Last weekend (& the beginning of this week) were a little less than fun since most of the people in my class went to Munich for Oktoberfest and I stayed in Rome to draw all weekend. I haven’t written too much about my drawing class, because quite honestly its embarrassing how untalented I am when it comes to drawing. It takes me several hours to make a drawing that looks even slightly finished and for the most part, I don’t enjoy it at all. However I did do one decent drawing, a copy of Raphael’s “The Prophet Isaiah,” which is located in Sant’Agostino.
Everyone was pretty impressed by my “copy” of a painting or sculpture. On Tuesday morning we had a three hour class, where one-by-one we discussed ever single persons’ drawing. Kind of a boing process, however, I felt that it was extremely helpful to step back from my drawing and look at it subjectively. Our professor, Matthew, reminded us several times how important it is to build distance into the drawing process.
For fun, I am going to include some of my other drawings/art projects that were due on Tuesday.
1. A one point perspective drawing (which I did in the internal courtyard of the Palazzo della Cancellaria.
2. A map of Rome, including some of my favorite places to eat.
3. Several of my altered postcards, part of a project we had to do that involved 12 postcards with images art and architecture. We were required to cut parts out and/or glue new images on to either glorify or mock the original image.
So besides doing the drawings and postcards for class, I actually wrote and sent out several postcards to family and friends this week. (If you are reading this and feel like I have excluded you in some way, by all means, email me your address and I will send you one asap!)
And on the topic of mail, I spent over an hour at the post office yesterday! My uncle is very sick with Leukemia right now and after battling with the disease for 10 awful months already, the end is still not in sight. Since one of his favorite things in the world are nice cars, I bought him an official Ferarri hat and after buying a 1.40 euro box and paying 4.20 euro in postage, it is on its way to America. Sitting in the post office was less than fun, however, because when I arrived there were 100 people in line ahead of me (you have to take a number). I was able to communicate with the woman (when I finally was able to have my turn) in Italian. Every time I successfully have a conversation, solely in Italian, I have a mini celebration within my own mind. Piano piano, I am learning this crazy language!
This week was pretty standard/routine for me, however the “standard day” for an American student in Rome is as luxurious as you would probably expect.
I have Italian class every day from 2:00 to 5:00 PM (with a 15 minute pausa for un cigarette o un cappucino in the middle). On Thursday mornings, we have art history. This week was somewhat of a nightmare because our instructor, Paolo, gave bad directions and more than 50% of the class spent at least an hour walking around, confused, in Villa Borghese. When I/we finally realized that the Gallery was completely opposite of me (at least a mile away) within the grounds of the Villa, I/we gave up and went to get breakfast -ie pastries and coffee- and on an adventure of our own to check out a “secret keyhole” on the opposite side of the city.
Typical days for me in Rome include pastries for breakfast (or bread with Nutella, yum), long walks, frequently being lost or “confused,” shopping/communicating with sales people in broken Italian, an occasional cigarette, gelato-although I have been limiting myself recently, looking up words in the dictionary, holding my breath on the train, pasta for lunch & dinner, weighing myself and praying that I haven’t gained another kilo!, talking on skype with my boyfriend, having a slice of pizza as a snack, meeting up with friends in Piazza Barberini, sharing bottles of wine, constantly asking for directions, running late, giving advice to tourists, people watching at various monuments, and spending several hours just sitting around, talking, in both English and Italian. (That might have been the longest run-on sentence ever.)
The last thing that I have to report about my week is that last night I went with my friend Kelli and her host sister, Fredericka, to Fredericka’s boyfriends’ bands’ show. -I hope that made sense.- Anyways, I showed up to her house and waited outside for her and her host sister. Fredericka is extremely cute and speaks in amazingly fast Italian. The fact that I understood anything she was saying at all, is a testament to how much I have learned in the past month.
The place that we went to was a small Italian club and I suspect we were the two only Americans that had been there, ever. Everyone was speaking only in Italian, which was exciting and stressful at the same time. The band, Kruk, was pretty decent. Kelli tells me that they are moving to London soon to try to make it big. With a little help on their lyrics, I could definitely see this being possible. The show was only for one hour, but including the time we waited before the show started and getting pizza and “saying goodbye” afterward, we were there for almost 4 hours. Saying hello and goodbye in Italy is a big deal. You literally have to say something and kiss (on both cheeks) every single person. However, the kissing doesn’t apply to people that you don’t know – only a few people kissed Kelli and I, because obviously no one knew us until that night.