Friday, February 6, 2009


Today we had a strike, and it's so different from the US that I thought I would write and tell you all about it. Claudia and I were getting ready and running out the door to catch the train this morning, like we usually do, although we were on time this morning (we are no often on time...the other day we almost lost the train. But teachers here are pretty relaxed about tardiness, especially when you are a good student, which Claudia is.) Anyways, hen we go to the station, there weren't a lot of people there. Usually the place is swarming with teenagers waiting for the train (there are at least 6 different high schools in Castellammare, so every teen in Vico takes the train.) Claudia told me it was because there was a strike, and many people had skipped school to go the strike. But she doesn't usually agree with the reasons for strikes, so she doesn't go very often. Our class gets good grades and they don't skip school very often because they want to study and take the tests. Today's strike was different....a couple of days ago a man was killed by the local maffia (Ms. Hamilton was right=)) in Castellammare. He was shot in his car on in front of his 15 year old son....Mom, it's ok, Claudia said this rarely happens. It is, after all, Castellammare, not Naples. A safe little city. And the man was involved in the mafia in the first place. But it was still big news here, because it doesn't happen often.

So Claudia got several calls from friends in class telling us that they weren't going to school and when we got to school everyone was standing outside the building, even though it was 8:30 and school starts at 8AM (the train was late.) There was a paper put up in front of the school telling everyone tha the strike would begin at 9AM. Of course everyone was happy that we didn't have to go to school. I learned how to say "I am happy that I don't have to go to school" in Italian, so I could answer when people asked me why I looked so happy. Then we entered the square where everyone was at...I'd say at least 300 people, kids from all of the high schools, shop keepers didn't even open their stores so they were there. I even saw one of my teachers! People were carrying flags of each town around and the mayor spoke, then we all walked in a loop around Castellammare. I'm tired, but it was interesting. Claudia said this strike was a quiet compared to others, when people are usually shouting and singing. She said that this one was different because we were paying our respect to the man who died.

So that was my first strike...and I didn't even have my camera! It was Eureka's last day, the foreign exchange student from Malaysia...and I helped Ilze discover Edgar Allen Poe (I know you are proud, Meri)...because we had to read "The Black Cat" ("Il Gatto Nero") in Italian out loud in turn was horrible, but the teacher was insistent that I read. And it was year 1 kids...

So more news..... we are going to a party tonight! Claudia calls it an "18 and over party" but really it's an birthday party for a girl who is turning 18. I don't know the girl, but I think I know some people who will be there...Claudia says that tomorrow we will be very tired in school, which leads me to believe that we will be out past midnight...Urgh, I don't want to go to school tomorrow. Can you believe that when they say "weekend" here, it just means Sunday? Isn't weekend suppose to be plural????

Oh, I said I would post some differences about schools here and school in California....
**When I say "0ur, I mean Californian",
1) Our schools are a lot nicer, which leads me to believe that our school get a lot more money than the schools here
2) There is a statue of Mary in the hallway, where everyone make a cross and bows to...I don't, but then I'm not catholic....
3) They have 6 periods, which they call hours, without all breaks at all, including no lunch....we get out at 2pm, then we go home and have lunch
4) The students stay together all day in the same room, and the teachers change rooms....
5) Everyone here looks so old! Cladiahad a friend who was in year 4 (if I knew Italian I would be in year 4) and I swear he would pass for 20 in the US....they look so old....

Well, that's it for now....hey, my friends...give me updates on what is going on at school! SATs...have you taken them? If not, you better be studying you butts off....

Oh, wait, one more thing! Here are some trips that I know I am taking.....

March - exchange week with AFS ( I get to go toanother family for a week in another city) and I am hopeing to go to Venice!
April - one of my classes that I have without Claudia (but with Ilze) is takeing a 4 day trip to Florence (Firenze)
June - Claudia, Vicky and I are going camping in June in Sardina! Not exactly camping, Vicky has a house there, but Sardina!
Sometime....- Claudia's dad lives in Rome, so we will go there a couple times this year....especially for Easter.

Ok, that's really it...we have to go to by a present for the party...oh, no, I don't do well without sleep........


Mary Mo said...

I don't know how often you get to see your emails/blog - but I am loving your entries! I am thinking I could get used to the Furlough Fridays pretty easily! I just wish it wouldn't have been raining today on our very first one. But not to worry - I survived! Is that address you posted a good one - ie: can you receive mail/packages there?
Talk to you soon!
Mary Mo

Linda Guter said...

Wow,what you have learned and done in such a short time. Lucky you! Your mom is doing just fine. When I called over to see if you arrived okay, Kyle answered the phone. I asked if he missed you yet..all I heard was that he liked your room!! I think dad is good too.

I saw Wicked, which I loved, and thought of you. Your mom told me how much you liked the play. I hope you and mom will be able to see it together sometime. I know she would love it too.

Since today is Saturday..have fun in school.

Budget Mom, Linda

Aunt Mare said...

Hi Kaitlyn,

I am with you mom and brother right now....haven't read anything yet...but I WILL!!! I signed up tonite as a blogger for you!
Will write you later.

love you,
Aunt Mare

reedfamily said...

Hi Kaitlyn
Us reed's have been enjoying your blogs. Thanks for sharing!! Keep the blogs coming!
us reeds!!