La Mia Famiglia Italiana

First off, I will be living in Torino, Italy. This is Italy’s third largest city and home to around 1 million people. It is also home to one of Italy’s largest car dealerships, Fiat.

I have two host parents, a father and mother. My mother’s name is Caterina, and My father’s name is Raimondo. I have a little host brother named Federico, and he is 12. They also have a cat named Tosca.

My mother, Caterina is an interior Designer, and my host father, Raimondo, is a business manager.

Federico seems to be an active boy. He plays soccer, and basketball (he loves basketball) and is a boy scout.

All three love to run, and ski. Raimondo likes volleyball, and they all like the beach.

Caterina is from the Tuscany region of Italy and Raimondo is from Torino (I believe). They have a country house in the Tuscany Region.

This is a new experience for me. My whole life I always wished for a normal family atmosphere, and I may actually be getting one. I also have a little brother to boot. I’m very excited to be going to Italy, and I can honestly say I have lived in another person’s shoes.

Oh also, I will be going to a school in Italy. I have it’s name, but I can’t really figure out exactly what it is called. It does have a language curriculum, which I am excited for. I hope I will get to continue on in my Spanish studies while I am over there.

For now, Buonanotte

Michael Riley

P.S. Here is a wonderful view of Torino, Italia.

Torino 2


Not the end, Just the Beginning.

Prom is usually the end of a teenage story, it is the final completing moment of high school, the last bash before college, but for me, it is the beginning of something new and different. I looked at the end of my prom with hope, and I believe my eyes shined with sparkles at the new fate that closes in fast. As I walked toward the door the familiar chant of “Seniors 09” rang in my head.

8 days left of the “Best years of your life”, whoever said that was most likely homeschooled. I am not one to complain, of course my years in high school could have been better, but they weren’t the worst I’m sure.

I write this with a little over 3 months left til I leave for Italy, honestly I can’t wait.



Lingua Italiana

Yes, the importance of language. The spoken and written thoughts that connect us to each other, become the sheer intimacy that we share.

Some exchange students go to a country that has the same language they do. But I ask the question, “Why fly half way across the world and not hear a different language?”. Then some travel to another country knowing a good amount of the language, which is good. They will enjoy their exchange, much more richly. Then you have kids that have absolutely no clue what the language is, to you, I feel very very bad. This is because the majority of this trip is going to be you learning the language not the culture…

You may say. MICHAEL! You don’t know the language. True, but I will be taking lessons to learn it. And knowing pretty much all of grammatical structure of Spanish, I can apply that to Italian.  They are both romance languages.  I am sure it can’t be that much different.

Oh, and I’ve got 5 months before I leave. I’m just itching to go. Not because I know it will be perfect, because if my life continues it’s route, it most likely won’t be. I do hope it will be the best I can make of it.


      In life, there are few things that will determine the course of your fate, and will ultimately determine your end. As I sit and type, I realize that I am at a crossroads of my life. Something that happens in everyone’s life, just usually not this early.

      My grandmother passed away two months ago as I write this. Now, most people would not consider this a large deal. But it is for me. I do not tell people about my past too often, and when I do I usually need to trust them, but I figure sooner or later people will find out. I would rather it be me that told them.

     I was born on August 15, 1992 without the love of a father. I lived with my mother and my grandmother my whole life. My mother, being a flight attendant was gone quite a bit, especially for a small child, so my grandmother became my father quite fast. She not only became my father, but my mother as well. Most people do not understand this, and no matter how hard I try to make others understand, they must wish not to understand.

    My grandmother was my parent, she had full authority over me. She took me to baseball/basketball games, karate matches, and loads of events. 

    After I have explained that, losing a parent is hard for anyone, especially at an early age. My grandmother always made sure I was respectful of other’s and their culture. She always wanted me to travel as she did with my grandfather. I always wanted to be a foreign exchange student, but I, being chronically ill as a child, could never become one. After I had gotten over my sickness my grandmother became ill and never quite recovered. Slowly the  process reversed until I took care of her, more than she took care of me.

    Now I look to a crossroads, I am graduating early from high school, hopefully with a 3.75 average, and nothing afterwards, I decided to do what my grandmother wanted me to do. I will not go to many cultures, but just one. I will visit the land of my ancestors, to learn their heritage and culture. To learn about another’s way of life and compare it to my own. To start a new life there, with new people and new places.

    May God be with me.