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Blog

As may be expected of a blog, it is an ongoing affair. For the moment, we publish here three types of texts that suit the definition of a blog.

  • in English: texts that Touché and Guy post with a certain regularity at LinkedIn.
  • in Portuguese: contributions of Touché to Brasil com Z, a blog by expat Brazilians about the countries they emigrated to. The cooperation stopped some time ago, but Touché's texts are still interesting.
  • in Portuguese, Dutch, English and even French: whenever we travel, we send newsletters to friends in several countries. At first, these messages appeared only in Portuguese, later a Dutch version was added, and in 2016 we were crazy enough to add a French and an English newsletter during our stays in New Zealand/Australia and Costa Rica. We will progressively post some of these travelogues, going back in time.

Note: the latest post is at the top. Use the menu at left or scroll down for older messages.

Touché at LinkedIn in 2021-1

‘C'è una buona idea ma non la facciamo.’

This is a true story.

Sometime around the years 2010-2015, a group of adult students decided to learn Italian. The course is one of many offered by the administration of an important city of a rich country. In spite of the fact that the tuition fee is very affordable, not many people can follow it because the lessons take place during day hours, excluding those adults whose job hours clash with this.

At that moment there was no pandemic and working from home was a concept that would have been considered kind of science fiction: exciting but not feasible.

Allora... most of the students in the mentioned course were fine, well-educated ladies, who are now retired and want to keep their minds busy. It is well-known that learning languages helps your brain stay young and healthy. And Italian is a very beautiful idiom which opens your life to the fabulous cultural universe that Italy contains.

Exploring new directions

Exploring new directions

Most teachers are not Italian natives but they are very well qualified to do their job. Of course, there is this sottile però non tanto jealousy between the ‘local’ teachers and the ‘real’ ones but this is not a big issue at the school and the students don’t seem to care about the origins of their insegnanti, as long as they follow the program and perform well.

Okay. Now there is this ‘real’ Italian teacher, a woman in her 30's (or 40's) who is a good follower of the rules about how to teach adults to express themselves in Dante’s language without making Dante feel too despaired with what is happening to his beloved idiom. Not very knowledgeable about Italian literature, this lady focuses on lessons-as-they-must-be, dividing the students between those who are really glad to have such a serious teacher – most of the group – and those who kept on going just because there are no options for that level in the course, feeling sad that the situation is so.

The end of the year is coming and even if there is no special feeling of connection between the classmates, the tradition must be respected, and here we have all students and the teacher involved in an important discussion about what would be the best ways to commemorate Xmas among all.

The suggestions are basically a repetition of the previous years until a moment when a student from a ‘different’ cultural background suggests a special game used in her country, allowing all participants in a group to receive and give a gift in a well-humored way.

After a clear explanation about the rules of the game and despite the interest demonstrated by some students, the teacher cuts short and says: ‘C'è una buona idea ma non la facciamo’. End of story.

===

2020 is over and brought many new facts and ideas to our lives. The vaccine against covid-19 is now a reality due to the hard work of serious professionals who dared venture in new researches and trials, based in creative questions, proposals, suggestions.

It’s good that open minded masters and leaders of different communities gave chance to students, subordinates or just any member of any group who may have looked for new ways to solve problems or enjoy life together.

Hopefully in the future there will be less and less teachers and decision makers who discard new propositions because, let’s be honest, if you rate an idea as good and refuse to put it into practice, there is not much to say about your qualifications as a leader of any sort. Best said: ‘C'è una buona idea e sicuramente la facciamo’.

Touché Guimarães, published on Linked In on January 27, 2021.
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