I make a work-related trip to Italy every other year. When I came home from the 2017 trip I vowed to learn Italian, so I signed up for the Brookline Adult Ed class and Maria was my teacher. After I completed all the courses offered there, I continued to study with Maria, joining one of her small groups of students. Our Monday nights are filled with fun and learning. Talking about what we did last week, our plans for the next, this disparate group has gotten to know each other and care about each other—in the here and now. And all while learning Italian. Though it may be hard to get myself out of the house in the cold and dark now that it’s winter, I am always glad to be met by Maria’s warmth and upbeat approach. And, during this 2019 trip to Italy, I could read all the advertisements and signs, make myself understood, and even eavesdrop a bit. Thank you, Maria!