It’s Tuesday night and a minute previously we’d been entering the last 15 minutes of the final lesson of the day. I’m about to introduce an activity to finish the lesson but am interrupted by an excited Alessandra. Guys! Listen to this! She starts reading a message from Facebook, via her phone, out loud to the class.
As she reads, her delivery gets faster and the tone of her voice reaches a pitch that only dogs could to pick up on. I haven’t got a hope of keeping up with it. However, the rest of them are with her every step of the way. As she finishes on a shriek it’s like a multiplication bomb has been dropped in the room. Instead of the six students that I had before, suddenly I have fifty whirling dervishes. Out of nowhere a hundred other phones appear. The noise is *incredible*. Laughing, I’ve given up on keeping order and instead just concentrate on not being knocked over by windmilling teenage arms and legs. What’s going on, ragazzi? Antonio takes pity on me and translates, gabbling his words and grinning fit to burst. Apparently all the schools are closed tomorrow, by order of the Mayor, because of a severe weather warning. But the thing is, our school *never* closes! Giulia’s school is practically never open – Giulia cocks an eye at us and nods with matter-of-fact cheeriness – but we never, *ever* get the day off! Ohmygod! At this point words fail him and he starts to whoop with excitement, punching the air and pogoing wildly.
In a last-ditch attempt to regain some semblance of control, I throw him a board pen and suggest playing hangman. With a grin, he draws nine dashes on the board and then whispers in my ear, ’happiness’ has a double ’s’, right?
Image by Mark Sebastian (Creative Commons)