November 25, 2009 | Italian

Italian Facebook Chat and Flashcard-Friendly Purses

Some purses are better suited than others to language study.

Today I did a lot of work with future and conditional verbs, which made me very happy. I love conditional and use it a lot. Without conditional, I find it hard to express myself in a language. That probably says something about me psychologically, but perhaps it’s best not to inquire what that might be.

Twice during the afternoon, I chatted via Facebook with one of my nephews (one of my husband’s sister’s children, who are growing up in Italy). Based on the glacial pace with which he responded to my questions, I estimate he was chatting with at least six other people simultaneously. Still, he found time to teach me how to make emoticons through Facebook chat, and we also had a very enjoyable little exchange in Italian.

I had assumed he wouldn’t want to speak in his native Italian to an old person who is just learning, but he didn’t seem to mind at all. I wrote to him (in Italian) that I had been studying Italian for one month.

He wrote back triumphantly, also in Italian, that he had been studying for ten years! I laughed.

He is ten.

One of the tricks to this project, particularly when things get busy, is to work language study into the little crevices of free time that reveal themselves throughout the day. For example, at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square theater tonight, as Brandt and I endured the endless wait that modern moviegoers must endure, at least in New York City, before the film they have actually paid for begins (in this case, it was Precious), I worked on my Italian flashcards. 

Me With Flashcard-Ready m0851 Bag

Now, a large box of flashcards doesn’t necessarily fit into a conventional purse of reasonable size, but several years ago I undertook a scientific study of purse options to find the brand that would best accommodate books and other such items.

After significant research, I settled on m0851, whose leather bags are perfect for conveying flashcards, dictionaries, and grammar books. They are simple (I hate froofy), strong, and unusually lightweight.

One added bonus is that their principal design element is not a 200-point-font version of their logo emblazoned all over their bags. (Note: I am not being compensated for this promotion.)

Later, back home after the movie, Brandt came out of the bathroom holding an extra hand towel I had left there, and asked, “What’s up with the extra hand towel?” (This is a New York bathroom; there really is room for only one hand towel in it.)

“It was a misunderstanding,” I said.

“What do you mean?”

“Marco [my Italian conversation partner] was trying to tell me today that he needed a haircut, but I thought he was saying his hair was wet, so I brought him a towel.”

Brandt burst out laughing.

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