Last week, the week before the AP Psychology exam, Sarie was scheduled to read Dante’s Inferno. This was appropriate considering the circumstances. Finally, on Saturday, I broke the news to her that sometimes, kids in school have so much to do that they don’t finish the books they are assigned. This was, in fact, such a circumstance. “Just finish it next week,” I said. She looked at me, horrified. “Really. I know you’ve wanted to read it. You’ll catch up.”
This is next week. To catch up, she has to read 17 cantos per day, plus study for her final in that class and a do some other schoolwork. And go to conservatory classes. Compared to last week, this is merely Purgatory.
Today was chamber rehearsal. This trio got a late start (January), and today they found out that their exam would be on June 14. The coach was a little crabby. He accused Sarie of not working hard enough to learn the piece, Brahms’ Horn Trio in E-flat Major.
Sarie, who begs for extra practice time, apologized. “I’m sorry. I had a big exam last week and I’ve been catching up on my other reading. I should be able to work a lot harder on this by next week.”
The coach looked sarcastic. “What are you reading, The Divine Comedy or something?”
“As a matter of fact, yes. One book per week.”
This pleased the coach. “Ah, those American schools are good after all!” he beamed. Because Italians feel the same way about Dante that English-speakers do about Shakespeare.
Little does he know, however, about Sarie’s “American school.” Perhaps that’s just as well.