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Today in class one of my teachers made an interesting comment.

The course I am taking with her is the first one of two parts; as the first part is ending, next week we are supposed to start with the second one, which on the paper in going to be hold by a different teacher. Fact is, this other teacher has also the resposability of an important administrative job within the university, and as it happened already in the past in similar occasions, she won’t be coming to teach the class much, leaving the job to the first teacher, the one we have worked with so far.

Even though I am not sure about it (I will try some further investigation, stay tuned), I suppose that even though technically it is not her teaching those hours, she will of course get paid for it. But probably not in an official way.

Here we are. This duplicity always did and always will baffle me. It is something absolutely necessary to understand in order to live and operate in this Italy. There is a formal way and an informal way. The way things should be done “in theory”, and the way things work “practically”. And practically EVERYTHING works like this.

When I asked my teacher if the second part of the course would be actually hold by the “official” teacher or by her, the answer I got was something like “No, well, of course she’ll do it” (the other teacher), but then in other occasions mentioned the fact that she will be probably doing a lot of the teaching for it, and even asked confirmation to us about the classroom we are going to see each other for that.

I find it truly fascinating. Living in Italy gives you the constant thrill of a never ending Schroedinger’s paradox, keeping you in good mental shape with Bateson’s double-bind-like situations.

It’s culture for us. For others, maybe, border-line schizofrenia.

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