Back at University


Listen to my blog entry here.

When I finished my graduate degree in creative writing, I promised myself I would not be one of those perpetual students. You know the type: they double-majored as undergrads. and hold three graduate degrees in wholly unrelated fields. They just like being students. Graduate school was somewhat harrowing for me. The Director of my graduate program took a disliking to me. To make matters worse, he was my thesis advisor, and at the end of my program refused to write me a letter of recommendation. At least he was consistent. I’m consistent, too. Every time I am asked for money by the MFA program at the University of Michigan, I politely reply I will donate when Professor X, who is still involved with the program, albeit tangentially, retires, dies or both.

Nonetheless, I decided to take a class this semester. It gets me out of the office, and since I chose an upper-level Italian comprehension and writing course, I am having a great time. I am actually studying with a teacher whom I’ve known since I was an undergraduate. She was a grad. student then, studying for her Ph.D. The class is small, under a dozen students, and we do reading and recitation. I am fluent in Italian; I lived and taught for three years in Rome. It is a great treat to be able to chatter away in Italian. Well, actually, I try not to chatter away too much. When the instructor asks a question and no one answers, I help her out. I am auditing the class, after all. The people getting the grades should have a chance to answer the questions first!

This past week, we read a story set in the early 1900s about a man from southern Italy who wants to emigrate to America. He goes to Naples to catch a boat, but is tricked. The Neapolitans who take his money, sail around the Mediterranean for a month, then let their 300 passengers disembark in “America” in the dead of night. Only it isn’t the coast of New York. It’s Sicily. The story ends happily, and I learned the word “rickety,” in Italian.

Well, I hope your week has been as pleasurable as mine. In my next entry, I want to talk about some upcoming content that I am very excited about. In the meantime, saluti cordiali dalla casa editrice dall’Adjunct Advocate! (Translation: best wishes from the offices of the Adjunct Advocate, Inc.).

The song accompanying this entry is called “Postcards from Italy,” by the singer Beruit.

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