So, today was my first day on what is known as the "Marino Schools Volunteer Project". Essentially this program is set up to bring University of Dallas students into contact with fifth grade kids from the schools in a neighboring town. The idea is for us to try to teach them some English through total immersion...obviously this "total immersion" stipulation encourages enrollment, considering that perhaps 5 to 10 kids on campus speak Italian with any real aptitude.
The experience today was fantastic. A group of about 20 students (which is nearly a quarter of our campus population) went to Marino and the bus dropped us off in three different groups at three different schools. Before it was jolly well possible to take a deep breath, I was in charge of five Italian ten-year-olds. They were marvelous. A bit shy at first, but by the time we got onto the topic of jumping out of airplanes with parachutes and being buried in volcanoes and playing tic-tac-toe, they were shouting and laughing and talking volubly in Italian with a degree of loquacity only younger children possess.
By the time we were ready to leave, several of the boys were jumping up and down, asking us to come back soon and so forth. And that we will be within a week.