Today I woke up at 7:30AM to go with Dave to his Italian classes. His teacher, Raffaella, asked him to bring me in. At first, I was a little nervous to go as Dave had brought in the article about my blog that appeared in the Wall Street Journal on June 26th. They supposedly translated it in class and Raffaella said that I understood the Florentines quite well from what she read.
I had also been wanting to check out his school as my former Italian teacher, Gianluca, was teaching there and he told me it was really nice. Besides being rather close to our house, the school is on the second floor of a typical Florentine building that looks out onto a many different courtyards and you can see all the way to Fiesole.
Dave escorted me to the school and introduced me to his teacher. "Sei la famosa moglie!" (You're the famous wife!) We talked a little bit more and she said, "Allora oggi mi fai l'assistente." (Today, you can be my assistant.) I thought I was just going to meet her and the other students and then leave. Instead, she walked me to class and asked me to sit down next to her.
Today they were working on the imperativo (imperative) tense. I had to resist the urge to offer up the answers when she asked the students in class. My "good student" tendencies were coming out, but I resisted and kept my mouth shut. The teacher did ask me one question about how to say "to put on makeup" in Italian, but that was all I was able to do.
I did learn one trick that I hadn't even known about for the imperativo, which is that some verbs, like dire, you can take the first person present tense and change the last letter to "a" and get the imperativo for Lei. So, from dico, you get dica.
Raffaella explained a few quirks in Florence, like how the Florentines use the tu form because they think it's easier for foreigners to understand. Although I understood that the Florentines use the tu form because they are less formal since they use the tu form with pretty much everyone.
She started a discussion about delusioni d'amore (heartbreaks) and it was interesting that none of the students, whose ages range from 20 to 26, had never had their heart broken or broken anyone else's heart. Raffaella was quite surprised as was I.
At the pausa (break), I decided to tell Raffaella that I had some things to do, but that I'd love to come back another day to sit in again. "Sė, torna quando vuoi. Mi fa piacere averti in classe con noi." (Yes, return when you want. It'd be a pleasure to have you in class with us.)
As I left the building, I felt almost sad that I couldn't be a part of the school as it seemed to be a lot of fun with all the students and activities going on. But, I'll go back another day to sit in with them again.
Share your comments for this blog post on the Living in Florence's Facebook page. Grazie!