Friday, February 27, 2004

I’ve been having a rather good time of late. I’m skiing most Wednesdays – it’s even more fun under floodlights – and some weekends. Work is good, even if I do have too many small groups and not enough larger ones. And I’m busy socially: we have a regular Thursday night haunt (where they’ve started giving us freebies, although I’m not sure that coffee and vodka shots are a good idea when your one early morning each week is just seven hours away) and my table football addiction is being well-fed. All we need now is somewhere to dance at the weekends that’s not playing hip-hop or house.

All of which is in stark contrast to the present laments of many of my students: “I work too hard”, “Too much work”, “Work is boring”, “I don’t have any spare time” and, from the teenagers, “School is dull” and “Boys are horrible”.

Maybe it’s because we’re in that damp, dark month of February. Everybody – except me, it seems – is throughly miserable. Even so, I’m sure I don’t normally get quite as fed up as those I’m currently witnessing. Then again, February has a habit of tricking me – simply by being, contrary to expectations, even colder than January – so maybe this year, now that I expect the cold, it’s playing a new mind game: making me forget how shit it all is.

More likely, maybe my present – and probably, to others, rather annoying – sunny outlook is reflective of a deeper state of mind. The two times I’ve really fallen for a girl – one properly (several years ago) and then, less intensely, F. last summer – were both shortly before my own departure from England and thus at times when, I think, I relaxed more into my surroundings and worried less about trying to make something happen for me. And therein lies a key difference between me and my students: their life, something they have to mould and build, is here, whereas I have no pretensions that mine is; for me, this is simply a fun place to spend a year or two.

All this is not to say that I’ve decided to leave Verona come the summer – I haven’t – but maybe I’m, whisper it, maturing, and learning the lesson of, amongst other things, those two love affairs. Dad: you said years ago that I shouldn’t see Brief Encounter yet because I was too young to appreciate it; that I should go through a series of failed love affairs beforehand: what think you now?

(Mosaics - look closely - in Ravenna)

Comments: Post a Comment