Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lunch at CIMBA

Just wanted to give you all a quick look at what our lunchtime looks like. Tommaso took this picture one day during a break from class. I realized after looking at it, that someone from the outside might think that this looks complicated or bizarre. I don't know how we do it, but we manage to make it work. (And FYI: The hand on the right holding the cutting board is mine.)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Tonight, after dining out with Tommy, I came back to school and joined Lisa on the couch in the common room. We were watching a movie for awhile when in walked Tommaso. I looked up and asked him jokingly, "Did you bring me dessert?" He smiled, put down his bag and pulled out a bag which, as he handed it to me, caused me to say, "OH MY GOD. DID YOU BRING ME DESSERT?!" He had. Good Italian.

(It was a nutella filled pastry, by the way. Very yummy.)

Friday, January 30, 2009


Today I went out to lunch with a friend and realized, when he asked how I was doing, that I am really happy. This is a nice change, because the first few weeks back after winter break were a little rough for me. Everyone was driving me crazy, school was hard, it seemed like nothing we (as a team) were doing was right, and it felt like this was never going to end.

That has since changed. I don't know if it's because the sun is out, (it hasn't been out for basically a month straight) but either way, I am thrilled to be here. School is going really well. Our consulting project is going *fairly* well. The sun is out. I'm working out again. I love the people here. I love Italy. Starting to look for jobs. I actually am narrowing down my options and figuring out what I want to do! That, in and of itself, is a miracle.

Anyway, I just wanted to share that with everyone. Hope you are all having a fantastic, sunny day too.

P.S. Did I mention it was sunny? Because if I forgot, IT IS!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Here's a fun little story for you. So, as you may (or may not) know, I am in the middle of a consulting project. Basically, this project consists of calling a lot of European businessmen to get information about something. I'm not going to go into specifics because I don't want to get in trouble for saying something I shouldn't. For this story you don't need to know specifics.

Day 70 or so of our project. We had spent the first 70 days preparing, creating the schedule, the template of questions, talking with the company, going on winter break, and waiting on answers from important people etc. So, day 70 rolls around and I'm thinking, "Great! We get to actually move forward and start calling people!"

My first phone call went like this:

ring..... ring..... "Hello?" Blah blah blah, I say who I am and what I'm calling for. He says, "What are you talking about?" My first panic attack sets in. Oh my God, these people (who were supposed to know about our project) have no idea. Quickly, and calmly I try explaining the deal. "Oooohhhhh, yeah, I remember. Well, for that I actually am not the right person to answer these questions." I end up getting another number and then call that person. This time it goes well.

Next phone call:

ring...ring...ring...ring...(start mentally preparing the message I'm going to leave) ring...ring...(start thinking it's taking a long time for voicemail to pick up) ring...ring...(maybe they are on the other line or something, therefore voicemail isn't working)ring...ring... I hang up. I then say to my teammates, three of whom are Italian, "Wow, that rang forever."

Then in a joking manner I said, "They probably don't have voicemail or something."

I said this assuming that I was completely wrong because, what business person would not have voicemail? Everyone, especially people who work at important companies, has to have voicemail, right? WRONG. Instead of making everyone laugh, like I thought I would with my "probably don't have voicemail" statement I was met with three very serious faces saying, "No. No one has voicemail."

This is when I went into shock and then said, "WHAT?! They don't have voicemail?! Are you kidding me?!" No, no, no. They weren't and I knew what that meant. It meant having to call and actually catch someone while they are at their desk. It meant the project taking longer because of all the time I'm/we are going to spend hearing the phone ring forever. It meant me having to adjust to the European way.

By the way, I'm not saying that this is a bad thing. In fact, I think it makes sense. I mean, I think many Americans dread going to work in the morning for fear of all the voicemails they have. Maybe we should all adopt the no-voicemail rule.

Friday, January 16, 2009

American Idol

One of the girls in this program was watching American Idol last night on the Air Force Network. A few of us were giving her crap for watching it, and then I heard the TV announcer say something about Kansas City. Apparently the auditions from this episode were from KC! Anyway, I said, "Kansas City! That's where I'm from!" Another girl said, "Oh, you can show us your friends" (in a joking manner). Not two seconds later (they had been showing clips of people waiting in line to audition) a girl from my high school class appeared onscreen and said something about KC. I immediately said, "Oh my god, that girl went to my high school!" People thought I was joking for a second, and then realized I was serious. It was all very funny. I mean, I'm in Italy, using the Air Force Network satellite to watch American TV and I see a girl from my high school on it. Crazy.