As far as my week goes, I work Monday to Friday mornings teaching English to 14- to 16-year-olds in a local secondary school in Vibo Valentia, Calabria. A typical work day usually starts at 9:00. As soon as I walk through the school’s main door warm Buongiornos welcome me in. I walk along the corridor that leads me to the stairs and hear, 'Buongiorno, Angela!' as one of the caretakers shouts out the moment he sees me. Everyone’s welcoming buongiornos has definitely proved to be a pleasant start to a work day!
On Monday and Wednesday afternoons I help school pupils prepare for their Cambridge exams. To break my work routine a bit I enrolled on a gymnastics course at a local dance school. Having never done gymnastics before, I’m the least experienced pupil/the worst pupil of the bunch. However, the teacher doesn’t seem to mind and neither do the other girls. Calabrians have this particular charm that welcomes you in instantly making you feel loved and at home.
On Thursdays after lunch, my cow puppet and I sing along to 'Incy Wincy Spider' or 'Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes' with my private English class. I teach English to a group of 5 charismatic children under 7. Their enthusiasm for learning English and engaging with the lessons make them the perfect pupils. After putting my cow puppet away I head to a local Language School for another private lesson.
Tuesday and Friday afternoons are less hectic. When I get home from work, my husband Nathan and I usually play chess or watch a bit of Top Crime (the only channel we have in English). I’ve never really been a big TV fan but with shops being closed for lunch I’ve got a bit hooked on it. In the evenings, when the town comes back to life after a 4-hour lunch break, Nathan and I may meet up with our neighbours or go for a stroll around town. Full of light and life, the main street is a pedestrianised zone crammed with independent boutiques, a small deli and a big deli (which locals call a supermarket), a department store and a few coffee shops which Italians call bars. It’s always teeming with people loitering around - shopping, chatting, kissing, laughing but rarely on their phones. Most Tuesday and Friday afternoons you’d find us strolling up the main street - when in Rome, do as the Romans do!
How important do you think it is to enjoy the job you do?