Sunday, January 21, 2018

One Semester Later

Four-year-old exploring the Ear of Dionysius in Sicily. 

As a teacher, I think in semesters. And here I am starting my second semester living, teaching and writing in Italy this time around. This is also the final semester of this particular adventure, which feels mostly like too little time.

Of course, sometimes I wish I could hop in our car and drive to Target for something that I miss (mostly Cheetos, since we've found just about everything else - and more - in Florence.) There are waves of homesickness or culture-shock, like the other day when it took two hours and an appointment at the Apple store to buy a nine Euro replacement part for the phone. (I miss you, smooth-running Washington, D.C., Apple store, no matter how much you intimidated me.)

Mostly, thought, I wish we never have to leave. We are comfortable with our routine and challenged by new words and many adventures to historic and cultural sites. I remain thrilled to reconnect with old friends here, even if we are all more busy with work and families than we were over a decade ago. I love that our son pauses to wave to the butcher and the barber through their storefront windows on the walk home from school. I love watching him laugh and giggle with friends at the birthday parties at school (which are brilliant in all regards. On birthday party days, the kids gather with some parents and treats in the lunchroom from 5-6. Such easy fun!)

I love the morning sun through our large windows. I even love watching the laundry drying outside in the wind. (I do remain worried something will blow away since a clothespin broke while holding up a pair of pants. We have no way to access the courtyard below.)

As for my writing, I've done some. I've created some new, experimental pieces and submitted a number of edited pieces. I've gotten a bunch of rejections and one acceptance since we've been here, which means both that I've done the work of submitting and have more work to do on the writing, editing and submitting front. 

We're all comfortable enough with our lives here that I've scheduled a writing retreat for three nights in a nearby airbnb apartment. I look forward to honing in on some writing projects and pressing on. I am thankful to be in this calm space in which I can do something like this with not only my partner's help, but his encouragement. See you on the other side!

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