We are finally completely immersed in our routine for the school year. Ray wakes just before I have to leave for school at 8.15 (it takes me less than two minutes to get there via Vespa), and Andrea is left to make certain he has breakfast, change him into his clothes, and drive him to school by 9. I then leave my job at the International School by 4, scooter home to drown a quick cup of hot tea then take the car to pick up Ray at school as soon as possible before 5. Ray has completely changed this past week - he kisses me good-bye in the mornings whereas even ten days ago he clung to my leg, weeping, as I tried to escape through the door in the mornings. My friend Sogand told me that every 6 months he will exhibit some major transformation in behavior, and it is strange how predicable this has been as Ray will be 3 and a half next week.
The day after the U.S. elections, the 5th and 6th graders invited me to their classroom for a 5 minute skit - there were two t.v. commentators who discussed the Presidential election, and then a line of students each read a few lines of President-Elect Obama's speech. I was really touched as none of them were Americans, and again illustrated how much the international community has a vested interest in this election (the students pictured are from Australia, France, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Italy). Rachel, the vice-principal here, is a good friend (and she hired me) who hails from England.
Here is a photo of me in the classroom, trying to explain to the first graders how we can determine when a toy is old or modern. I am enjoying my job, I am happy to admit.
It has been pouring rain these past few days. Tomorrow's forecast doesn't call for any improvement so the damp, moldy days of the autumn are definitely here. Bologna's old buildings are famous for mold and everyday I can hear at least one conversation on how to get rid of it in one's home (it grows even behind the sofas and drapes). This afternoon I did my annual bleach spray on the walls - it is really amazing how fast the stuff grows.
Here is a view of the fall colors from our balcony. It can't be compared to the amazing spectacle of the American northeast, but it will have to do (it is rather sad, eh?).