End of the week

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

from A Darkling Thrush, Thomas Hardy
IMG_4784My final two classes of the week are two of the best groups of students and, so, it will be nice to end the week on a high note.

In the background materials provided by the agency that connected me to the school, it’s mentioned that one might need to be prepared for last-minute changes to one’s day, and that happened the other day.  I was on my way to class when two students came up and said the class was headed to the dentist – it happens twice a year – and a teacher confirmed their story so it wasn’t just a ruse to get out of class.   The day I was introduced to all the teachers, I learned of the teacher’s meeting about an hour before it took place – after my classes had ended.

The principal – who speaks no English – stopped by today to see how I was doing, if everything was okay.  Just one more kindness.

The hallway on my floor of the apartment building is lined with drying racks for clothes – it’s the only floor where tenants dry their clothes outside of their apartment.  I guess it’s to dose the clothes with fresh cigarette smoke.

I had thought I might try to incorporate Count Almassy Laszlo (the protagonist of The English Patient) into my course, but on reading biographical material, it’s probably better that I don’t.  The novel and movie are so full of misleading aspects about the man that I’d probably end up being chased out of town.  However, there is a terrific tale about the communists wanting to try him in the 1950s for war crimes (Almassy had served in the Luftwaffe), but they inadvertently banned the book he had written, which was the only proof of his activities, so the prosecuting attorney and the judge couldn’t read the book, and voila!  Free man.

Convento Di Sant’Anna


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