I studied Italian with Davide while a Sophomore and Junior in high school (Brophy Prep). I like languages, having studied Spanish in grade school and French all four years of high school. Studying with Davide is the ideal method of learning the language. Although I met with him for only two hours a week, instead of five hours a week for high school French, and although I studied with him for only little more than a year, instead of four years of French, my Italian is better than my French (my SAT score in Italian Junior year was 740).
I went to Italy by myself for a month the summer between my Junior and Senior years to study Italian further at a school in Verona, and was able to communicate with no difficulty, often being mistaken for an Italian. Davide was an excellent teacher, and the sessions with him were a lot of fun. And the one-on-one experience was a nice contrast to the class room teaching of high school.
People who are bi- or multi-lingual have always been a source of fascination to me, of admiration, and yes, of envy. Some years ago I vowed to learn another language before I leave this earth, or at least to give it my best effort. One of the greatest payoffs for learning languages is that people who know two or more ways of saying everything have a much higher chance of avoiding Alzheimers than those who don’t.
I chose Italian because of its beautiful musical sound and because I was eager to know what the singers were saying, but I had never taken a language course of any kind until I found myself, somewhat bewilderedly, in Davide’s advanced Italian class. All of my fellow students had either heard the language in their childhood homes, or taken college courses, or started with the basics under Davide’s tutelage. Some had even majored in Italian.
In short, my classmates were much further advanced than I, who had no background in the language at all, aside from meager attempts at self-teaching. Certainly I felt inadequate, but any negative emotion was of my own making, because I was never scolded for my many mistakes or belittled in any way. Davide has patience to spare, and I would wholeheartedly endorse his classes and teaching skill, with one caveat. Studying Italian can become addictive, and although we know that there are far worse addictions, be prepared to put aside that latest novel, Netflix, Twitter and Facebook. Your “spare” time will become study time, and you will love it.
A classmate remarked to me, “You have to have a passion for it.” Passion for the language was never in short supply for me, and it’s something you will soon share when you become one of Davide’s studenti.