No si sa is one of those endearing but annoying Italian phrases. It is used to explain away so many of the idiosyncrasies of Italian life. I ask an Italian why this or that and he replies ‘no si sa relax Mike, have another glass of wine ‘. The trouble is I am inquisitive (or nosey as Geraldine calls it) . I must have been one of those awful kids that asked why all the time and never took the first explanation but went on with, but why ? endlessly and so I find this phrase frustrating.
Now you might not believe it but I do tend to try and research stuff I put in this blog. But before you ask apropos yesterday’s post no I didn’t go to Villa Castelli to visit the girls. Geraldine didn’t buy the only in the name of research line I tried and unbeknown to me turned off both phones.
Well today I had decided to do a little something on the education system in Italy. So over my morning cappuccino I was reading bits and came across this amazing piece of information. The other day 329,000 aspiring Italian teachers sat an exam to try to obtain the 11,542 positions in schools throughout Italy. Why produce so many wannabe teachers I asked the bar lady ? ‘ no si sa relax Mike have another glass of wine’. But this is over production to demand of Cuban proportions. I think every barman I met in Havanna was an heart surgeon and I admit I went into lots of bars there. As an aside let me just say in my defense the bars in Cuba are fantastic. Not because of the service ( lacking) nor the choice of drinks ( you have got to like rum ) but because instead of an iPod stuck into a bloody great sound system, every bar there has its own live band and we are not talking some lanky youth with a guitar but a 5 or 7 or 20 piece band.
So 329,000 would be teachers sat an exam just 50 mins long and were asked 50 questions.
60% then failed the test ! Now we are not talking people who wandered in off the street thinking today might be a good day to become a teacher. These people had been to Uni (college), had done a year’s practical in classrooms and 60% failed. How ? ‘ no si sa, relax Mike have another glass of wine’. Yes but think these questions must make the final question in Who Wants To Be a Millionaire look like child’s play mustn’t they? ‘ No si sa .’ And do you know what, I suddenly realised that today was Friday and though the cynic in me might say that that these potential teachers are the product of the very system they are trying to enter and 60% couldn’t get 50 questions right. The other part said ” It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere “.
Love that video.
Today is my son’s 24th birthday. He shares the date with Robert Zimmerman who today is 71 years old. I listened to Mr. Zimmerman whilst in an hollowed out club room below a classroom at my school that we called the Hell Club for obvious reasons. I though he was the bees knees and without any prompting I found that my son years later also had him on his iPod.
I used to love Oxford Town by him which is about the segregation riots but it isn’t on Youtube. Years later I found myself working for a company that had an office I often had to visit in Tupelo, Mississippi ( Elvis Presley’s birthplace ) . On one visit I had to go to Oxford Town and so found myself there at the university I had listened to Bob Dylan sing about all that time ago.