I woke up, went into our office to check email before starting the day and noticed the clock on my laptop said 8:20am. After checking another clock to confirm the time, I quickly woke Brandon up and calmy let him know we needed to get ready quickly. We usually leave the house at 8:20! He was dressed in a flash, as was I. I quickly made his lunch and we were off by 8:35, arriving at school at 8:45. Right on time. No worries.
Katrina is working from home today since we have Brandon's choir concert to attend at 2pm.
I'm continually amazed at the sport of cycling in Italy. On any given day, no matter how cold it is (as long as its not wet), I can look out our windows and wait not more than 5 minutes tops before I see cyclists riding by. I see more cyclists on a day like today - 1 degree celcius - than I ever saw in a week in Corvallis. Although I have never really ridden with anyone, I love cycling here. I love seeing cyclists, mostly as the fly by me, on every ride I take, no matter what route I take. Even though I may never reach the level or fitness of most of these guys, I will miss them. When I don't feel like riding or think its too cold, all I have to do is look out the window to be inspired. I will truly miss cycling in Italy.
I've learned a lot about Italian culture from Rosella, our Italian language instructor. One tidbit I'll share today concerns education. University education is free in Italy. The exams to enter university level are very demanding. Most universities are public. There are private universities in Italy as well. Here is an excerpt from a daily calendar I have on my desk:
"Bologna is the capital city of Emelia-Romagna, in northern Italy, and is the seat of the most ancient university in the western world. The University of Bologna was founded in 1088 and has operated continuously as a center of learning over the course of nearly ten centuries. Today, with a body of 100,000 students, it is the second largest university in Italy. Among the illustrious alumni of the University of Bologna are the humanists Pico della Mirandola and Leon Battista Alberti, as well as astronomer Nicholaus Copernicus. Like most Italian universities, the University of Bologna is a public school and is therefore mainly supported by state funding (according to the Italian Constitution, education is a right of every citizen). As a consequence, students do not have to pay expensive tuition and college education is affordable, even for families of modest means."
Ever have a day when you just feel out of sync? I'm having one today. Its already 12:15 and I feel like the morning slipped away from me. Did waking up late throw me off? I don't know.
This afternoon we attended the Christmas Choir concert at the International School where Brandon attends. This was our third concert since we've been here and I think it was the best. The kids did fantastic, singing: Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, Winter Wonderland, Merry Christmas, Little Saint Nick, Santa Clause is Coming to Town, All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth, Sleigh Ride, I'll be HOme for Christmas, Col Col-bacco (Italian), Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and Run Rudolf Run. Brandon's class also performed the poem "Twas the Night Before Christmas" Brandon had three lines of his own. As I've mentioned many times before, listening to them talk and sing in all their international accents is very enjoyable. They worked very hard on this performance and it showed. Tomorrow they do their last performance for the 5th grade parents.
This evening we enjoyed chicken and bean burritos for dinner. Katrina brought two blocks of Tillamook Cheddar Cheese back with her. Yum!
All three of us finished watching Elf, which we started a few nights ago.