But before we get to them lets ponder some more about the Italian education system and those would be teachers from yesterday’s post. For starters it does seem incredible that your ability to join the teaching profession should be decided by a 50 minute test but more incredible I guess is that 60% fail it.
If you search Italian expat sites you will find, as I did, little praise for the profession here in Italy and in talking to various Italian friends here that have kids in school they share almost all the views expressed on the forums . Universities apart from a few seem to come in for a similar drubbing and so it stands to reason that when faced with a timed session and 50 questions there should be a fair number of flunkers but 60% seems excessive. It also would seem from the above that the test is clearly not performing the role it is required to do. The 40% who pass seem to struggle with the job in hand . Why?
Well let’s put the cards on the table or better still imagine you are one of the 40% and are now in front of a class of 30 something Italian children. These children are only angels in their parents eyes. Kids here are not known for being well behaved, cosseted yes, pampered undoubtably, spoilt almost certainly but disciplined very rarely. So you have an unruly class. Add to this your biggest fear if the little lovelies in front of you might complain to their parents and the parents tell the Head. The forums are full of reports of teachers begging parents not to tell the Head. Finally the little mites have been in school since 0750 hrs. and they are going to be there till 1.50 p.m. with one 5 minute break allowed. That is six hours of continuous teaching. How many 6-16 year olds do you know that can sit still and pay attention for six hours non stop !! The system certainly isn’t designed to bring out the best in either pupils or teachers is it ?
But what about those hairy navels ? Well the bar in the It’s 5 o’Clock Somewhere yesterday looked familiar to me. So I did some research and found it is the Square Grouper Tiki Bar in Jupiter, Florida and I have been there when living down the road in Delray Beach a few years ago. If you can get there, do. And if you are the designated Drinker then go for an hairy navel cocktail. Vodka, Schnapps and orange juice ( so it’s good for you too!). If you are the designated driver have a fuzzy navel that skips the vodka and add more orange juice.
A square grouper fish ? Well a square grouper is what the US Coast Guard called the bales of marijuana that were dropped along the Florida coast from light aircraft that had flown from South America.
Now I have a story about those very bales and a holiday we took to Andros in the Bahamas but my wife won’t let me tell you so here is some Bahamian music instead.