All in a day at summer camp


It’s finally over and I’ve had not one, but two chilled Camparis to celebrate. (I still love Prosecco more but sometimes you just have to break out the strong stuff). Today was the final presentation in the community theatre with all the kid’s parents in the audience. All being said and done, I think these kids did a pretty good job putting on an 8 page play in English! I had to chuckle back stage after numerous attempts at correcting pronunciation and then hear things like “me boy, she is too young” instead of “my boy…” Or, Eeee, instead of I. “Eee am, eee am old enough.”

Ok, these kids are about seven years old, so in fact, they did a great job. In particular, one little gal who replaced a last minute no-show. Yes, they all read from their scripts, and at one point they were completely lost. The urge to jump on stage and rescue them was tempting but sometimes you must cut the apron strings. The only time I leaped like Superman onto the stage was when one of them thought it was a good idea to drop his microphone on the floor and start dancing…yep, feedback and a loud thud! I couldn’t get to it fast enough to save anyone’s ears from splitting even though I immediately turned off all the knobs on the sound board. Luckily, the parents thought it was amusing and laughed.

Another reason I’m glad it’s over is because I truly hate working with other people. I suppose, truth be told, I have never been a big “team player” kinda person. I like to work autonomously and always have. I have a bit of a strong, stubborn streak in me (thanks dad), and I’m a perfectionist too (thanks mom). To give you an example, I arrived with a binder full of stuff that was about 10 inches thick, a box from my home with four pairs of children’s scissors, a stapler, hole-puncher, four glue sticks, a hot glue gun, a mini speaker for music, etc. etc.

I was told numerous times, from a colleague, that I was stressing too much. I didn’t see it that way at all, I saw my concerns as wanting to provide the best camp in my ability that I could. See? I wanted perfection while my colleague was the polar opposite and didn’t seem to care a hoot. So when the photocopier ran out of paper or ink etc. I rolled with the punches and had back-up resources, but these set-backs irked me too. It was like being asked to juggle with one hand tied behind your back.

It was also stressed right from the beginning that we were not to speak any Italian with the kids. While this is a great concept, it was sometimes difficult not to when a child was bleeding, crying or misbehaving. Lucky for them, I knew enough to comfort or yell and not enough for them not to try speaking English to get what they wanted.

To my horror, I have also realized that I have become an English teacher snob. Oh no! Yes, now I cringe whenever I read “your” instead of “you’re” on Facebook and “there” instead of “they’re”. But worse than that, all week my American colleague kept saying “yous guys” and “alls I know is”. Batsa! I can’t take it anymore! Make it stop, make it stop! I admit, my favourite word is the Fbomb and I can probably offend many with my potty mouth but at least you can actually locate these words in an English dictionary! I know real people talk like that but it hurts my ears and I’m already pretty deaf to start with.

I think I really need to start seriously considering a career change. I have also found myself saying things like “more easy, more easier, oh crap, I mean easier,” full stop. I don’t honestly know if a two month vacation will cure me of all my follies or if I should just call it quits and become a broke housewife who wears black socks with her sandals year round, hmmmm, the offer is tempting 🙂

About lmarmstrong66

I'm a blogger, painter, writer, singer. For the love of all things in nature and creativity.
This entry was posted in Italian Culture, Teaching English and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to All in a day at summer camp

  1. katecrimmins says:

    Yay! It’s all done! Drinks all around!

    • I had two and felt drunk so stopped. I’m such a lightweight, lol : )
      I was supposed to have drinks with my colleagues but our train was arriving in ten minutes so we opted to go home earlier rather than have a drink together.

  2. Allison Wallace says:

    Nooooooooooo Noooooooooo! As a fellow Canadian, I cannot let you wear black socks with sandals!

    Please, don’t do it!


    Allison , Hamilton Ontario

  3. barbedwords says:

    I also cringe when I hear certain words or phrases. My pet hate is people saying the letter ‘h’ as ‘haitch’ – aggh! Think I’d better join you in a Campari…

  4. Seriously says:

    “kid’s parents” instead of kids’ parents? Some Grammar Nazi you are…

    • Haha, true enough! I’m the worst because I have become a jumbled up mess mixing Italian expressions into my speech too. I never said I was perfect, which is why I have expressed my horror at becoming one of “those English teacher snobs”. Oh well, keep calm and carry on…

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