First, and most obvious, is that Tuesday is the day in which 24 states vote in the US Primaries, likely deciding who will be our next Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. I've found it hilariously fascinating to watch the Italian news coverage of the US campaigns. You mean, there are actually Republican candidates? And who, by the way, is John Edwards? As far as Italy is concerned, there are 2 people running for president--Hillary and Obama. There is going to be some major disappointment over here when they find out that only one of them can actually run. Every night as I struggle to understand the news, I take absolute delight in the segments that cover US politics. It wasn't until Rudy Guliani dropped out of the race that I even saw a Republican candidate mentioned. Even on talk shows, the hosts ask their famous guests "Who do you support Hillary or Obama?" as though they are the only two choices. When I asked Paolo about it, he explained that there was extra attention paid to this election because of the significance of a woman or a black man becoming arguably the most powerful person in the world. Also, the Italian public as a whole, are not big fans of Geroge W. (or "Boosh," as they say. No pun inteneded, that's seriously how they pronounce it) so they are ready for the US to have a new leader.
Second, and almost as important as the fate of the next 4 years of the USA, Paolo has a HUGE Anatomy exam on Tuesday that he has been studying for forever. So tomorrow we are packing our bags and driving north to a small town called Camarino where his university is located. College is really different in Italy than in the US, and I think the format here is a lot more difficult. I'll explain by using Paolo's degrees as examples. So, he got his first degree in Biology, and like us he had to complete course work and labs to earn his degree. But, unlike us, it was determined if he passed a course based on one exam alone, which were always cumulative, covering an entire text book. Oh, and usually these exams were both written and oral. I don't think I've ever taken an oral exam in my entire life...unless spelling bee's count. So basically, when you decide what you want to major in, they say ok, to get that degree you have to take 32 (or however many) exams, and then it's kinda up to you when you take them, and if you attend classes or not. After Paolo got his bachelors in Biology, he was not considered a "Biologist" until took the equilivant of the bar exam for biology, which was almost an additional full year of school because it consisted of another lab, written exam, and oral exam covering all you've learned in the 5 year program. Yuck. Now he's doing a second degree n Pharmacy and because so many of the classes overlap with his biology degree he *only* has to take 12 exams. Anatony is #1. And it's a killer. I'm really hoping that he passes, because we both study so much, but we cannot study together, because Paolo is an "out loud studier." Yes. He reads out loud, repeats it all out loud, and asks himself questions out loud. I can barely say hello in Italian, but I can just about tell you how the lymphatic system works--fluently.
So please send some good vibes his way. If you'd like you can say a silent "In bocca al lupo!" which is an Italian version of "good luck" but literally means "In the mouth of the wolf" (???) and the response: "Crepie il lupo!" or just "Crepie!" (which apparently means "I hope the wolf dies.") Seems strange? Try explaning why we say "Break a leg" to a preformer before a performance...
And, in my absence (I am not bringing my computer to force myself to study my Italian flashcards) you can checkout my cousin's new blog at: http://www.hindsightis20-20.blogspot.com/ I'm diggin' the fact that more and more people that I know with the ability to write and something interesting/funny/worthwhile to say are jumping on the blog bandwagon. Maren, my cousin is 18 days older than me. And, this year, that was the sweetest gift I recieved. Up till now, she had all the good birthday's first--16, 21...and now, it's my turn to gloat. Mare, you were 30 before me...and you'll be 40 before me! Love ya!