Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why I'm Going to be Kicked Out of Italian Class

Every Wednesday, my Italian class has a conversation hour with a very nice woman here from Milan. She is very concerned with manners, and etiquette, and our not going to Italy and immediately offending everyone there by incorrectly pronouncing the names of cities/making rude hand gestures/wearing an American flag as a wrap dress. Today, in her quest to make us socially acceptable, she taught us telephone etiquette, since we had finally learned the section of vocabulary that would make this possible. I mean, we learned it in theory. Some of us brought our books home from school over Spring Break, and said, "Homework over Spring Break is an outrage. They want us to suffer under the weight of our stress. They want us to stack up everything we're supposed to do over our break and shrivel under the icy stare of failure. I refuse!"

"You refuse failure? You're going to do your homework?" some of our mothers said, lamenting that after all this time, they still had to talk us into doing it.

"Never!" some of us said. "VIVA LA SPRING BREAK!"

"Please don't start a bonfire with your textbooks," some of the mothers said. "And put your shirt back on."

Well, that's all fine and good. Some of us have a rebellious streak. Some of us needed to relax. But some of us did not consider the consequences. Like, not being able to participate in phone etiquette because we didn't know the vocab. And not being able to tell Milan that we couldn't participate because this would definitely get us into Trouble.

Thus, this happened (except in Italian):

Milan: Okay, Adam*. Why don't you make a pretend phone call to Sara using everything we've learned.
Adam: Sure! *makes ringing noises, holding his fingers like a phone.*
Sara: *panics and lets phone ring*
Milan: ...Sara?
S: Right. *picks up imaginary phone.* Hello?
A: Hi, Sara. This is Adam. How are you?
S: Adam? Adam who?
A: Adam Fender.
S: I think you have the wrong number.
A: I'm in your Italian class at school.
S: Nope. I'm hanging up now.
A: No! I'm tall! I have black hair! We worked on that one project together last semester! I'm also in your math class! ADAM FENDER.
S: Oh. You. What do you want?
A: I'm so sorry to bother you, but I need a *word I don't know.*
S: Do you?
S: That's nice.
A: Do you have a *word I don't know* that I could borrow?
S: No. Please don't call this number again. Goodbye.

*Names changed. All physical descriptions and locations are accurate, though. But changing the names clearly protects their anonymity.

(And if anyone wandered over here from Blogtations, welcome! We hope you enjoy your stay.)


  1. You are being featured on Five Star Friday!

  2. I'd be sure to offend everyone if I went to Italy. I have enough problems pronouncing English properly!