Monday, May 12, 2014

Letter From An Italian Language Teacher To His Students

"For our last day of classes:
Cari studenti,
as you know, tomorrow is our last day of classes. It is officially our last class together and I would like you to know that: I won't disappear and that if you need any help before our final I will be around and available. I also wanted to thank all of you for your work, your passion, dedication and humor. Regardless of how well the final exam will go, I am proud of each one of you. I have met you during our first class and I remember "grazi", "bruscetta", "gelaRRRo" and so on...and now I leave you speaking Italian and with a good knowledge of its basic grammar.
I know that studying a foreign language is not an easy task, especially when we are thousands of miles away from the country where that language is spoken but I hope that I have brought a little bit of Italy (even with its -or her- stereotypes) in my gestures, in my loud voice, in my humor. I am flattered to be an ambassador of my country and I am lucky and honored to be an ambassador for such attentive and passionate students as you are. I thank you all for your patience, for your enthusiasm and joy for studying. My parents always ask me what keeps me in this country, and I wish they could see you for even one day, for even one class. If they could see your frustration that magically transforms itself into self-confidence, if they could see your efforts, your smiles, your genuine interest in my language and culture I am sure that they would understand and ask me to continue doing what I am doing.
Please, continue loving what you do. Be passionate about your studies, keep your curiosity and be as humble as you are. I am writing these lines because probably we won't have time tomorrow, this way these words will stay with you even if you will be late for class (right G  and J ?)*. Again thank you all, thank you A  and A for breaking the ice with some of my eclectic activities, thank you K  for reminding your friends of the final exam -may 10th-, thank you M  for auditing our class in such an attentive way. Thank you J  and R for your perfect attendance, thank you M  for reminding me of Milan and its wonderful fashion shows, thanks M  for your constant and super-precise questions, thank you C  for being C for half of the semester, and thank you B , K  and C  for being so well mannered. Thank you G  for being Mr. S , thank you S  for your translations in my moments of fanta-English, and thank you R  for reminding me of Calabria (such a beautiful region!)...and thank you L  for your energy and optimism and thank you N  and I  for your joy in studying Italian. Thank you T for always having your hand raised. Thank you P  for your happiness and thank you K   for your dedication. Thank you M  for repeating to me at least 20 times that you are from Brick, and thank you L  for making fun of my English! Thank you W  for your incredible enthusiasm and good luck with your college applications. Finally thank you J  for your patience and for playing along with my shenanigans.
Because teaching can be aching but is a rare privilege." - Marino Forlino

*Students names have been abbreviated to first initial

Grazie Mille to Marino Forlino for giving me permission to publish this touching letter he has written to his students.  This stirs my heart  not only  for its expression of  love and dedication  to his students but also for his gift of sharing  the beauty of his native  Italian language with others.   A heartfelt lovely letter indeed.

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