Our 2 kids go to 2 different schools in 2 different parts of the city, with drop off and pick up hours at the exact same time. No I do not know what I did to deserve this, but basically what happens is that on days that I cannot organize a ride for one of my children I am forced to risk the lives of about half Milanese population trying to get to either of the schools not too late. So far no one has been harmed, and no one has had spend the night on the doorstep of the school, and apart from this minor detail – I am quite lucky to have a chance to see the differences between the 2 schools. Especially since daughter goes to an American/English school and my son to a Catholic Italian school that at once time was run entirely by nuns.
Many differences, many we like, many we don’t. My daughter gets to dress up for Halloween. My son gets invited to Messa. My daughter talks about Santa Claus in the winter months before Christmas, my son talks about baby Jesus and Mary. Both encouraged, no matter how different the methods of learning..
At the end of this year we will decide which schooling system we want for them both.
S-man says I am totally biased, and not giving the Italian school system a chance. I explain to him that I am not biased I just think that the Italian schooling system can in some very rare cases be a little bit old-fashioned.
‘Ma va’ he says and this means something like ‘give me a break’
My son starts to sing a song that he learned in his school,
(I have translated it to the best of my ability)
Io son contadinella alla campagna bella
I am a farmer in the beautiful countryside,
Se fossi una regina sarei incoronata
If I was a queen I would be given a crown.
Ma son contadinella mi tocca lavorar
But I am a farmer and I must work.
(and here is where it gets good..)
E Cinquecento cavalieri con la testa insanguinata
And 500 knights with their heads bloody and bleeding,
Con a spada intrecciata indovina cosa son.
With their braided sword, try to guess what they are.
E sono solo le ciliegie e sono solo le ciliegie…
Oh they are cherries and only cherries!! (and not bloody bleeding heads after all! well thank goodness for that!!)
The tune continues and continues and continues.… finally ending with
‘we will all be shot dead from the roar of the canon!’
Bim bum bum!
I smile a full smile and look at my husband and say
‘hai ragione, amore..’