Friday, November 18, 2011

huddling together for warmth

I'm finished teaching for the year. Bring on the waves of correcting, the making of vulva cupcakes and the finishing of a long overdue task.

Last week I had some Venetian Italian teenagers, a remarkably educated bunch. One class was a little more lively, a little more fun than the other - I noticed that every time I told them to get into their project groups, rather than spread out round the classroom, they'd all sit knee to knee, three groups of three packed up into one corner of the room.

I observed that Irish students would not do this - we like our space, us reserved Irish, in the main. Certainly the boys wouldn't cosy together knee to knee, at least. They shrugged, and said it was normal for them, when I suggested they take more space if they liked.

'It's warmer this way,' the funny one said.

I laughed and said they could huddle together for warmth.

'Yes,' he said, with quiet amusement, twinkling at me with big dark eyes. 'Like pinguins.'

I ♥ those Italians, I really do.

In the other class I gave them film reviews to read and share, from The reviews there are fairly fresh, and one of Weekend was candid about the subject matter - an analysis of one young gay man's emotional life. The reader asked me what 'boy beds boy' meant, and I told him, and then asked the girl who was reading the TinTin review could I help her with what she was giggling about - yep - it was the line the review that described him as little more than an anal boy scout with an inexplicable drive. 

So I had to reassure her quickly that it was the Freudian sort of anal, and what boy scout referred  to, and how they weren't really connected in the way she was laughing about - but oops, I'd better read reviews in more detail before I hand them out to classes, maybe. 

Another great line that I hadn't noticed in another review was 'arse clenching tension'. Which is a pretty excellent review phrase I think, but I was getting a little uncomfortable with the theme that was appearing :) 


Ms. Moon said...

Uh. That's pretty darn funny. And yes, hard to explain.

Mick said...

Hee Hee. In the north we have a saying, "jeez, durin' that fillum me arse was going like a fluter's lip"

Ahem. Sorry. Getting back to the topic, Polish people's personal space is also smaller than the Irish. (Probably not as much as the Italians though)
It makes me take a wee step backwards every time someone comes close.

I, of course, blame the English ;)

Mick said...

Billy Connelly, I think. hee hee

Jo said...

Oh, I think there's worth to be had in Blaming the English on this one, alright. But I blame the church too. St Patrick had a lot to answer for.