Bologna, Italy – winter sets in

cancelled trains
effect of the train strike on perugia

I am sitting in the Classics library, looking out the window only to see that yet again, there is no sun. It has been grey for approximately eight and a half days. One of the best aspects of Italy has been the sunshine, and now as it starts to look like Britain, the motivation to do the very little amount of work I ought to be doing for my courses has vanished. However, it is the very end of November, and I was sweating this morning as I walked to meet my pastor’s wife at the bar wearing no coat, so I can’t complain too much about the weather!

The first round of courses is finished, and I’m onto the second round, with about six more hours a week. I’m at my threshold of acceptable amount of hours in lectures, around 20. Each class meets for six hours a week, and one has a seminario / tutorial for another two hours. I was doing better for the first six weeks of lectures, before I began the History of Classical Rhetoric, at 14 hours a week. But there’s not a terrible amount of work to do outside of class – study for exams, of course, but each class only has one exam, and they’re oral, so I get the feeling that showing up to class will give the impression that I’m trying to learn so if I don’t know anything for my exam, perhaps the professor will take pity on me and pass me anyway. Also, if you fail, you can just refuse the grade and schedule another examination time, I’ve heard, so there’s really not too much stress with that. No essays, no essays… so I’m quite content with my 20 hours of class a week if it means no essays and very little homework.

* note to all students – my ‘homework’ consists of translating my Greek texts into English because when we translate them into Italian in class, I can’t follow. It’s optional and nobody cares whether or not I do anything; I just have fear of returning to Edinburgh without doing this for myself. If you’re better at Italian than I am, you probably won’t have any homework.

We went to Perugia a few weeks ago, only to be stuck for hours in various train stations because of a train strike, an expected occurence in Italy. Always be prepared for the scioperi. They occur without warning.

Here’s the link to regional trains that will be running in case the direct trains to Bologna are on strike —

http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2bb0f8fcf75ca110VgnVCM1000003f16f90aRCRD

(and always, always bring extra food for the long waits…)

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