Learning Italian During COVID-19
My grandfather was a first-generation Italian American. His parents made the brave and arduous journey to America in search of a better life.
Both of my paternal grandparents died before I was born. But their legacy and the Italian heritage was still a big part of my childhood. I went to midnight mass at the Roman Catholic Church every year on Christmas Eve. We would spend time eating Italian treats, and my grandfather would often entertain his grandkids with stories of the old country.
Sadly, in April of 2019, my grandpa passed away. I miss him dearly.
When Covid-19 ravaged the world, all New Yorkers were given a shelter in place order in an effort to protect people. The world seemed to be on pause, and I had gotten very bored. I decided to check something off of my insanely long bucket list. I choose to learn Italian.
As a kid child, my parents bought me a book intended to teach Italian to young kids. I lost interest quickly.
I took French for a short time when I was in school. But due to my inability to use my hands, I was taken out of the class because I was unable to complete the class requirements of writing sentences.
But as an adult, I have recently downloaded Duo Lingo, and I found some level of success. Since March, I have learned just under one thousand Italian words. Not only am I learning, I’m growing as a person.
My newfound desire has awakened dreams that were locked away. Because of past traumas, I have a hard time leaving my comfort zone; interacting with strange people can make my blood pressure skyrocket. Well, thanks to therapy, I’m now flirting with the idea of going overseas. I plan to someday go to Italy. And make my grandpa proud.