Franco Guidone 2017 by Caroline Seefer
One of the first things I did after learning that I was going to teach in Florence was to enroll in a beginning Italian class at DVC with Franco Guidone. I ended up taking two full semesters of Italian with Franco. Am I fluent? Far from it! But I feel that I learned enough to get by: I can read and write sufficiently, I have a decent vocabulary, and I have a good understanding of proper Italian grammar. My hope is that once I’m in Florence, I’ll improve my speaking skills through immersion. I plan to practice every
chance I get!
But back to the class. One thing I learned is that Franco has an incredible gift for teaching. This class met every day for an hour, and for two full semesters, I couldn’t wait to get to class every day. And the reason I looked forward to going to class each day was Franco. He made the class come alive, with his humor, his knowledge, and his obvious love for his students. And his students returned that love.
Testament to that came at the end of the Fall 2006 semester when the entire class secretly planned an end-of-semester party in Franco’s honor. We pitched in for gifts, we brought baked goods, and we all wore Italian red. Franco seemed truly moved.
And during the year I spent in Franco’s class, I learned what I affectionately call “Francoisms.” Here are just a few:
1. Giorno! (Said loudly and brusquely upon entering the classroom each day)
2. This WILL be on the test!
3. This mayyyyyy be on the test!
4. Help Seefer out here, she’s drowning!
5. Give it up for Norton, who’s early for tomorrow’s class (said each time a student was late for class, followed by a rousing “Woo hoo hoo”)
6. Piece ‘a cake!
I’ve been out of class for only a few short weeks now, and already I’m suffering from withdrawal. Thanks, Franco, for preparing me so well!