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Born-again Christians or Amish ministers 0

Dear Bradshaw,

I’m in a bad mood and have been since noon. Everything was going fine as wine until one of my students came to the lesson sneezing and sick, and as you know I hate, despise, loathe when students come to the lessons sick. We teach one-on-one at my school, and the classrooms are cubicles = small, not much bigger than the table we’re sitting at, so it’s an intimate lesson and any germs generally make each other’s acquaintance, and it irritates me when I ask a student how they are and they wipe their nose or cough into their coat and say they have the flu or something, especially after having shaken my hand.

Meanwhile, we have a particular program at my school called ENTUSIASMO where we sit side-by-side with the student and use a big screen computer, navigating the Internet and researching sites and subjects that interest the student. The second contributor to my bad mood was the computer’s mouse which is a brand called Fraun or Frick or something that nobody has ever heard of and is essentially a piece of poop. So I sat there for the first part of the lesson trying to move the cursor but it was either frozen in place for minutes at a time or would move a fraction of a millimeter, until finally I shut off the computer, and did a normal lesson, i.e. conversation, vocabulary, grammar and other such stuff.

The third blow to my mood came when I left the school at one o’clock and headed for my first of four private lessons. I was on foot, as always, and it was raining, and since it has been raining practically non-stop since November, I was frustrated and irritated and aggravated and annoyed. My last two lessons of the day didn’t help much. I teach two brothers, back-to-back. One is ten and the other thirteen. They’re good kids but sometimes aren’t in the mood for me because, after all, their parents force them to study English and besides, by the time I arrive they’ve been at school all day and then come home and have to do another hour with me. So I’m not received as enthusiastically as if I was the pizza guy or a fire fighter.

The final frontier occurred moments ago. Earlier, I had splurged on a 30-euro bottle of wine and — not so amazingly if you know her — Francesca managed to knock over the bottle, spilling it, of all places, over the keyboard of my computer. Of course, she couldn’t have waited to knock over one of the five or six-euro bottles we usually drink and, naturally, she couldn’t have spilled it over the table or on the floor or, heck, all over my pants, no, the keyboard of my computer, thereby swinging at a single pitch and earning two strikes. Anyway, the only good news, if there is any in a situation like this, is that we were halfway through the bottle and there’s still a bit left.

For whatever it’s worth, Shaw, hang in there. Then, get your tuchus out of there (legally, of course, preferably early for good behavior) and find new friends, maybe some nuns, born-again Christians, or Amish ministers.

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