Last Day of Class

Was today, at least for me.

Italian learning is a very strange and alien thing.

My Sustainable Energy I class lasted from mid-September to today. With no homework. Or tests. Or quizzes. Or anything whatsoever that I could be graded on.

My grade in this class is based wholly and entirely on my performance on the final exam. Which is oral. I will be asked two comprehensive questions, which I will need to answer as fully as I can.

There’s a reason why all the English-speaking Italians I deal with refer to classes as exams. I’m pretty sure that’s it.

On the upside, even if I had more than one class this semester, I would have little reason to completely psych myself out. Rather than cramming all those finals into one sleepless week, Italians give you options. I have four different test dates to choose from, from December 21 to February 21. Really, and the next semester doesn’t start until right after that last one. Assuming all classes are like that, you could basically give yourself a full week to study for each final individually, if the scheduling worked out.

In other news, my father, step-mother, and sister will be here in a bit over a week to spend two weeks with my spoiled self and Italy. We’ll be traveling to and through several cities from here to Rome. So lots more pictures. And a hotel with the same name as my own surname. More then.

And because I don’t like the prospect of more posts with nothing but words, here’s what I was listening to here as I published this:

I know all the people who read this are either older members of my own family or people who type awkward things into Google. This is to you, ‘angry “leave a comment”’-guy. It’s not head-bangy if any members of my family want to rethink that last scroll.

Final Thoughts: Does a class called Sustainable Energy I in a Master’s program called Energy and the Environment sound a little tree-hugger to you? It is. I chose this class because it covered fuel cells, which I’ve been tangentially dealing with for the last three summers of research-like work, and I kind of thought I would continue this pattern over here. All this experience with fuel cell stuff has pushed the feeling that it won’t be really market-worthy for a while, at least not for the power-generation applications people keep pushing it for.

In a pleasant turn of events, I’ve actually been working on cogeneration and distributed generation, which can be downright profitable. And my class covered it too. Yay.

Dancing in the Street

This weekend, in the same older section of town where the street fair was, there was a fashion show, or dance-off, or something.

Fashion show?


I may never know, but there was definitely a red carpet.

Also, in the top-left, the outside of one of Savona’s more archetypical big-ass churches. So that’s done, at least until the next time I am out that way and think about it. This church is basically in an alley. In fact, that’s the case with a few big-ass churches in town. My best guess is that there was plenty of space from which to gaze upon its magnificence when they built it four-hundred years ago, but somewhere along the line, other people decided adjacent land was just too valuable.

Also there, at least briefly, was this piece of history:

A Jaguar XK140, manufactured some time between 1954 and 1957. Yeah, Wikipedia's awesome; why do you ask?

And while on the topic of autos, proof Ford hates America:

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