I am Melissa, the “crazy linguist” – la studentessa matta! I have made learning Italian a lifestyle choice. I am an Art Historian and a Graphic designer, who studied in Florence Italy in college. Sixteen years after my Florentine adventure concluded, it seemed the impact of living in Italy was still weaving its magic over me. I ached with “nostalgia” or homesickness for Italy. In Italian they would say “mi mancava l’Italia” or Italy was lacking to me. In order to fill the void, this “lack of Italy” I began to resume my Italian studies back in the States. My decision to become fluent filled me with energy and gave me purpose; instead of wistfully recalling past travel experiences, it gave me something actionable to focus my energy on. That was in 1998. Since then I have used every means available to me to become fluent. I have attended evening classes, participated in on-line chat groups and local Meet Ups, worked with private tutors and language coaches and I have even hosted an Italian girl in my home for a year. Over the past sixteen years I have discovered many wonderful tools to learn the Italian language. As the internet has grown, so have the resources for leaning Italian. Every day new videos, blogs and interactive websites are invented and I am constantly scouring libraries, books stores and the internet for the most helpful ones.
I began the “Matta” blog and the “Tutti Matti Per l’Italiano” podcast, as a way of capturing all this great learning information, as well as use them as platforms to improve my verbal and writing skills. I chose the name “matta” or “crazy student” for a blog title, because I wanted to convey the idea that anything is possible if you go a little crazy and let go of inhibitions. In so doing, you are freer to take risks and achieve things you never thought possible. Life is an adventure and nothing can stop you, as long as the desire to fly is stronger than the fear of falling.
Learn more about why I write the Studentessa Matta Blog:
“Let’s talk of shoes, of ships & sealing wax, of cabbages & kings“ (English version)
“Parliamo di scarpe, di navi e di ceralacca, di cavoli e di re (Italian version).
about.me (On-line Biography)
LinkedIn (Professional Resume)
Follow me on Twitter @italiamelissa
Follow me onthe Studentessa Matta Facebook Page
Follow me on Pinterest
Listen to an Interview about my interest in Italian Language & Culture with Cher Hale: How Melissa Muldoon went matta for Italian & what she built from her craziness (Right-click and choose “Save as…” to download to your device.)
TRAVEL WITH MELISSA IN ITALY! I plan and co-lead Language & Cultural Immersion Programs for those who want to dive beneath the surface and use their Italian language in a meaningful and fun way. View current trips on the Trip Page.
LANGUAGE LEARNING TIPS Under the Learning Tab in the menu you will find suggested ways to learn Italian.
MATTA DESIGNS AVAILABLE ON ZAZZLE: Livable Art for your Love of Italy! Take a look into my Zazzle Site, in which I sell my uniquely designed Italian themed products. Featuring iphone cases, ipad covers, t-shirts, handbags, aprons and mugs, posters, and buttons. If you have something you would like designed send me an email. Matta Designs is also on Facebook
HONORS & AWARDS:
Italy Magazine 2013 Blogger Awards – Studentessa Matta Blog was shortlisted in the Category of “Best Art & Culture Blog”. Out of 6 finalists “Studentessa Matta Blog” was voted 3rd by Italy Magazine’s staff & readers in the worldwide competition.
Voice of Italy @I_am_Italy twitter feed (the rotation curation Twitter project for Italy). I was selected to be the voice of Italy for the week of February 9-16 2014 – Week 58: Mattia project coordinator writes: “Melissa, I have to say it was a really interesting week! I liked the variety of your comments! The week has come to an end, but this does not mean the end of the collaboration, you can continue interacting with the page, the project and spreading the word! We’ll continue following you @italiamelissa, for sure! Do the same, folks!
bab.la | Lexiophiles.com Top Language Learning Blogs in World: The Studentessa Matta Blog has been selected 4 years in a row in the worldwide language bloggers competition held by bab.la & Lexiophiles.
2010 – Top 100 Language Blogs
2011 Top 100 Language Blogs
2012 #22 out of 100 Top Blogs
2013 #6 Twitter Feed & #8 Language Blog
2014 Twitter Feed Nominated
Susan Van Allen: Golden Days in Italy Blog & author of “100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go” I’m so grateful to have met so many fellow Italofiles through the Blogosphere. One of the most fascinating is Melissa Muldoon. Many know her as La Studentessa Matta=The Crazy Student, who writes a wonderful blog, in Italian, featuring her funny and passionate reportings about Italian current events and culture, including such goodies as a colorful recent post about La Festa della Bruna in Matera. It was great to finally meet Melissa in person last month when we joined in with Le Donne d’Italia in San Francisco for a Passport to Italy event at the Museo Italo Americano. She’s as charming in person as she appears in her blog and on her Facebook page
Dianne Hales: Author of “La Bella Lingua” & “Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered”: Brava, Melissa, una gemella anima (a kindred spirit)!
Madeline Clarke Jhawar at Italy Beyond the Obvious writes (view comment on Linkedin): Melissa truly has a passion for Italy and the Italian language, and as a fellow blogger and Italophile, I have recommended her blog to many of my clients as a great place for them to practice Italian before departure as well as discover new ways to learn the language, keep on top of news and cultural events in the country and even read about art history. As someone who plans trips to Italy, I can also vouch for the tours she leads: well planned, well balanced, and well priced!
Emanuele Venditti, Italian teacher at USC in Australia: Mi chiamo Emanuele ed insegno italiano in Australia, alla University of the Sunshine Coast, nel bellissimo stato del Queensland! Ti scrivo perché ho scoperto il tuo podcast e l’ho trovato FANTASTICO! Tu sei bravissima (sia nel parlare l’italiano che nel presentare gli argomenti). Allora mi chiedevo se potevo condividerlo con i miei studenti, qui all’università. Secondo me lo apprezzerebbero molto ed imparerebbero molto. Non solo sei brava a spiegare le cose, dal tuo punto di vista (English speaker), ma trasmetti una passione per la lingua italiana che sarebbe bello vedere in tutti gli studenti!!
Jann Huizenga: Baroque Sicily – Writer & photographer (view comment on Linkedin): Melissa is a great virtual friend; we are fellow bloggers about life in Italy. But Melissa does something very special when she blogs: she does it in her second language–Italian! That takes skill (and guts). She is the most enthusiastic learner of Italian I’ve ever met, and she conveys that enthusiasm to her readers.
Sharon Sanders, Feature Editor/Writer (view comment on Linkedin): Melissa’s passion for, and expertise, in the language and culture of Italy are irresistible. She has thoroughly embraced what I like to call her “Inner Italian.” She shares the wonders of bel’Italian with all who are fortunate to read her blog or share her immersion tours. Brava, Melissa!
Katherine Bennett, Trip Participant – Puglia 2012 writes: Melissa Muldoon I can not Thank You enough for the wonderful experience I had in Puglia Italy last August. What a great experience. I was totally taken care of. The Masseria Provenzani where we stayed was beautiful, peaceful & comfortable. All the activities, including the cooking classes with Mama Julia to the meals prepared for us, were so much fun. Every where we went was a new adventure and we were all treated like family. Everything was well organized. If you get an opportunity to experience the Salente Slow life with Melissa and Yle I highly recommend kicking up your heels and going for it!. – Katherine Bennett
LANGUAGES, WEB.2.0 APPLICATIONS : Diario di una studentessa matta è uno splendido blog creato da un’appassionata della lingua italiana e, come tale, sprizza entusiasmo ed energia in ogni articolo. Molto carina anche la sezione “tip”, i suoi suggerimenti da studente a studente…quelli più utili indubbiamente. Insomma leggere questo blog è un vero piacere: da docente di italiano a stranieri ho sempre sognato una studentessa così!
Lucca Italian Language School, Lucca Italy : Mi chiamo Daniela Bonaccorsi e gestisco insieme a due colleghi una piccola scuola di italiano per stranieri a Lucca, in Toscana. Navigando su internet, mi sono imbattuta nel tuo blog “Diario di una studentessa matta” (complimenti per il titolo, è molto avvincente!) e l’ho trovato molto carino e interessante, sia per i contenuti che per lo stile. Infatti ora sono una tua “follower”.
Barbara Azzini : Mi chiamo Barbara Azzini e sono assistente del Direttore Generale della Divisione Dolciari Nestlè Perugina. Le scrivo in quanto siamo rimasti piacevolmente colpiti dalla Sua citazione in merito ai nostri Baci Perugina e alla passione per l’Italia.
Linda Binkley Educator : I have been successfully teaching English to foreigners since 1969 using peer correction at both the intermediate and advanced levels. It has been my experience that reading and looking for errors engages students’ minds more than passive reading and therefore contributes to the learning process.