked cookies in Italian. Our professoressa, Dr. Sylvia Rasi Gregorutti, is very animated, which is quite appropriate for learning language - especially Italian. And she's always patient and understanding.
This is already my second quarter of Italian, and it's been great being a student. For 50 minutes a day, four days a week, I get to sit back, take notes, and savor the joy of learning. And while I've been in education for nearly two decades, it's been a long time since I've been in school, and I can honestly say I've missed it.
Well, I'd better go and study. There are verbs waiting to be conjugated. And I do have that lecture to prepare for too…
Milbert Mariano, MFA
Associate Professor of Graphic Design
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