Classes have begun...I am taking Marketing Research, International Relations, Business Strategy, and Management Consulting. Classes over here are a little different. Back home at RPI classes are usually 40-60 kids and the teachers know your name as long as you don't just hide in the back. Here I have a class online which I should probably check out sometime soon haha, a class with about 40 kids, and two classes with 150 plus students. I know that isn't very big for those who went to big state schools but for a private school in Troy, NY that's monstrous except for the occasional General Pysch with 250 kids. I thought diversity at RPI was unreal. Here our class is represented by at least one person from every continent (except for the obvious one). Class material is interesting to an extent. I feel like I have learned a lot of this back home in the US, but am definitely learning some and the farther we get I learn more and more. I give credit to Rensselaer Polytech for preparing me well.
All of the classes are an hour and a half except for my Business Strategy class which is THREE HOURS! Luckily that class is once a week or I would never have taken it. At RPI classes are an hour and 50 minutes and every class, regardless of the subject, I find myself drifting off and not hearing one word my professor says the last 20 minutes-half hour. These hour and a half classes are PERFECT in length because just as I catch myself drifting off and the urge to be rambunctious class is OVER!! I wish classes back home were an hour and a half. I also wish my school did not get rid of the foreign language program because I would have taken a semester of French and a semester of Italian. I took French from 4th Grade up through Senior Year in High School and if I took one semester in college I would be nearly fluent. I could have used that because a lot of kids here know French and that one semester would have made it extremely easy to have full conversations. BUTTTT our school eliminated foreign language completely in one of the most diverse schools in the country. Why? Beats Me!! Enough about this topic because I still wonder what the logic was there if any, but its absolutely insane.
Listen to this next part. Well, in your case read the next part. This has got to be the most interesting concept of studying abroad. All of my classes have more than one teacher. Management Consulting has two teachers, Business Strategy has two teachers, International Relations has three teachers, and my ONLINE class has three teachers but for all I know it could be a new teacher every "class". It is so weird because in Business Strategy one teacher will lecture the first half, you have a fifteen minute break, and you return and the other teacher lectures the next hour and a half. The teachers are never there at the same time and usually switch every other class. All of my teachers for the most part speak very good english and three of the main ones are very humorous and entertaining. Some of the names are ridiculous, like one is Carlo Alberto Carnevale Maffe haha. Also, the teachers are rather blunt here. Don't be offended by the following two examples because it is just an example and nothing is meant by it. One teacher was talking about production and mentioned Nike and its child labor of chinese or asian children. The teacher said don't worry it was a joke china man. It may sound a little harsh but it was in a nice tone and everyone knew he was just being humorous. The student wasn't offended. Next example is we were doing a case study for something in Africa and the teacher asked if there was anyone from Africa in the class. When nobody raised their hand he said I am looking for a real dark student, nobody in here is like that? Again, in a matter that nobody would be offended. They just are real blunt here, but I like it. Makes the class a little more interesting and I apologize if anyone took that to heart or anything.
Here is a list of annoyances I have been acquainted with over here in Italy:
1) Italians sincerely do have a staring problem. It has gotten so annoying that now when I find someone staring I give them the dirtiest look possible and out-stare them (works every time!) It really is obnoxious as hell and when I return I will never stare at anyone ever again because I truly know how disrespectful and annoying it really is.
2) Nothing is open on Sundays. Seriously. The HUGE SuperMarket that is compared to our Price Chopper is open every OTHER Sunday. Smaller restaurants, most cafes, stores, and etc are closed. It's a huge hassle.
3) Every thing you need closes at like 1 or 2 during week days! The International Student Desk is open until 1pm. The bank is open from 9am-12pm and then opens from 2pm-4pm. The post office closes by like 2pm. I mean is this a joke? I think I am going to move over here once I am done with school because it has to be nearly impossible that most Italians exceed 40 hours a week.
4) Dogs go the bathroom wherever they want (most frequently sidewalks) and nobody picks it up. I have saved my friends probably at least 5 times from stepping in a pile of you know what! Constantly I come out of nowhere and pretty much shove them to the ground to avoid stepping in it.
5) Italians are nice everywhere BUT Milano. Exchange students who know a little Italian (enough to get around, like me) speak Italian and usually ask them if they speak English (IN ITALIAN!). In Milano they always say no although you know they do. I have asked a worker in Milano if he spoke english, he said no, then spoke english to some other guy. I mean what the hell? You can ask almost anyone over here whether they are exchange students or students who live in Italy and speak english. Milanese for the most part are a$$holes. I mean there are nice Milanese people but for the most part they are complete jerks. We try to speak some Italian which they do respect, but yea, they are jerks. In Venice, Verona, Torino, Genoa, Levanto, and etc everyone said they speak English if you ask them in Italian.
6) Driving annoyances will be discussed two posts from now. I rented a car this past weekend (my blog is about 2 weeks behind schedule) and that was a WHOLE other story.
7) I am sure I have more annoyances that I just cannot think of at the moment.
Six of my friends and I got a football game going at 2am the other night on the basketball court. How did we possibly see you may ask? The courts are lit up for the most part. It was 3 on 3 and I played all-time offense, most often Quarterback (No I did not choose to play all-time offense, they chose it for me). MY TEAM WON!! Ha, I have never had a 100% chance of winning until now and it was a great feeling. We played until about 330am when the first team to eight touchdowns won. I threw the ball to every person a rather equal amount to ensure everyone had a good time. I also had a chance to play Wide Receiver which was fun and caught a couple touchdowns on some good throws from a couple different kids. It was surprising how well most of them could throw the ball. All six kids I played with are rather athletic so it was a fun, competitive game. I played with two kids from Boston College, one from the University of Illinois, an Australian, one from Oneonta, and one from the University of Maryland. Everybody caught a touchdown, made some nice plays, and just had a good time overall. It was the first event of physical exercise (besides walking) since we got here haha, as sad as that sounds. It really was a great experience and will stick in my head forever.
Sorry if there are any spelling errors. I usually triple-check my blog for errors but I honestly don't care in this one because I did not travel anywhere and am pounding out this entry at 1am. Hope everyone is enjoying the blog. I received about eight emails since the Venice blog which is excellent. I use your emails as motivation to keep doing this blog so keep 'em coming!! Next blog will include my trip to Vienna, Austria and brief showing in Bratislava, Slovakia.
I also want to CONGRATULATE the Rutland High School Girls Hockey Team for their excellent run who were stopped just short in the Division 2 Championship Game (coached by my sister-in-law!!) Congratulations also to the Rutland High School Girls Basketball Team and Mr. Geisler for their great run to the Division 1 State Championship Game.