Sunday, February 21, 2016

LAC: Markus Raetz

Last week, we went to the Markus Raetz exhibition at the Lugano Arte e Cultura Museum (LAC)


It was a nice exhibition, by an artist called Markus Raetz. A lot of his works were characterized by shifting perspective, like this video that I took:



I kind of like the idea of NO turning into YES...in any case, it was a cool little excursion and, even though we didn't get to speak a lot of Italian, I would say it was worth it. 



Friday, February 12, 2016

Un giro

This Thursday, I went on a city tour with my Italian class to some of the more picturesque places in Lugano. It was nice to be out of the classroom, even though part of me just wants to be fluent yesterday...


Here is the city building of Lugano, with the nice seal of the city itself. Apparently there were a lot of revolutions and whatnot fought right in front of its steps. 


This is the lake and one of the beautiful mountains that surrounds the city. 


This is the Franciscan church on the left, with a beautiful fresco (that I unfortunately couldn't get a good picture of)


and look! snow! It's nice being able to view it from afar...

All in all, I would say that I'm growing accustomed to living here. It's officially been about two weeks and, although I don't have a lot of the bureaucratic things 100% lined up yet, I'm slowly finding my feet. The next few cool things going on include: lots and lots of reading for a project where I'm doing the discourse analysis (in Spanish!), going over the syllabus for the bachelor's level class that I'm going to be TA'ing, and figuring out a rough timeline for my dissertation. Fun times, but a lot to do!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

First blog post in a new chapter!

Hello!

I know it's been a while, for those of you who were following my old blog http://gspian.blogspot.ch/ (disregard the somewhat negative final post) As you can probably tell, I've been quite busy applying for jobs and ultimately deciding on a PhD/research assistant position in the Institute for Public Communications at Universit√° della Svizzera italiana in Lugano, Switzerland. In the last few months I've been trying to get everything ready which has meant a mountain of things to do, including but not limited to:

Travelling to the US and back to Berlin, then down to Zurich, then Lugano, then back to Zurich, then back to Berlin, and then finally back to Lugano

Applying for my residence permit and finding out that it will take two (!) months for them to get in contact with me, so that I can go to another city and get interviewed and fingerprinted.

Registering with the city

Getting (very expensive) health insurance and then travelling back to Zurich again to get a health issue checked out

Going to the one bank that apparently accepts US citizens and hearing from the only teller who spoke a language that I do (German, funnily enough) that, because of my nationality, I have to fill out more forms that need to be mailed from another city, and the whole process will last another week

And of course, the general things that come with moving to a new city, like going to Ikea and buying pillowcases and sheets, figuring out where to do my laundry, going grocery shopping, etc.

The whole process is nothing new to me, I suppose. It's going about as smoothly as Germany went the second time. Bit harder than Argentina and India, though. Oh, well. These are all the kind of problems that I like to have. I know that, in this, I'm very lucky.