Freedom! (and a Bernard update)

Ciao a tutti,

No more exams! No more year abroad projects! FREEDOM!

Like most of us, I finished my year abroad project in the nick of time and handed it in minutes before the deadline, telling myself (like I do every year) that next year I’ll leave myself more time. Martina and I went out to celebrate at the Hard Rock Café (which is our ‘thing’) and had nachos and a hamburger and then two desserts which we barely touched because we were so full. This was weeks ago and I think I’m still digesting the food baby.

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Italian exams were an experience that French exams did not prepare me for. To begin with, they’re oral exams, which is terrifying for me. If you don’t know the answer in a written exam, you can take a moment, collect your thoughts, and then carefully bullshit your way through the answer. Some people are really good at doing this with a professor inches away from their face, but I am not one of those people. This sense of dread was heightened by the fact that the exams take place in a room full of other Italian students. Needless to say, I wasn’t looking forward to the exams.

IMG_2542I felt so fancy revising with this glass, but it’s actually just cold coffee

But, as usual, I was worrying too much. My first exam was journalism; there were supposed to be 8 of us at this exam, but on entering the room (soaking wet from a sudden downpour), I discovered that only three of us had turned up, meaning the number of students taking the exam was equal to the number of teachers giving the exam. I was to be last of the three; the first girl went up and sat in front of the panel and started giving answers – the wrong answers. Wrong answer after wrong answer. I was feeling worse and worse, and evidently the guy next to me was as well, as he got up and left the exam, explaining that he had decided he wasn’t ready to take it and he didn’t want to waste anyone’s time. When the teachers had finally had enough after what felt like an age, he asked if she’d be ok with a mark of 28. TWENTY-EIGHT. Out of THIRTY. Eighteen is the pass mark. I’d just like to reiterate here that she got the answers wrong. So, then I stopped feeling worried and started feeling more confident, which was helped by the fact that there were no other people in the room listening to me completely murder the Italian language, and the teacher was very nice and told me not to worry and just to say things ‘as they came to me’ when I started getting muddled and flustered. I came away from the exam with full marks, which would sound very impressive if I hadn’t just explained that it’s not really a reflection of how well I actually did. I’m sharing it with you though because we’re friends and I don’t mind you knowing that my amazing 30/30 actually isn’t really amazing at all. I should probably also mention at this point that my shirt was quite see-through because of the downpour, which probably didn’t hurt my grade.

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My second exam was history, which I was more worried about since I went to barely any classes (and the ones I did go to, I didn’t understand any of) and because I hadn’t read the books we were supposed to read. After turning up at 9.30am as stated online, we waited an hour for the teacher to finally turn up, at which point he told us that he wouldn’t be able to see everyone that day and that 15 out of 45 of us would have to go home. Despite having been the 14th person to sign up, I was sent away to come back the following day because, with the surname Warren, I was the very last person on the alphabetically ordered list. I came back the following day and waited a mere three hours to be seen (other students have waited up to ten hours to be seen for their exams – is it really so hard to give student time slots!?), and then blundered through the exam and got reprimanded for not using ‘academic’ words. I did pass though, so I was a happy bunny.

Untitled Untitled1 Untitled2It’s really difficult to revise from notes that look like this

As for a Bernard update, he’s so grown up now! He’s been in our tender care for around a month and a half, and while he’s still got his grey baby plumage, he’s as big as the adult seagulls that circle around and squawk at us whenever we get go onto the terrace. We were worried about his ability to fly until the other day we found him on the wall, looking nervously over the edge. In the end, he lost his nerve and jumped back onto the ground, but we’re pretty sure he’ll make the jump and start his first flight very soon. We’ll be the proudest mothers in the world!

IMG_2319From this…

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To this (still pooing everywhere…)

IMG_2771To this!

Now exams are over and I’m officially on holiday! I booked my flights home this week, which was very sad. I deliberately chose a flight that leaves when Martina is at work so that we don’t break down into hysterical sobs at the airport. But, with four weeks to go and no exams to pretend to prepare for, it looks like it’s going to be four weeks of parties and sunbathing to try and take the edge off my blindingly white complexion.

Until next time, tanti baci,

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