I had a dreadful night last night.
Pain in my ‘lower torso’ lead to a recurring dream in which I was searching for a toilet in my daughter’s new university but was unable to find one.
Or if I could, it was in use, or it was wet and dirty, or there was no paper. A bit like real life, really…
To make matters worse, between bathroom visits (dreamed and real), my brain was nagging at me that I’d made some terrible error with our online shop.
It was something to do with ebooks. Details of whatever catastrophe I’d engineered are fuzzy now, in the light of day, but something technical was causing a flood of orders which I was unable to fulfill.
I can think of things I’d rather be dreaming about.
Stress, stress, stress!
So it came as a relief when the alarm clock finally sounded.
My wife, sensing that I’d not slept well, said she’d leave me to sleep another half an hour or so.
Oh goodness no!
I hadn’t exaggerated overmuch with alcohol or spicy foods over the weekend, so Stefi’s diagnosis was that I must be suffering from the ‘sindrome da rientro’ (re-entry syndrome).
This is a topic which is ubiquitous in the health-supplements of newspapers and magazines at this time of year.
We Italians spend most of August relaxing at the beach or wherever. But then…
The first Monday of September arrives, just like every year, and it’s back to work.
Italian daily newspaper, Corriere della sera (the evening courier?), has this to say on the subject:
«Sindrome da rientro», le regole per tornare in città senza farsi consumare dallo stress
Al ritorno dalle vacanze 3 lavoratori su 10 si sentono male appena mettono piede in ufficio. Colpa di quella che gli anglosassoni chiamano post vacation blues e noi abbiamo ribattezzato sindrome da rientro.
Just three out of ten? Wow!
The author goes on:
La «sindrome da rientro» non è altro che un disturbo dell’adattamento che può presentarsi con diversi sintomi nella fase di passaggio tra un periodo di allentamento delle tensioni e la ripresa delle abitudini ordinarie.
‘Allentamento’ was a new word for me – Wordreference.com has it as ‘loosening’ or ‘slackening’.
I knew ‘rallentamento‘, of course, as it’s something that Italian drivers rarely do, and thus sticks in the mind.
‘The re-entry syndrome is an adaption disturbance which can show up through varying symptoms during the phase between a period of slackening of tensions and getting back to ordinary habits’.
Personally I don’t rate the Corriere website (too many intrusive ads that make my screen jump about in an irritating way) but I was keen to see if the article had anything to say about my sleepness night.
So I suffered the ads and clicked throught the sixteen ‘slides’ comprising the article.
They weren’t much help, really. The only thing even vaguely related to my symptoms was this rather obvious piece of advice near the end:
15 di 16 – Non portare il cellulare in bagno
I colleghi e gli amici possono aspettare, sarà così urgente rispondere a una mail ? o a un messaggio whatspp? Per riprendere con gradualità bisogna difendere i propri spazi e la privacy in bagno è sacrosanta. Meglio iniziare la giornata serenamente senza farsi prendere dall’ansia di dover rispondere a tutti
“Privacy in the bathroom is sacrosanct.”
“Better to start the day serenely without getting anxious about having to answer everyone’s messages.”
Talking of newspapers, and while I almost never read Italian ones, out of despair for the way the country utterly fails to EVER get it’s shit together, I do currently have three-month trial subscriptions for a Swedish daily and a famous French ‘quotidiano’.
Getting a free subscription is one thing, though. Actually reading each day, in a way that will make a difference to your learning, is quite another.
During my summer ‘periodo di allentamento’ I’ve been working on building good reading habits, which is another thing that’ll probably be blown out of the water by the demands of the ‘rientro’.
The idea is that, if I can manage to keep reading in Swedish and French, even just a few articles a day in each language, I’ll really see results in the medium-term!
But not everyone is as obsessed with news as I am.
Or, for that matter, feels comfortable tackling ‘authentic’ texts in the language they’re studying.
(The secret is to pick out articles you already know something about – Trump’s latest nonsense, say. And also, not to expect to understand everything as you do when reading in your own language.)
Which brings me on to the business of the day – the new ‘Book of the Week’ offer!
These ebook ‘easy readers’ are supposed to be an ‘in-between’ stage, helping you transition from ‘zero to hero’!
They’ll support you in developing a reading habit, step by predictable step, as you go from really easy materials, to slightly less-easy ones, to intermediate texts, and so on
Gradually you’ll build your confidence and experience, until one day you’ll be ready to cast aside such childish stuff and amaze your colleagues and family by reading ‘real’ Italian!
That’s the theory, anyway.
Much depends on you, of course.
But if you don’t try, how will you know if it would have worked miracles for you? As with me and my newspapers?
Today’s ‘Book of the Week’ is an intermediate/upper-intermediate level.
As always, ‘Galileo, Pisa e la luna‘, is just £3.99 from now until Sunday night, instead of the usual easy-reader price of £7.99.
Galileo, of course, is the new European version of G.P.S., a satellite navigation system that will show empty sea where the United Kingdom used to be.
Just kidding – Galileo Galilei was a scientist from Pisa who was interested in astronomy, telescopes and the like. And it’s him that our story is about:
Pisa, 1690. Academic and university teacher, Galileo, is re-thinking Aristotle’s idea that the heavier an object is, the faster it will fall to earth. With the help of his reluctant assistant, Valerio, and the city’s famous leaning tower!
It’s better than it sounds. We all really liked this one when we published it a couple of years ago!
So do take a look (while it’s half price!)
Start by downloading the FREE SAMPLE CHAPTER (.pdf), which will show you the length and complexity of the text and give you an idea if it’s for you.
There’s also a link to the online audio, for the whole story not just the sample chapter! If you have a good level in Italian, go ahead and listen to all eight chapters. On us!
That said, it’s a lot easier if you have the transcript/text. And for just £3.99, why not?
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online at soundcloud.com)
- 8 chapters to read and listen to
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at intermediate level or above
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
- Please note: your e-book will be emailed to you within 24 hours of your purchase
Here are those links again:
Oh, and by the way – you’ll find other ebooks like this one, based on the lives of other famous people, here.
Or if historical figures don’t interest you (though our materials ARE very good…) pick something that does from the Catalog.
Bene, gotta go ‘re-enter’, stomach pains or no.