Thursday, May 05, 2011

Le reggole e I problemi
Today was a momentous day as it was the conclusion of my six month long task of getting ballerina style flats handcrafted for me my an Italian artisan who had worked with Gucci.  Except they are, of course, if you've been keeping up with this saga, my same old outlet store shoes. To be fair Alessandro il calzolaio did keep his promise and put lovely thick soles on so I don't feel every pebble of the cobblestone streets under my feet; he reinforced the elastics that I need to keep them on;  and he put in the fresh from the catalog breathable leather orthotics that are supposed to last a long time. All this without breaking "the rules of shoes" as he called it. I am no longer breaking these kind of rules because when I broke what a fussy French hairdresser on Gay Street in the village, you know who you are, called the rules of hair and had my hair lightened last year against his advice it turned out to be a huge and costly mistake which made me the target of some gossipy chatter in Park Slope. So far be it from me to defy the rules of shoes. And in the end, he charged me only 27 euro. So what did I do? I invited him and his wife to dinner. Of course I did! F had to laugh. I can't seem to end a conversation without inviting someone to dinner.  And after they have finished moving house in a month or so they would love to come. So stay tuned. . . Maybe I could break out the Bedazzler and add some rhinestones to these babies and even make them look fancy- like.

Use your arrow keys to move around the panorama.

Today was also the day in which we had to meet with the Spanish teacher. The plan was to refer to her kindly that when she said that T's desk-mate ought not to distract her by whispering to her in class because T has problems surely she meant to say something else. I was planning to do it calmly and with a smile because she is not teaching T next year and I don't want to mess with the 9 grade, if at all possible. However, I can also cause a big noisy fuss when necessary, and also sometimes when I think it is necessary, but then after thinking about it some more realize that maybe it was not really so necessary after all.

After she said she was quite shocked that T was averaging a 9 out of 10 in Spanish, which she acknowledged was quite a feat for someone who had just learned Italian this year, and told us that she has even stopped translating the questions into English for her, she asked us if T was very intelligent.  Um how do I answer? "Yes. Thanks. So anyway about the time you announced that my kid has problems." No, actually, I said that T thought she was doing well in the teacher's eyes but came home from school a bit confused last week when etc. etc. In fact, the teacher said that the girl who sits next to T is the problem as she is older and repeating the year and tends to talk in class. She looked a bit caught out there about the problems comment and said she um probably meant um problems with the language. Of course you did, dear. Smile, smile, smile.

T is a bit protective of her desk-mate and doesn't want her to have to repeat again, a fact which stunned the professoressa to no end. While teaching Spanish, the professoressa seems to play a game in her head with her students that most American little kids play called duck duck goose.  Duck duck goose is this game where everyone sits cross-legged in a circle and one chosen person goes around labeling everybody else a lame conformist duck and tapping them on the head, but the oddball creative artistic type who unfortunately is still being dressed by her mother gets called a goose has to run around and fight for a spot back in the circle;  except she plays it: good child, good child, good child, BAD CHILD! Ah well, I can't change the world in one totally awkward parent-teacher meeting.

Then she leaned forward conspiratorially to ask me why T's friends Greta and Julian's parents never come to these meetings since she speaks English and she has no idea what grade to give them since they dropped out of school at Christmas time to home school and then were forced to return to school several months later when the principal realized that it was against the law and now they cannot take the same tests as other children since they don't speak enough Italian. This has happened several times during parent-teacher conferences since the professors think that since we are all American, we must know what is going on with the other American family. I tried to explain that I didn't have the foggiest idea, since they're not actually my children, what she should do with them. And then we smiled some more and the lady whose turn it was next gave us an aggravated look since our conference took six times longer than anyone else's.

Footnote: T then got interrogated in class today and came home furious, wondering what we said at school earlier.

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