Tag work issues

“See, hear, speak no evil!” 0

Dear Bradshaw,

Having only recently returned from summer vacation, I had two lessons last Thursday, the first at lunchtime in Massimo’s office where we’ve done our lessons for years, and the second at a café where I always meet Alessandra in the evening. The café has two floors and we do our lessons upstairs where the atmosphere is quieter and with less distractions.

Thursday was my first lesson since July with 55-year-old Massimo. Most of the hour we talked about the trip to Belgium he and his wife took with their 8-year-old son.

When I arrived at the cafĂ© for my second lesson hours later, while climbing the stairs, I saw two lovers sitting at the table next to the table Alessandra and I always sit at. This struck me as odd because the previous evening another pair of lovers had been sitting at that same table when I arrived. I’d known they were lovers without being told. Middle-aged couples tend to contain themselves in public, especially since they can be as touchy-feely as they want at home. This couple, however, was sitting close enough to share a leg, and exuded a haze of sexual tension that sparked the air around them. continue reading »

26 people like this post.

Mosquito on the prowl 0

Dear Bradshaw,

My last lesson on Fridays starts at 7pm and takes place at my student’s parents-in-laws’ apartment, which is wonderful because they live right across the street from me, but is also a bummer because their apartment lacks air-conditioning. Last Friday was an inferno in Rome, so the hour-long lesson was hard to sit through. Also, due to the strangling heat and suffocating humidity, the windows and the door to the balcony were open, and a mosquito was on the prowl. continue reading »

26 people like this post.

Pigs and cows, horses and hippos 0

Dear Bradshaw,

Thanks to the transportation strike last Wednesday, I had to walk, jog, and run nine miles. That’s how my job goes when, once a month, the bus drivers and metro engineers strike in this city.

For my first lesson of the day I left the apartment an hour and 15 minutes early. As a consequence of the distance and humidity, the hike was long and sweaty, and I realized halfway through that I could have saved time by taking a different direction. Rome’s weird that way. continue reading »

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Writing children’s books is a crime. 0

Dear Bradshaw,

Arriving early to my afternoon lesson, I stopped on a side street next to my student’s office building, took out my mini-notebook, and jotted down an idea for a story. My student, Gianluca, works for a public institution located next to the official residence of the President of the Italian Republic. So a police officer is posted in a security shack across the street.

I had enough time only to scribble a few words before I pocketed the notebook, and headed toward the building’s entrance. Immediately, the police officer exited the shack, rushed to the curb, and waved me over. Shocked and surprised, I pointed to my chest, and asked in Italian if he was talking to me, “Io?” continue reading »

40 people like this post.

The sharpest knife in the kitchen 0

Dear Bradshaw,

While 14-year-old Antonello was reading an article about super volcanoes during our lesson last week, when Antonello read that the world’s most recent eruption had occurred 75,000 years ago, his mouth fell open, and he looked up at me, incredulity clouding his eyes. “What? How’s that possible?”

I was shocked but not surprised. I’ve been teaching Antonello for years, and I know he’s not the sharpest knife in the kitchen. “How’s what possible?” continue reading »

43 people like this post.

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