Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I ricevementi di oggi

Otherwise known as parent-teacher meetings, these are more like speed dating than what we were used to in America.  You line up outside the door of a classroom where several professors or professoressa(s) are sitting at individual desks.  They are like the bachelors or bachelorettes from that reality show waiting for all of the contestants to arrive who want to date them. Then it is time to play a quick round of "chi e' l'ultima"  or "who's next" where the parents interview one another to find out the order in which they have signed up to enter the room, and then when it's your turn you have five minutes or so to find out how your kid is doing this term and/or whether or not you want to date the teacher.  Just kidding, sort of.

We are doing a second set of these bad boys for the year, but this time we brought letters written in Italian by our genius tutors Gabrielle and Lucia who speak four languages apiece and attend the most prestigious high school in the area.  The letter was to let the professors know that T now has tutors and asks if the professors have any specific areas in which they hope to see  improvement before the end of the term. I thank my friend Ian for this idea of the letters, but he is a teacher himself so he comes up with smart ideas all the time. It's his job, people.

Last time around you will remember that the professors used adjectives such as  pretty, sweet, and delicate to describe T and did not really give us any hard core critiques, suggestions on things to improve, or even really what they expected to see from T before the year ends on June 11. Today we were due to meet with the music teacher and the teacher of geography, history, grammar, and anthology all rolled into one.

The music teacher is very passionate about her subject and she quickly dismissed our letter, taking issue with our reference to the fact that music "may not be T's strong suit " and saying that it is actually an advantage that unlike the other children she has not studied music for five years in elementary school because this makes T a nice lump of clay for her to sculpt. Or she might have said that T was a lump of clay, my italian is still not perfect. Anyway, she is sculptable and that is a positive. I only meant that she was held back by the fact that her mother is tone deaf and only mouths "Happy Birthday" and wouldn't know a high C from an orange drink. But this lady wasn't buying it. She would like T to relax each day by practicing on her recorder for at least five minutes. This is not relaxing for anyone, I assure you. Least of all T. But that's fine. We can do that. We may even ask this teacher out for a night cap.

The second meeting of the day was with bachelor number two or as I like to call him the Italian Italian teacher. He was in ritardo/ or really late which meant that he would be more nervous and curt than usual because of his ever growing fear that the hoard of parents outside would tear him limb from limb if he took too long with any individual meeting. And who can blame him for that really? But still, given that we were first in line, he was super nervous to get rid of us. He said that he finds T to be more tired and distracted that she was last term, but that on a social level she is fitting in well and that her grades are excellent. Confused anyone? So I took this to mean that T needs to get more sleep and give him more eye contact during class. T took it to mean that he was pissed that she couldn't find the Ural mountains on the map yesterday. At least he was happy with our letter and said that if he has specific notes for Tatia's tutors he will put them in the little blue libretto used for this purpose. That guy has a firm handshake. Ouch.

We have two more of these tomorrow.
Basta cosi.

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