I get it. You want to learn, so you ask questions. Here’s the thing, buddy: the only thing you need to learn is how to stay in your own fucking lane. Every day it’s Piazza notifications. “Will we get a note sheet for the midterm?” “Will you move office hours for the three-day weekend?” Well maybe you need to start letting Piazza live up to its name: the Roman forum. Ask the real questions, like “Why doesn’t America have $1 and $2 coins like the EU does?” and “Why did all my roommates smoke American spirits while we were in Italy?”

Yeah, you heard that right. I studied abroad. I spent six weeks in Roma two years ago. I’m practically a local now. I know what a real piazza is, and it’s a hell of a lot more pleasant than a Reddit knockoff where Anonymous Squirrel asks about homework typos. A real piazza is, um, like a place where there aren’t cars or grass or buildings. Usually there’s some kind of coffee bar on its border. Maybe there’s a fountain in it? It’s hard to explain. We don’t have them in America. You had to be there. 

So quit stepping all over a beautiful thing with your incessant online whining. A real Roman local would know that the piazza is full of lively Italian chatter and drunk Americans puking their brains out. You wouldn’t know that, though, because you didn’t study abroad. When you ask your professors questions, they answer in ugly English. When I asked my Italian professors questions (when I studied abroad), they answered in gorgeous, slightly accented English. (Except for Greg. He was from Texas. But he rode a Vespa nonetheless!)

So maybe if you’re so concerned about “knowledge” you should go learn what it’s like to be a real Italian. I don’t care that your ancestors are from Orvieto; I studied abroad in Rome. Cultural knowledge is all about vibes, and you don’t have them. So get off of Piazza and go to office hours until you know what you’re talking about.

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