Nick Porcelli '15
When I reflect on the relationship between my experience at F&M and my time spent minoring in Italian I cannot help but conclude that the latter not only improved my overall development as a student, but also my ability to take on new challenges in my professional career. Learning a new language was neither something I intended on doing in college, nor something I was very interested in after choosing to attend F&M. However, Professor Scott Lerner along with the rest of the great instructors in the Italian Department challenged me from day one. I could tell immediately that the staff truly cared about what they were teaching and their students. It was their passion that got me hooked and their persistence that allowed me to create some of the best memories from my entire career at F&M.
The further I get into my young professional life the more I appreciate what learning Italian at F&M taught me. Beyond the words, grammar, pronunciation, and communication skills that I learned in the Italian courses I took, I learned what it takes to master something completely foreign. I refined my study habits, developed an understanding of the importance of repetition, and learned to feel comfortable in the struggle of learning something entirely new.
While I eagerly await the day that I can reengage my Italian speaking skills, the lessons that learning a new language taught me have helped me everyday thus far. Similar to Italian, aviation was foreign to me a year ago. Over the course of the past year I have become a highly skilled military pilot. Using the same learning techniques that I practiced in the Italian Department at F&M I have been able to go from knowing next-to-nothing about flying, to becoming a professional military aviator. I am grateful for my time spent learning Italian at F&M because it set a foundation upon which I have been able to achieve things I never imagined I could.