Our summer session has begun! We had a few weeks off between spring 2008 and our first summer session. For better or worse we always figure out ways to keep busy during the “down time.”
Our trifecta of Italian superprofessors, Antonella, Fiora, and Marianna held the SIS name high at the AATI/AAIS (The American Association of Teachers of Italian) in Taormina, Sicily. They spoke about our innovative FICCS teaching method and how we’re actually trying to harness the popularity of “facebook” to use it as a tool to further connect our students with Italians in Siena. For those of you who aren’t geographically knowledgeable about the island of Sicily, the town of Taormina lies between Mt. Etna, an ancient Greek amphitheater, and the Mediterannean Sea. While I know they worked very hard on their presentations I also know that they spent some very well-deserved time relaxing. Personally, I was a bit jealous as I was supposed to be there with them. Instead I was in attendance and honored to speak at our colleague and friend Eliza Nash’s wedding. Congratulations Eliza!
Last week our 10 new summer students arrived in Siena to find that myself and Roni running the ship as our fearless leader was at the NAFSA conference in Washington D.C. Despite Lavinia’s abscence, everything went smoothly, and she tells me that the trip to Washington was a positive one that will probably lead to…. more students!
Finally, I’ll mention the fact that is has been unseasonably rainy lately. ‘Why, Mike, would you mention that???’ you are asking yourselves. Well, sometimes the rain can be a bit of a nuisance, that is unless you are a vegetable garden of course! As I mentioned before, and will undoubtedly mention again in the future, we at SIS have a beautiful garden that has given birth to all kinds of plants. I’ve taken on the position of Head Gardener and Marianna has assumed the prestige of Garden President. We’ve been organizing sessions for the students to come help and they’ve been doing a great job. The end goal for many of the vegetables produced will be to end up in the local soup kitchen where many of our students serve. So, while it might be rainy, there always a positive side to things.