First day of schoolBy
Yesterday, Sept. 16, was the first day of school. Nobody was happy, of course, even though the Veneto, along with Puglia, was the region that started school the latest (Alto Adige began on Sept. 7, but they have German DNA).
I’ve never investigated the reasons why the whole country doesn’t start school on the same day, and starting on a Wednesday seems odd, or at least asymmetrical, to me. Then again, some of the post offices in Venice open at 8:15, and some open at 8:25. Anyone for 8:00? Certainly not. To each his own symmetry, I guess.
This year, as in the past few, the neighborhood old people’s group (literal translation of “gruppo anziani“) organized a wonderful send-off to the littlest scholars to launch them into their first real day of school ever (they will already have had nursery school, but this time it’s serious). We didn’t stay to watch because we had to be somewhere else, but I have no doubt that, as before, each child was given a bag of presents — school supplies could qualify, as long as they’ve got that new-car smell — and given a heartfelt exhortation, and a warm round of applause.
But what was new this year was the sign they put up on the backdrop, the wall of the church of San Francesco di Paola. We discovered it toward evening, and this morning it was gone. I’d like to think that the wall will retain the warmth of the poster for quite a while yet.