When we chose our classes at our first staff meeting in Morgano, Liam and I were the last to select, and we were left with a white/yellow group and a purple group--two extremes. The decision was finally made when I realized that my host sister was in the purple group, leaving me with the babies.
I forgot what short attention spans little children have. Really tiny little attention spans. And sometimes they just choose not to listen to you. And sometimes they grab your chest, or if you're a boy, they grab your boy parts, or they just pinch your bum. Yep. I'm talking to you, Marco.
We played water games and had Pirate and Harry Potter-themed days. Guess who has two thumbs and showed up to camp dressed as Bellatrix? That's right, this girl. I lost my patience with the kids and Avada Kedavra'ed roughly all of them by the end of the day. Don't hate me. (Or was I just method acting? Something to ponder. . .)
I made a desperate attempt to teach my students to sing Proud Mary, or at least sing backup while I danced around in front of them like Tina Turner, but it didn't work.
My weekend could not have been more low-key. I stayed in bed until one on Saturday (after waking up at 7:30 in a panic, thinking I'd missed my alarm), and then lounged by the pool for most of the afternoon. Host mom got her thinking cap on and came up with a little excursion that turned out to be way more interesting than I expected: we (host mom, host sis, and myself) drove an hour west-ish to Possagno, where a famous sculptor named Canova had built a massive temple and had left a museum of his works.
Because there was a special CanovaFest on, the museum was offering guided tours at 9 and 10 at night. We jumped on that, and got to see plaster casts of his art, and some of the final products. The guide was careful to explain the entire sculpting process, and I understood it, because I've had the same concepts and methods explained to me in English and Spanish. I had originally worried that my familiarity with art and sculpture would make the trip boring, but as it turned out, I was in my element. I felt like I was back in the Prado again, listening to another one of the Jefe's passionate lectures with JaNae by my side and a notebook full of backwards notes in my hands. I was shocked when I looked at an info card for a plaster cast of a seated man with a book in his hands and read 'Giorgio Washington.' I did a double take--yep, still George Washington in Italian. The tour guide talked to me specially about the piece after the official tour, and paralleled the story of George Washington turning down extra time in office to a Roman leader who had done something similar. He said some really nice things, too. Unfortunately, the actual statue had been destroyed in a fire in the capital building in Raleigh, so only the plaster model was left, but it was still one of those moments where I felt like I was just meant to be there.
Sunday was pretty chill. You can't call me lazy, though, because I was told that the train workers were on strike and I couldn't make it to Venice or Verona or anywhere cool.
Week Two of Morgano camp was good, overall. We all got along fantastically, and the only bumps in the road were the occasional gropings, courtesy of Marco, and the world's blandest food, courtesy of the camp's catering company. (Seriously, I had plain rice for lunch one day.) We had Band Hero parties, a birthday party for Tess (where she was hit in the face with a shoe) and gelato dates after school. Most annoying thing to happen to me: breaking my toe during a barefoot handball match with my students. Believe it or not, because I'm so injury-prone, that was probably the least painful injury I sustained in Morgano.
My final show was decent. Really, though, what can you expect from six- to eight-year-olds? Not a lot, I say. Beforehand, Giulio, Marco's doppelganger, spent a few minutes touching himself inappropriately, and things got a little bit out of hand. (Thanks, camp director, for laughing at the whole situation. In 40 years, that little boy will be a creepy middle-aged man on a bike harrassing some innocent English tutors walking down the street in Milan.) Post-show, Marco ran around with a sanitary napkin in his hand, waving it in the faces of anyone near him. We sat back and watched and enjoyed no longer being responsible for these children.
We spent Friday night at Sagra once more. While we had every intention of blowing our cash advances at the bar, we instead spent all the tokens donated to us by children on bumper cars. When midnight rolled around, we all shared an emotional goodbye, because I would be leaving for Trento the next morning, while Tess and Li were off to Asola, and our two coworkers would be setting off on their own adventures. It was a good, if bittersweet, way to end a very good camp.
Next up: the very clean city of Trento.