Eva’s letter to her class back home (Or: a sneak-peak undercover look at our local Roman school), by Eva

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Rome, Italy

Ciao Class (ciao means hi),

I really miss you guys. Here it’s, well, it’s beautiful. And right now I’m on a train back from Venice which was BEAUTIFUL and we’ve already gone to Naples, Procida, Orvieto, Pompeii, Frascati, and Sutri. We have train tickets to Bologna and plane tickets to Israel.

Now I’ll tell you about my school. We never get out of our seats except for gym, computers, and our tiny, tiny breaks! During breaks the teacher will sit down and most likely mark papers. The class will get out their food and start eating. You are allowed to go out in the hallways. Students can go from class to class. My classroom is situated with three other classrooms in a small hallway, leading off a large hallway. The large hallway has three or four classrooms, then another hallway has three or four off it. It is a very busy area, but my hallway is very quiet since most of the kids go off to the big hallway. So it is nice and quiet where I stay.

I have found three girls to be nice. One of the nice girls, Livia, speaks English and is in my class. She also helps me to understand another nice girl, Giulia, who is also in my class. We all like each other. The third nice girl, also named Giulia, is in a different class. She speaks a eeny-winy-tiny bit of English, less than Livia. She is very nice and we met each other because sometimes a teacher decides to not show up to our class and just not teach. All the kids in the class are split-up into different groups and sent to different classrooms. Each group goes to the same class every time (this happens a lot). In the class that you go to on these occasions you either read or work. It so happened that I always go to her class and she always goes to mine. We became friendly that way. Then when we have our 15 and 10 minute breaks, she started coming across to my classroom and that was kind of how we became acquainted.

The boy I’m sitting next to, Jude, is very grumpy to me. He was put next to me because he spoke enough English so he could explain to me what we were doing when the teachers were teaching.

He was sitting next to his best friend at the time and did not seem very happy to be separated from him, even though later I learned that he got a playdate with him twice a week, he still acted like it was a mighty sin to be separated from him.

When I ask him questions, if he is in a good mood he’ll grumpily answer them for me, as if it is, like, the hardest thing to do. And if he is a very bad mood, he’ll just tell me to wait and never answer me.

I don’t see the point of sitting next to him if he will not answer any of my questions about what we are doing. He is friendly to everybody else and when he is sitting next to me he talks to people in front of him and in back of him, just not me.

There was one incident when he had found a sweater on the ground and had put it on my side of the table, so then I put it in the middle of the table. He pushed it to my side. Feeling angry, I pushed it to his side. Then he pushed it back to my side. Thinking of a solution, I put it on the floor behind us. He picked it up, muttering to himself about how bad I am, and shoved it into a closet. Then he sat down at the table, tapped his friend on the shoulder and started explaining how bad I had been in this instance.

Maybe when he is older he will look back on the time he was with me and wish he had been nicer, recognizing that you only have so many chances you can teach someone from another place and make them see your school and your city and teach them what it is like to live in a different place. And then he could learn about where I am from.

But alas, he is not doing that now, so when he is older he will feel regretful about the time he has wasted with someone from Canada and wish he could go back in time. And maybe, just maybe, he’ll pluck out a few hairs in agony and regret. But I cannot say it, so we can only hope.

A lot of people want to be with me or be friends with me. That means that they wave to me, even if I have no idea who they are. Or they follow me around. Or they ask me repetitive questions. It is all because I’m from a different place. These boys used to follow me around and ask me where I was from, if I could speak Italian, and do the same thing the very next day. Then one day, a boy even said his friend wanted to kiss me (I don’t know if It is true)! But the other boy immediately contradicted his friend and called him a liar.

The teachers (le professoresse) are really mean. One of the teachers has provided me with a book (un libro) for kids not from Italy, she points out page I do it then I copy it in to my work book (il mio quaderno). Most of the teachers ignore me. It’s the easiest thing to do, just not bother with me. Then some of them get mad at me. They yell at me when I don’t understand them. They yell at me in Italian which is not effective but they do it any way.

The foods great! All the stuff is so good from hot rice balls (suppli) to pizza and lasagne! Guess what some times on evening walks (passiagiata) we see bats! Oh and we get gelato yum.

Italy is beautiful, fun, and difficult, especially in school. But all together I think it is going to be a pretty good experience.

I miss you –

Eva

p.s. sorry Lana I couldn’t write formally!

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