Thursday, September 15, 2005

And so, I am unleashed upon the world...

I've been asked to leave the country.

No, really.

Apparently, there's a school trip for foreign language students to Italy over April vacation and I've been asked to chaperone.

I don't speak Italian or hold a valid passport, but I'm co-teaching a Latin class for students with special needs and apparently this is enough to qualify me to go.

I will have to re-up my passport.

Did I mention the trip is free? If you get a ratio of a certain amount of kids to adults, the chaperones fly and room free. Some might call this a scam (that'd be the kids that have to fork over for the trip). I call it right and just.

I'm honored to have been asked, although I'm not entirely sure of what my duties abroad will entail. My off time, when I'm not around easily corruptible minors, involves what might gently be referred to as a "rock and roll lifestyle". I am minorly concerned about what might happen if my kids come across me in a trattoria pickled on Chianti and Limoncello and ranting about how cool wall frescos are and how there will be an extra credit project involving finding me aspirin and not letting on to the other adults that I may have vomitted on a major landmark.

Still, I shouldn't be that concerned. I know from experience that booze and students don't mix. Hell, once I leave my classroom at 2:30 I do not want to run into anything or anyone associated with my job, unless it is by my choice. When I once lived within the same town that I taught in, I also held a part time job in a local mall to help make ends meet. Some of my kids found out where I worked. They seemed to think it was a good idea to drop by and not leave - not out of malice, they genuinely just wanted to hang out - for hours at a time. Let's just say it was awkward. I mean, how do you say, "Look, if you interfere with my ability to get a commission off these sunglasses from the one paying customer in the store - I will fail you for the year" without coming off like a jerk? So,I don't work at that mall anymore. Or live in that town.

And that was all just sober.

I saw one of my students, hanging with his friends, in a movie theater in a major city near where we both lived, but not so near that we should run into each other (different towns) on a weekend night. I'd been out at a restaurant before the movie and had had a few drinks. I hid so as to not be noticed. I grew up around drunk adults. The possiblity of even minorly inebriated conversation with a student was not acceptable. Fortunately, not only did he not see me, we ended up going to different movies. I saw "Thirteen Days" and he went with his friends into "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon". He didn't notice me at all. His big complaint on Monday was that he didn't realize that he was going to see a movie that had subtitles.

So, the bottomline is that I'll behave myself in Italy. And I'm honored to be asked to join the group.


Lance Manion said...

Cool! Have a good time. And remember that you're an American. Velvet ropes and do not enter signs do not apply to you. If the Italians become testy, point out that we kicked their asses in the big one.

Dave Morris said...

What a great thing, very cool. I will now consume a can of authentic Italian chef boyardee ravioli in your honor.

Ithiel said...

Rock on. I took 4 years of latin in high scool, but was too poor for the big italy trip come april my senior year.

Have Fun!