I began studying Italian to communicate with relatives that were
coming to visit America. Besides acquiring the ability to read and write
in Italian, I also obtained the confidence to pursue other college studies.
Furthermore, I received a tremenous amount of knowledge, appreciation and
a first hand look at the beauty of the Italian culture.
I decided to study Italian to further my Italian skills so I would be able
to converse with visiting relatives. Although I was nervous on the onset
of the course not ever speaking a foreign language, the warm and friendly
classroom setting projected by Professor Mansella soon put me at ease. With
each passing class, I became increasingly intrigued and curious to learn more.
I was delighted to find myself able to read and write in Italian. I found the
language to be very beautiful, yet extremelly challenging. Upon completion
of the intermediate level, another student and myself began an independent study
with Professor Mansella to further our knowledge and explore Italian literature.
I was very appreciative that Professor Mansella found the time in her busy schedule
to provided us with the additional knowledge that we desired to acquire. The
independent study played an important role because it allowed us refine our
verbal usage while reinforcing all that we had learned. Through the course of my
Italian studies, we observed such works as: Le Scarpe Rotte, Lui e Io, Il Postino,
La Giara, La Strada, La Ciociara, Una Donna Sulla Testa, and Cinema Paradiso. Such
indept studies aided in my knowledge, usage and understanding of the language. As
a result, my studies played an important role in allowing me to get to know my
In addition, being the first college course that I attended, it was a positive
experience that encouraged me to pursue a college education. Once graduating high
school, I entered the workforce. Although I always wanted to attend college, I was
plagued with uncertainty. After being out of school for five years, I finally gathered
up enough courage to return to school. The desire to converse with visiting relatives
was the accidental steppingstone that provided me with confidence and reassurance
to move forward. Since my initial Italian class, I have continued with other courses
and I hope to earn an associate degree and continue with my studies at a four year
institution. Hence, studying Italian has had a monumental impact on my life.
In the summer of 1997, Professor Mansella organized a trip for her students as a
means of enhancing our education in the Italian culture. Other Italian students and I
gathered together for an amazing journey to the land that we had studied and dreamed
about visiting for so long. Together we embarked on an incredible experience that we
would remember forever. I was thrilled with the opportunity to visit such historical
landmarks that graced the pages of my textbook. The massiveness of the Coliseum
overwhelmed me, the size of the Trevi Fountain surprised me, and the artwork created by
Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel amazed me. The mystique of the ruins of the Roman
Empire was an education in itself. It was a dream come true to enjoy a magical
gondola ride through the city of Venice. Each city that we visited seemed more beautiful
and unique than the last. Moreover, I am extremely appreciative that I was able to
visit Assisi and the church of St. Francis, before the devastating earthquakes ruined
its priceless beauty. My trip to Italy made my Italian studies complete. It brought to
life what were once only images.
Studying Italian has influenced my life tremendously. I opened the door to a new
and undiscovered world. It was not only a foreign language class, but a history, art
and cultural education as well. Through the course of my studies, I obtained an
extreme amount of knowledge and appreciation for the Italian culture. In addition,
it provided me with the vital means to embrace my heritage. Not only I have learned
about Italy, I also learned about myself.