I’ve also been teaching some high school English classes. You may have noticed how poor the high school teachers grasp of English is. I have. Also: they’re not really feeling the Millar. The kids do, we generally have what I like to call “rapport”. But the teachers don’t really feel me. Part of it is probably resentment of my awesome English: what can I say? my English is mega-bitchin’, I can fuckin’ dance syntaxperfect English circles around their halting pidgin’ shit, but touting that is like making fun of handicapped people: a pretty dick thing to do. It’s not cool to brag about things you can take for granted is it? No. So I won’t, but it has been posited that the old guard doesn’t totally appreciate a slack ass giovanni straniero coming in to show off his fancy English.
The other reason they don’t like me is because not only do I speak English and not much Italian, I really don’t understand how to rock the class Italian style. It’s a weird, i’d go so far as to say “foreign,” culture. The kids stand up when the teacher enters the room and address them as “professoressa.” They live in fear of getting their name put down in the class ledger. This exceedingly polite decorum based protocol is mitigated by a low-level continuous disinterestedness, a kind of perpetual whisper in the areas of the class that aren’t being directly talked to. Having no idea and no plan and no experience teaching english I just haphazardly wing those motherfuckers, which I suppose doesn’t endear me to the teachers. However it works. Or it has so far. One class has just recent acquired alot of Todd Bertuzzi fans, having mentioned him as a great hockey player and having an Italian last name. Not only that but they dig Todd Bertuzzi in English.
I have determined that I likely log some time on the conversationometer in the staff room but hopefully dogged persistence, some cultural sensitivity and the fact that next week I will arrive on time should smooth things over.