Monday, October 20, 2008

October Various

Ray is becoming quite the photographer. Here are some photos of "Ray's World". We now have about 100 in his collection.

I am fighting a cold these days so will just give a quick rundown on what has been going on in the past month. Sorry I haven't responded to any recent emails. I will try to do so soon.

After the first week of returning to a full-time job (after 5 years!), I was desperate to spend the weekend out of Bologna so we finally went to visit Lake Garda. It was misty and cool but a nice break nonetheless, and Ray really loved learning how to shoot darts at imaginary wild boar (free lessons courtesy of the owner of the bed & breakfast we stayed at: and the boat ride we took across the lake.

Ray took his first "real" pony ride at his friend Isabella's birthday party recently. He was so serious.

We also had a weekend visit from cousins Ma-chan and daughter Kahori. Kahori is training at a Japanese bank in London for the year and her mother is staying with her for a bit. They only stayed in Bologna for two days and I had to work, so we didn't see other much but we had a nice dinner with Andrea (who then had to take off to Florence for a conference) and the lunch I cooked the next day was fun as I invited language-school-friend Yoshi to eat with us.

My job at the International School is going well. Here is a photo of Michele with his friends and one of the players of the Bologna basketball team (who is American - there are a number of players who come from the states to play here). Michele is recovering from cancer and I spend the afternoons tutoring him in private during his classes. The mornings in class with the first graders can be fun - but tiring. What a change from PU!

Andrea began teaching his class - here is his syllabus for anyone who cares about which films he is discussing:

The International Women's group invited a speaker last week, Susie of J Brand Jeans in Los Angeles ( check out her blurb under designer's notes). She was a real hoot and is a friend of a member so she came just to give the talk (and was able to throw in a couple of press interviews while she was here) so I hosted an aperitivo with 12 members to welcome her. Here she is on the right, and as a thank-you, she promises to send me a pair of her jeans when she is back in LA (which I could never afford here at 240 euros a pair, or $325 with the exchange rate!). I want to set her up on a blind date with cousin Jun in NYC. What do you think?

Ray is not as crazy about school this year as he was last year. I understand why as he doesn't get nearly the amount of attention as he used to, and though the facilities are adequate enough (in fact, the building is in the middle of Bologna's "central park"), still the drawings he brings home are in only one color, and when I pick him up all the kids are sitting around tables without books or toys, and also he doesn't really seem to have much to share when we chat on our drive home. We are considering sending him to the International School next year (since I have to pay only a small percentage of the 10k tuition) or reapplying at the Montessori school that we didn't get into this year. One thing is for certain: he is going to have a Happy Halloween. Hope you do too.


paula said...

Don't worry about Ray. It takes some kids much longer to feel comfortable and "fit in". Being a former art teacher, I found that many kids in the Kindergarten age were very comfortable with one color drawings (heck, I have some drawings I did at 6 that daddy saved, and they were all in black!)... that does not tell you anything about what they are capable of, of what might happen just down the road. Don't put pressure on yourself or him. It's all a stage (that's what I keep telling myself with two teenagers!) and what may be "important" today will not be as important tomorrow.
Thanks for sharing, paula
(does the school encourage books, toys, colors? just wondering...)

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