Monday, August 07, 2006


I am irrationally nervous and cannot fall asleep. By now it is nearly too late for me to go to bed, my first flight leaves at 7.05, and it is just past 2. I need an hour to drive to the airport, I need to be there at least an hour in advance. And every time I lie down a million disaster scenarios jump into my mind. I have an irrational fear that I am going to completely fuck this interview up. I have prepared for it and I am confident that I am what they are looking for. But I just keep thinking that I am going to get off the plane in Philadelphia this afternoon and suddenly completely forget English.

It is going to be a long day, though. I connect in Rome, then I have a 3 hour wait before my next flight, and then a 9 hour flight from Rome to Philadelphia (and then, from the vagaries of time zones, I manage to arrive in Philadelphia at 15.00, only 8 "hours" from when I left) I know that I am not going to sleep through any of it and that will make me even more hopelessly jetlagged than I am already going to be.

My interview (the first of them) is scheduled for mid-day Wednesday, so that should give me some time to adjust to the jet-lag.

But there is still the fear that I am going to forget English. :)

I really, really want to get this job. Sitting down to write this post is the most sitting I have done since I came home from work. I have gone out for a run to work off my nervous tension and have since been pacing the apartment, alternately trying to go to sleep and failing miserably at that. I am all packed and I can hope that my bag makes it to Philadelphia (I have an extra set of clothes in my carry-on just in case that DOES happen).

I know I need to calm down. It is just that this is so important to me and I could fuck it up so easily.

When I am there, I will probably have an internet connection in the hotel room but I am not sure I will be posting any blog entries. I will check my e-mail, but that is probably about it.

Wish me luck, everyone!


At 8:36 PM, Blogger Gumby said...

Buona fortuna, mio amico. Spero che il lavoro e' la cosa che vuoi.

I hope I said that correctly. Good luck!

At 9:08 PM, Blogger Jay said...

Stop it.
You have exactly what it takes for this job. If you didn't, they would not bring you in for this interview.
They know you are from Italy. They are not expecting you not to have an accent. Your written English is perfect. I know that you say your spoken English is not as good. Just relax. Speak slowly.
Confidence, Sandro. Have confidence in yourself.
No more negative thoughts.
Do it.
Go in there, and get your job!

At 9:42 PM, Blogger alessandro said...

Jay, it is not so much my accent that I am concerned about so much as being so nervous I forget English altogether and can only speak italian. that would be a true nightmare!

and gumby, yes, that is correct. good job. :)

At 9:48 PM, Blogger dan said...

hey A.,

I'm an esl teacher and I can tell by your writing your English is pretty damn excellent I rarely notice anything that would give a hint you don't speak perfect English. Dude, they know you're Italian and just traveled, I bet you are a shoe-in.. Enjoy the trip and good luck!!! later bud.

At 10:00 PM, Blogger alessandro said...

when I write, I can think about the grammar and syntax and go back and revise it. When I am speaking I cannot go back and change it if the sentence starts out wrong. Many times when I am speaking I will trip over my words and make a mangled sentence because I cannot think in English, I have think in Italian and translate to English, and that is difficult to do both quickly and accurately. My spoken English is fair, but far from excellent.

At 10:50 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Like Jay said - breathe..

It will be okay - don't worry about that stuff - just get there, be yourself, be confindent, and it all will fall into place.

At 12:41 AM, Blogger RIC said...

Sorry, Alessandro, but your writing in English bears no marks of thinking in Italian first. Even if you say you go back and correct, that has nothing to do with the way of processing thoughts in a foreign language. The minute you start your mother language just draws back and makes place for the foreign. You may be nervous, I understand that, but in that case you'd make similar mistakes in Italian.
Believe me, I know what I'm Ā«talkingĀ» about...

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Minge said...

Good luck!

At 4:01 PM, Blogger dan said...

in that case..... I give you two weeks in the state and you'd iron it out thinking/speaking immidiately. again best of luck with the trip and visit!

At 5:52 PM, Anonymous graham said...

Best of Luck, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you :-)

At 3:44 AM, Blogger Gray said...

The same thing happens when I try speaking in Spanish. My mind locks; I have to think in English then translate to Spanish. I've noticed when that happens that my listener might smile (because he/she knows where I messed up); BUT, they get the drift of what I'm saying and because they know that I am trying and that I am serious, they give me the benefit of the doubt. Meaning?

It means what the other guys have said. Relax. Act confident. Speak confidently. Even, if you feel you must, blush a little and remind them that you you write English well but it doesn't mean that you've perfected speaking it yet.

All will work out! Have faith and believe in yourself and your own abilities!!

Good luck.


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