Tomorrow is my flight back the US, where I’ll be spending the holiday season with family and friends. Then, in early January, I head back to Italy to continue teaching. Since I arrived in September, it has been a rush of emotions, introductions and lessons learned by both the students and myself. I am fortunate to have established a solid group of amazing friends (#creamcrew) and discovered that teaching English abroad is what I want to do for the (near) future. The face of the students (both elementary and high school) when they get something right in English is what keeps me going, as well as the fact that even though sometimes they can be massive pain-in-the-butts, at the end they’re sweet and for the most part, they do care despite their flippant attitudes. I’ve already promised to bring back postcards and pictures of New York at Christmastime because that’s all they’ve asked about this past month.
As far as what I’ve done in December (other than go to school), the list is short but intense. I started the month being an animatrice for a day at a 10-year-old’s birthday. He was a student from my summer camp here in Crema and really wanted me to organize and run his birthday party…in English…with all his boy friends who didn’t want to speak English… It was an experience that ended with me playing “balloon keep it up” with his friends while the birthday boy wrestled with his cousin in a corner. The one phrase this boy repeated more than necessary was “sono il festeggiato” which translates into “it’s my party!” Needless to say he was spoiled beyond belief – I thought I was bad on my birthdays, but this kid wanted it (and got it) all. I, instead, got my pay and got out of there fast.
I was able to go back to Bologna for a weekend as well, which was great. While Crema does a decent job with its Christmas decorations, Bologna lights up the entire Torre Asinelli – that’s pretty hard to beat. The rush of people walking up and down Via Indipendenza was such a welcomed chaos from the quiet and controlled weekend strolls in Crema. Crema has one main street, composed of Via XX Settembre and Via Mazzini; in the middle is a 4-way intersection called Le 4 Vie (the 4 streets) and the Piazza Duomo. To get pretty much anywhere in city, I pass by one of these streets. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, after the massive lunches Italians usually have on the weekends, they pour out of every doorway and walk up and down this strada principale countless times, examining and then re-examining the store windows that had the same layout the last week. It gets to be a little repetitive.
While I would love to update you all during my winter break on how my exam-grading is going, if I’m going to be honest, these next two weeks are going to fly by, so I make no promises.
Happy Holidays and a very happy New Year//Buon Natale, Buone Feste e Felice Anno Nuovo!