I'm definitely looking forward to the holiday this Friday--the Villa will actually be closed that day--and the fact that school groups are over for the summer. The last group we had come through was one of my worst experiences thus far. It must have been some sort of continuation high school. Most of the students didn't even pretend to listen--even after I brought out my meaner side to get them to straighten up. It's just impossible to earn enough respect from troubled kids like that in such a short time. Some of them were curious and asked questions (laced with profanity). I shouldn't have put up with any of it at all, but with it being the last school group of the school year and with the combination of frustration and pity that comes with encounters with kids like that, I just endured it. Sometimes when I'm dealing with these inner city kids I feel like Hilary Swank in "Freedom Writers." I'm white and privileged so what reason do they have to listen to me? Those students needed to be taken through by their teacher, someone who works with them daily and who has earned their respect. Anyway, glad that's over. Teaching should lighten up from now until late September without school groups to fill the morning schedule.
Mostly right now I think I just need some time away from this land of fruits and nuts. The other day on my general tour of the collection, some old guy started asking me about Pompeii and then suddenly broke into a loud, dramatic recitation of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. I was really beginning to wonder how the heck I was going to stop him when he finally ended the performance. Also, among the people who come up afterwards to tell me it was "great" or "amazing" or whatever, once a week or so someone tells me I sound like Jodi Foster in Silence of the Lambs. I honestly don't know how to respond to this remark except to say, "Er--thanks." They seem to think they're paying me a compliment, and I like Jodi Foster, so I guess I should leave it at that. (Some of you may remember, she was one of the celebrity tours through the Tut exhibit--we took her, her partner, her mom, and her son through the exhibit with the public. She was very nice and down-to-earth.) In any case, these are the strange and weird encounters that make up my days here at the Villa. Never a dull moment.
I hope this finds you well and making the most of your summer!