I just opened my sister’s computer and was greeted with her latest diary entry, which was simply: “I thought about having my tubes tied today.”
We are here at her hotel debriefing after our first day of prison labor, which consisted of servicing a minefield of diabolical elves aged 5-6.
While Italian children look like dark-haired angels, shaming America’s obese youth yet again, the rest of our high expectations were not met. Here’s a glimpse into Sarah and my dialogue.
Perrin: What the f*ck?!
Sarah: We were surprise attacked by Jack and his hunters [from Lord of the Flies].
Perrin: I’m not surprised; I didn’t think the kids would understand us. We don’t speak Italian. I just felt bad when a girl had to pee her pants for me to comprehend that she needed the toilet.
Sarah: It turns out that it was the last day before summer, and the teacher had relinquished all hope for the children’s redemption. She sat in the corner laughing the whole time we were in there.
Perrin: The rest of the day was better. The next class was wild about our “Peel peel banana!” song and dance. Those kids really shake their hips, even the little boys had Shakira-esque rhythm going.
Sarah: ACLE does offer a brilliant teaching model. They’ve rocked the typical style of “repetition and strict memorization” found in most Italian classrooms. They replaced it with energetic songs and games that get the children involved. In just one week they have literally changed my tune regarding children: it used to be True Blood’s theme song, “I’m going to do bad things to you” but now it’s “HIP HOP! ENGLISH ROCKS!” I rather like it.
Perrin: Agreed. ACLE’s even changing my nighttime behavior. Without realizing it, I’ve begun deploying their body-language techniques to make Italian men understand that, when I hug my chest and make slurping motions, it means “I would loooove a beer!” I’m not learning Italian but sign language is universal.
Sarah: Sdfkjfajl [unintelligible].
Sarah is dropping out of the conversation now. She completely lost her voice while hollering at The Wild Things today. Grandpa always attributes her frequent voice loss to cheap whiskey, but this time it was due to Italian-mother style yelling.
Ready for the next episode? Next week we’ll be teaching 9am-6pm.