How Many Licks Does it Take to Get to the Tootsie Roll Center of a Tootsie Pop?

Monday, October 1, 2007

Just in Case You Didn't Know

The poll results (which joke did you like best from this post) showed that readers prefered the bird joke (the cheap cheap one!). One of our own students only recently GOT the cheap cheap joke, so despite it's popularity, I guess it wasn't that successful.

Oh well.

Have a nice day!


Check it Out!

It's been a while since anyone has posted here, but I hope that the Surviving Fleas are, well, surviving nicely! We'd like to also point all readers over to the Surviving Fleas's sister site, another new blog called Blowin' In The Wind created by the most recent group of Intensive English Language Students at Minerva in Macerata, Italy. In the meantime, hopefully the Surviving Fleas blog will "survive" a little longer, with new posts, news, etc.! Fleas, feel free to email me (Jackie) and let me know how things are! A nice Fleas reunion would be a great idea, doncha think?

In the meantime, I'll leave you with some Surviving Lyrics:

I Will Survive
by Gloria Gaynor

First I was afraid
I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live
without you by my side
But I spent so many nights
thinking how you did me wrong
I grew strong
I learned how to carry on
and so you're back
from outer space
I just walked in to find you here
with that sad look upon your face
I should have changed my stupid lock
I should have made you leave your key
If I had known for just one second
you'd be back to bother me

Go on now go walk out the door
just turn around now
'cause you're not welcome anymore
weren't you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye
you think I'd crumble
you think I'd lay down and die
Oh no, not I
I will survive
as long as i know how to love
I know I will stay alive
I've got all my life to live
I've got all my love to give
and I'll survive
I will survive

It took all the strength I had
not to fall apart
kept trying hard to mend
the pieces of my broken heart
and I spent oh so many nights
just feeling sorry for myself
I used to cry
Now I hold my head up high
and you see me
somebody new
I'm not that chained up little person
still in love with you
and so you felt like dropping in
and just expect me to be free
now I'm saving all my loving
for someone who's loving me...

So check out the new blog, and, those of us who ARE fleas, post something! Have a wonderful October!


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Walking Tour: Macerata

Interested in visiting the city of Macerata, in Le Marche? Our class wrote a walking guide for your visit!

Our walking tour of Macerata starts from PIAZZA DELLA VITTORIA, where you can find the MONUMENTO AI CADUTI. Take CORSO CAVOUR, which is just across the square. It's one of the main streets of Macerata. It's very busy and there are a lot of shops.

Go straight on CORSO CAVOUR, pass the IMMACOLATA Church and the University of Literature. On the right you will find PIAZZA GARIBALDI with its monument devoted to the famous "Captain of the Thousands" and "Hero of the Two Worlds," Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Cross the street using the underpass, and you will get to PIAZZA ANNESSIONE. Here you will find the CANCELLI gates, one of the entrances to the city centre.

Go straight on CORSO GARIBALDI, a wide pedestrian~only street full of shops. At the end of this street turn right and walk up VIA LAURI passing PIAZZA 25 APRILE, where you can have a good ice cream cone at the ice cream shoppes there.

Take the second street on the left--CORSO MATTEOTTI. Here you will find lots of beautiful and expensive shops!

In the middle of CORSO MATTEOTTI there is the PALAZZO DEI DIAMANTI, or "Palace of the Diamonds." Its name comes from a particular aspect of its facade: a whole series of stones carved like diamonds!! It's an elegant building which is the seat of the BANCA D'ITALIA. Just across it you will find the steps that lead up to the GALLERIA SCIPIONE, where you can have a coffee-break in the elegant bar, VENANZETTI.

From the GALLERIA SCIPIONE, turn left and go straight on until you get to PIAZZA DELLA LIBERTA' where you can go to see a musical in the Lauro Rossi Theatre or climb the Clock Tower. This is the main square of the town, and it is a wonderful place to people watch or spend a sunny day. From here, you can run straight down Scalette Road (a long staircase that connects the two main piazzas)...until you fall down and have to go to the hospital!!! Ha ha--we're just joking!

Seriously now (ahem), while you go down the scalette, you will find the church of SANTA MARIA DELLA PORTA on the left. It is very small but very beautiful.

Go back up to the PIAZZA DELLA LIBERTA' and visit the UNIVERSITY and CITY HALL. In the UNIVERSITY, you can meet a lot of young people that might like to spend Happy Hour with you! Also, try to take in the culture of the beautiful AULA MAGNA, a large classroom with beautiful frescoes and town seals, which today is used for graduation ceremonies.

The CITY HALL is an old palace with a beautiful courtyard. In it, there is a fountain where a lot of little gold fish live (or lived--we think the fountain might be closed for repairs).

Then, take Don Minzoni Street down until you get to Strambi Square, where you can admire the DUOMO, the biggest church in the city.

On the left of the DUOMO, you can find a little church called SANTA MARIA DELLA MISERICORDIA, which, according to legend, was built in one day. It is a beautiful church, and inside it is a treasure trove of baroque delights.

Now, turn right and go straight on GIOBERTI STREET, past the quaint little PIAZZA LAURO ROSSI, until you find the church of SANTA MARIA DELLA PORTA again on your left. Go down the SCALETTE, and at the end of the road, you will find yourself in PIAZZA MAZZINI, where you can get an ice-cream at the most famous little GELATERIA (ice cream shoppe) in the city, Ghiotto Mariotto. There are lots of delicious flavours to choose from! Take a break to enjoy them.

Finally, at the end of PIAZZA MAZZINI, there is the SFERISTERIO, perhaps Macerata's most famous site. It is a fabulous big outdoor opera house, where every July and August, there are a lot of fantastic opera performances. If it's that time of year, buy yourself a ticket, and enjoy the warm summer evenings surrounded by beautiful music. You've earned it after a long day of walking in Macerata!

If you have more time to spend...

Consider some of the following ideas:

• You might lose yourself in the wonderful alleyways of the city centre and drink a glass of good wine at one of the typical bars.

• You should visit the FONTI, in BORGO SAN GIULIANO Street. Here, there is are old public fountains where people went to wash their laundry. From here, you can admire the beautiful view of the nearby hills. If you are lucky, you might see the sea!

• Finally, you can relax by sitting or lying down in the Diaz Gardens. The gardens are full of flowers and trees, and there is even a fountain for taking a crazy and fresh bath in the summer!

Enjoy your visit to Macerata! A day is not nearly enough time to enjoy our little city, so we hope you stay longer! Have a wonderful time!

- fleas

while we are working...

Here we are, hard at work!

Laura and Gianluca

Valentina and Stefania

Ombretta and Gianluca 2

Monday, July 23, 2007

what would YOU be?

For a class assignment, we had to choose--among planets, animals, and colours--what we would be. From panthers to the moon, here are some of our class's responses:

Gianluca chose a colour: blue.

"I feel like the colour blue, because it is the colour which represents my favourite kinds of music: jazz and blues. My favourite artists are B.B. King, Django Reinhardt, Ray Charles, Muddy "Mississippi" Waters, and many others.

Blue is the most elegant colour. Many important people wear blue during very important events, like the opera, galas, and parties. Blue is the colour of the night."

Irene chose an animal: a bird.
"I'd like to be a bird who flies through the sky with his friends and explores a lot of places. I'd like to be independent and learn things from my mistakes without the help of anyone else. Only in this way can I better myself. I must awake alert to surive!"

Silvia chose a "planet": the moon.
"I would be the moon because it is far from earth. I would be alone and see the people who live and die; no one could hear me, but I could hear everything. I would become the dream of humanity. Everybody would admire me but only few people would be able to touch me."

- fleas

a bit about Macerata

Two students conquer the task of writing about their hometown (and our class's homebase), Macerata, in Le Marche, Italy.

I live in Macerata. It is a small and fun town. It has an ancient downtown and it is near both the mountains and the sea. There is a good university, and therefore, there is a little bit of nightlife. You should come in summer. There are a lot of parties in the nearby villages and you can go to the beach and see the night life along the seaside. Instead, if you want to go to the mountains for skiing, you should come in winter.

Either way, you should eat at a typical local restaurant.

I'm going to tell you something about Macerata! It's a very small city in the middle of Italy; it's situated in the hills, both near the sea and the mountain: it takes only half an hour to reach both.

45 thousand people live in Macerata, more or less; the area isn't very big, so the city is often busy during the day. However, there isn't a chaotic nightlife, so we can say that Macerata is still a quiet city.

You should come to visit my city for many reasons:
• it's an old city, and so there are lots of historic places, and you can also find interesting things in some towns near Macerata.
• the cuisine is very good! Typical dishes are vincisgrassi, tagliatelle, and porchetta.

I think the best time to come to Macerata is in Spring, there is nice weather and there are some very beautiful landscapes!


Sunday, July 22, 2007

How to...a couple of Recipes (a meme)

We wrote two very different recipes on Italian life, food, and culture. Want to send us your recipes? We'd love to try them out!

Recipe for Becoming the Perfect Man
(in order to meet an Italian girl)

100 grams of affection

200 grams of politeness

350 grams of humor

400 grams of passion

one glass spirit of adventure

500 grams of patience

a pinch of madness

jealousy, to taste

1. Mix the ingredients together and put them into the body of a gorgeous man. (Please don't forget to sprinkle a handful of salt into his head!)

2. Serve very hot and accompany with a good bottle of wine and at least a dozen red roses.

3. Light some candles, and good luck!!

Pizza: the Don Gennaro Capuozzo Method (Old School)

1 kg flour
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of salt
buffalo mozzarella
1 cup of water

1. First, put the flour into a big bowl. Add a spoon of sugar and one of salt.

2. Then, dissolve the yeast into a big cup of hot water.

3. Now, slowly pour the dissolved yeast into the four and mix everything until you obtain the right consistency.

4. Then,cover the bowl with a hot cloth and let the mixture rise for two hours.

5. After two hours, take some of the mixture and roll it out on a table covered with flour. Then, switch on the oven to 200 C. Meanwhile, pour some oil in a baking tin and put the pizza dough in it.

6. Now, put tomato sauce on the pizza, and sprinkle some salt on it. Put the prepared pizza in the oven (if possible, use a wood oven).

7. Wait 15 minutes, and add the other ingredients. After another five to ten minutes, it's ready!

8. Finally, we wish you "Buon Appetito!"

Hope you enjoy our very different (but equally important for Italians) recipes! Tell us your best "recipes" as well! Give us a taste of your culture! We're tagging all blogs for this meme.

-the fleas