Teaching: The Greatest Hits (So Far)

I’ve now been an English language assistant for just over two months now, which seems like a good time to stop, reflect, and mainly, to share some of my favourite memories. So here, with all the grace and smooth transitional ability of a Buzzfeed intern in his first day on the job, is my Top 5: Teaching Moments of TB1:

Continue reading “Teaching: The Greatest Hits (So Far)”


Life in the Cycle Lane

The raison d’etre behind our year abroad is, so we are informed, to teach us the sort of context and nuance in language that only living in a place can really give you. Let me give you an example:

I recently took up cycling in Padua, after over a decade without having sat on a bicycle. Luckily, riding a bicycle is a lot like a simile, so you never forget. Cycling also opened up a new source of vocab for me, words I’d never previously needed, such as freni (brakes), ruote (wheels) and oddio, sto per morire (oh lord, I’m going to die). Continue reading “Life in the Cycle Lane”

Why I Won’t Convert to Christianity

I am, I have to admit, a bit of an ecclesiophiliac, especially where Italy is concerned. Given a day to wander around any city, you’re much more likely to find me admiring the peace and quiet of a beautiful sanctuary, monastery or cathedral than any art gallery, museum or castle. In Italy especially, I find that churches have their own historical importance. The stories behind them, why they were built, to whom they were dedicated, the artists brought in to decorate them, are often as fascinating as the works themselves. In fact, on a recent trip to Puglia, my friend and travel companion was starting to seriously worry how he’d break the news to my mum that I was in all likelihood going to convert to Catholicism one day. I’m not though, and here’s why: Continue reading “Why I Won’t Convert to Christianity”

Padua’s Youth Hostel of Horrors

I am, at best, an irregular visitor to TripAdvisor. It’s known for being somewhat unreliable, its reviews always to be taken with a pinch of salt. Over the four years since I signed up, I’ve left three reviews, two of which were as favours to friends of mine (which is exactly why TripAdvisor is unreliable… I readily admit to being part of the problem). It’s even rarer for me to ever leave a negative review, on any site. Imagine how bad Padua’s youth hostel, Ostello della Gioventù Città, must be then, if five days there were enough to have me reaching for my computer in righteous fury Continue reading “Padua’s Youth Hostel of Horrors”