Saturday, April 09, 2011

Caught a cold. Took to my cot.
My (F's) student Roberto is an absolute dream to teach. He watched a movie in English for homework, The Last Samurai and recounted the story almost flawlessly. He listens to the radio all day in English, some station from Dallas that he can magically pick up in his car. He's been learning a bunch of vocabulary about pickup trucks and cattle, so I started talkin' all like my Texas cousins and writin' pretend country song lyrics on the blackboard 'bout the rodeo and chicken-fried steak (now that was a tough concept to explain to an Italian). And he tried to translate an article from the New York Times on the crisis at the nuclear power plant in Japan.

Mostly, I think I am doing pretty well as a teacher, but occasionally I get over-excited and get a bit ahead of myself. Yesterday, I got off on a tangent about pronunciation and spelling in English--which can be just plain weird. I was running through all the words like caught, bought, thought, taught, taut, and awful that have the "aw" sound. Then I got so pleased with myself that I said, "...and you know what's crazy? Caught and cot are pronounced exactly the same!" Which, to my Southern California ear, they are. But, as was pointed out to me by New Yorker K, they, in fact, technically aren't--cot is pronounced /kɑt/ while caught is /kɔt/.

However, after much lost sleep and a little investigation, it turns out that there is an ongoing caught-cot merger going on and NYC is one of the last holdouts...

K here, piggy backing on to F's blog post. I just want to say that T and I survived the train trip to Prato in the blazing heat and that I had completely over dramatized both the difficulties of crossing without lights and getting out at the right stop. I should have spent a little more time realizing that the slow train we hopped on at 5:03 got us in at the same time or later than the fast one that left at 5:30 and there was no air in our car, conditioned or otherwise and it was jungle hot.

Bioenergy-wise, motorcycle-fanatic dry cleaner guy got great tests back -- in less than a month since his last ultrasound, and after a year of no marked progress before bio energy treatments, he has healed considerably! Yay! The bad news was about the older Signorina who had the vulva cancer  (I call her Mamma Lia) and who we treated for post operative lymph node swelling. Her daughter called to say that the doctors believe the cancer is back in her chest and abdomen and so that is why her leg is all swollen again. She doesn't want me to say anything to her mom which is fine because it falls in the "nunnamy category." None o(f) my business. I remember what Zoran taught us about not feeling sorry for people who are sick because that is making a judgement and this bioenergy stuff is a Judgement Free Zone.

Gabriella rewrote F's resume for the web master job. Being brutally honest, she let us know that the boss is loud, critical and bad about paying up. Good to know. She likes him because he is a genius at what he does. She is like the post wizard scarecrow/tin man combo in the story of the Wizard of Oz in that it hurts her not to use her brain a lot and she loves intellectual challenges, reading, learning, and smart people. God only knows why she wants to hang with us.

1 comment:

Laurence said...

I've never heard anyone before who says "caught" and "cot" the same way.... Well, maybe some hillbilly country accents do that, but I'm thinking Texan? No... Deep South? No... Northeast? No... Midwest? No....

Maybe it's just you?