22 June 2010

cassano d' out-of-control kids

My life, you electrify my life
Let's conspire to ignite all the souls that would die just to feel alive
Hold you in my arms, I just wanted to hold you in my arms. . .
-Muse, 'Starlight'

This week has been exhausting. I’ve left my alarm set at 7am, then I’m at camp by 9, dancing around, teaching, teaching, singing, lunch, supervising, playing, teaching, painting, running, throwing water balloons at kids, making a fool of myself, and going home after 5. Then I usually sleep for a couple of hours or search desperately for wifi, and then I eat dinner with my fam or go out with the other tutors and their fams. I’m rarely in bed before midnight or one.

On Sunday I got to see Josephine! We spent the afternoon wandering around a rainy Milan, talking and having lunch and just being ridiculous. It was wonderful- I've missed her so, so, SO much. It ended up taking me an hour and a half to get home because my host mother neglected to mention the necessary subway change, subsequent bus ride, and sub-subsequent train ride.

We’ve had some interesting characters at Cassano d’Adda camp. There were two boys in my class who were giving me trouble from the very first day. I told them to move to opposite sides of the room so I could hopefully manage their shenanigans a little bit better, and they clung to their desks and chairs and said they wouldn’t move. One of them kicked a girl in a wheelchair. I took it up with the directors, but no major changes were made.

On Tuesday, the boys were separated. One was sent to Taylor’s class, and the other remained with me. He started drawing inappropriate things on the board and just generally gave me trouble so I had the directors in the room to intimidate him a bit. After they left, the kid acted obsessed with his friend. They made plans to meet in the bathroom to escape (something I’ve only ever seen girls do), and when I told my student he couldn’t leave, he started climbing out the window to yell to his friend. I eventually had to grab him around the waist to get him away from there, and then he wriggled away to try and get out the door and to the other classroom. With a hand on his collar, I shouted to Taylor to come help me. He did, and grabbed the boy around the waist and just carried him in front of him to the office.

This is where is got weird. The boy was strangely calm in Taylor’s arms but latched onto him with his teeth and just kept his teeth locked on Taylor until we got him to the director's office. Soooo Taylor had a huge bite mark on his arm after that.

Did you know that human bites are more likely to become infected than dog bites? That's a fact.

That night my fam took me out to the local mall, and I hit up the H&M. I showed remarkable self-restraint and only bought four headbands- I wear them every day at camp and needed some new ones. At this point, you're probably exclaiming to yourself, "What's that? Liz went into an H&M and walked away with only accessories?!" Well, yes, that was the case. The only thing I really need right now are more shorts, and they didn't have any that fit right. I can go crazy and buy dresses and things of that nature once I get settled. Post-shopping, we hit up a bowling alley in the mall. It was definitely interesting, but I'm embarrassed to say that I did not win.

After our Tuesday biting incident, the boys at camp were suprisingly well-behaved. We had a guy from the company come in on Wednesday morning to supplement camp with an English lesson in the form of Beatles songs. It was really entertaining, and he was great. All the kids enjoyed it, and we had no problems with Ale or Leo.

That night, Taylor's host fam had to go up to Bergamo for dinner with some friends. They told him he could come with them and wander around the city, but he was not invited to actually go to dinner with them- so I ended up going to Bergamo with him. It's very pretty, but there was so much uphill walking, and I'd just been running. We had some good pizza, and then some dessert, and we saw some great views. However, there was a period where we were just waiting to be picked up- they didn't come to get us until after midnight. We were both falling asleep in the car on the way back to Cassano d'Adda.

Yesterday we played water games with the kids. Some baby birds had fallen out of their nest and were sort of hopping around near the kids and I kind of freaked out keeping the kids away from them. I was just having these horrible visions of a kid stepping on one of them and for some reason, I didn't think that was a life lesson we should be teaching at camp. A couple of them flew away eventually but there's still one that isn't quite big enough yet.

I taught my kids the English equivalent of "Che schifo!" which is something that I hear from them on a daily basis. I do this every week, but this week I threw in a new one for my own entertainment. There were the usual 'gross,' 'yucky,' 'sick,' 'disgusting,' and 'nasty,' but I decided to add 'How unfortunate.' I just feel like this will give them a sophistication and dignity that will be appreciable in the English-speaking world.

Last night, one of the host fams took us to get a free tae kwon do lesson from their children's instructor. We were in a group with people around our own age rather than little kids. The lesson began with running laps around the dojo, which was a room in the basement of a church I believe. These were laps with high knees, butt kicks, sideways running, and then random running in a tiny group right in the middle of the room. After that there was some sparring practice, which was fun, and then some stretching. Finally we got to the good stuff: kicking.

Taylor, who achieved a black belt when he was just a little teenager, had decided to wear jeans to the lesson. I don't know if he thought it would be easy enough for him to dress up a little, or if that was all he had to wear, but they ripped while he was showing off. So Taylor had to take off a little early.

I enjoyed the kicking, but it became apparent that I am definitely right-footed. The only time I was decent at kicking with the left foot was when I was able to lead with that foot as well, like I was setting up to throw a softball. Sometimes the footwork was similar.

All in all, the class lasted an hour and a half, and I was covered in sweat within probably 15 minutes of it. It was great to get such a workout in though- it definitely worked my entire body. We went out to dinner with the instructor afterwards, around 1030. He invited us back for another lesson next Monday and I definitely want to go. My entire body's sore, but I'm not sure how much of that is from the run.

Today was pool day! We took the kids to the city pool for the afternoon. Funny thing about the majority of Italian pools- you're supposed to wear a swim cap the entire time you're in the water 'for hygienic reasons.' There's not usually a lifeguard on duty, but they are terribly concerned about the possibility of clogged drains. But as long as everyone's wearing one, I guess it doesn't look that stupid. We actually had fun taking pictures with the caps on.

Tomorrow's up in the air. I was thinking about heading up to a lake or something, maybe stalking George Clooney a little, but my host mom Liudmila mentioned maybe heading to the river and laying out, which I think could be fun. So I don't really know. Suggestions?

PS: Shout out to my gpa, who rocked his surgery this week. I'm praying for you! Also, shout out to my grandmom, who I realized was once again right about the few extra pounds I have over my sisters being advantageous in the event of a stomach flu or something worse. Definitely made a full recovery from last week's vomiting episode. You were right, as usual. Rest of my family, I love and miss you! Let me know if there's anything you want from here!

1 comment:

Becky Lundgren said...

No no no. Don't tell G'Mom she was riiiight. LOL