Sunday, January 18, 2015

If Jennifer Lawrence and Richard Pryor had a love child . . .
it would be me this week.

I really have done a couple of fiercely wacky things lately. First of all, in order to get my 20 something students to speak in English more I spent over an hour surfing the web and stealing all of the Table Topics questions I could and made them interview each other. One thought provoking question was, "What is the best thing you ever saw looking out of a car window?" This turned into a conversation about animals on the road.

 It turns out that the two brothers Tommaso and Jacopo had been on a road trip when a fox jumped out of the hills and in front of their car. They thought they had hit a cat. They went back to tell the owners what tragedy had befallen their pet. They are such good Italian boys. Really, the best. Anyway, it turned out that it was a fox and that it was still barely alive. They knew they had to put it out of its misery by running over it again. Before they decided to do that mercy pass, Jacopo, who was driving and therefore felt the most guilty, thought about calling an animal protection hotline to see if they could get the fox emergency care. This is where I went all JL on everyone and started pointing and yelling. I said, "Hey, wait a minute. We're in Italy. Are you talking about one of those famous verde number hotlines? Those never work! You can't fool me. How would you ever have been able to even find out what the number was? You couldn't -- that's how! I mean I can never find one of those. . . If I am lying on the street, bleeding to death, I'd be lucky to get an ambulance to arrive. . . And even . .. even if you did know the number, no human being would ever ever answer you, let alone send out an individual to what -- give mouth to mouth to the fox??? ARE YOU CRAZY??"

Sadly, Jacopo understood that I was a vegetarian who wanted him punished for a foxy hit and run.

So that happened.

Then last night I made T come with us to our quarterly pizza and movie night with Elena and Angelo. T babysits for their daughter Alice so I felt like she should come and not disappoint Alice. Alice had others plans for the evening and she wasn't there, which really really made me look bad. Anyway, there was a lot of email discussion about the choice of film because Elena's dad is a movie pirate of the Internet, but sadly I don't share his taste in films. Anyway I sent F to their house in preparation to figure out once and for all how to hook up a lap top to their TV so that we could bring the film and not be dependant on her Dad's downloading operation. Listen people, we would gladly pay for Netflix and be legitimate if it were not desperate times and we made American level salaries. I found an Italian site that offered the films with subtitles as to Elena's instructions and I convinced them to let us bring the film Boyhood which I then loaded up on to my computer. F told me that we had to use his computer for their television so we loaded it on to his. I tried to think of all possible pitfalls and so we loaded extra versions in case of problems with transmission.

Unfortunately, we got to their house sat down wtih our pizzas and the baggie of peperoncino that I make F put in his pocket because Elena doesn't like spicy food, only to find out that the film had no subtitles afterall. Then we all argued about which language to watch the film in. We wanted Italian for them and they wanted English for us, despite the fact that no one can understand Patricia Arquette in either language. We then wasted fifteen minutes fiddling about trying to find other versions to no avail. Disaster. The film, which we don't understand what all the fuss is about, despite the cool factor of watching the child actors age in front of your eyes since the movie was shot over a span of 12 years, is very long and they made us promise to do it all again next week so that we can see the last hour of it. Sigh.

In other news, I won over my two new twin eleven year old middle school students Alessia and Federica, only to annoy their parents because I spoke to them too much in Italian. The parents were waiting in my livingroom because I had promised the girls a fun video after we got their homework done and I didn't want to break my word. This is the first time I have ever got in trouble because my Italian was too good.

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