This is supposed to be about "location"--but, at the moment, I want to forget all of that--trying to figure out what to do makes my head spin and I am very tired of feeling like a mental pretzel!!
So--let me tell you about Casey--because this is kind of a neat thing.
Obviously, it is important that he learn some Italian before setting foot in the Italian class room next fall. Thus, he is currently using the Muzzy language program--which has him mesmorized. And, although it is too soon to tell if it will be effective, at least, he is paying attention and isn't rejecting the idea of learning the language. He can't wait to get home from school or where ever so that he can watch the story tapes--over and over.
Then--we have just found out that a young girl who lives near us and who is the perfect age for baby sitting is fully fluent in Italian. Her family speaks Italian at home, including 4th grade twins who go to Casey's school. So, now, Mary Grace has become our "official" babysitter and will speak to him in Italian when she is here--plus, we are hoping, that Casey will be able to spend time with the family so that he has immersion experiences. If all of this works, he may be well prepared for what lies ahead.
The neat thing though is that he is "teaching" his classmates an Italian vocabulary word every day. The willingness of his teacher to let him do this has given some immediate purpose to his efforts--which, in turn, is serving as significant motivation. Aren't good teachers wonderful? Ones who know how to encourage and expand kids creativity and inquistiveness? We feel so fortunate this year.
At a local teacher supply store, we found a small wall hanger with velco strips so that he can post each day's word--which at this point includes: Buon Giorno, grazie, molto grazie and prego. Coming up are per favore, ciao, and several classroom related words.
Mary Grace teaches him pronunciation--which, believe me, is far, far better than my feeble attempts at anything more than the bare basics. Although I can say Pimsleur and some texts are getting us started on this language journey--is there any question as to who will become the more proficient--Casey or grandma and papa? Don't think so! I have no doubt that he will become our teacher and language assister.
But--more than spoken language, Casey is preparing himself in the true and real language of the boys of Italy--the language that breaks all barriars in a moment creating instant bonding and brotherhood:
Have you ever wondered why on some blogs and other interactive sites leaving a comment first requires copying a strange combination of letters? The answer is that there are bizarre and strange people who know how to automatically leave undesireable messages and advertisements in comment sections. So, in order to stay one step ahead of this unwelcome invasion, the verification step kicks in. In the past I thought this requirement was a real pain and then the spam comments began showing up--now I understand. So, I apologize to anyone who stumbles on this inconvenience but at least you will know why--here or on any other blog.
Next up: Location, unless I find more ways to avoid the entire issue!
God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.