The Greatest Summer Homework List Ever

The dreaded summer reading list. For most kids, summer is a time when they can forget about school, but many teachers want to keep their thumbs in that glorious time of blissful forgetfulness. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing – an increasing number of voices in the education community are calling for modifications.

But Cesare Cata, who teaches at a secondary school in the central Le Marche region in Italy, wants his students to use their time off for less academic pursuits. I bless his name, and wish I had had a teacher like this.

Here the original Italian:

1. Al mattino, qualche volta, andate a camminare sulla riva del mare in totale solitudine: guardate come vi si riflette il sole e, pensando alle cose che più amate nella vita, sentitevi felici.
2, Cercate di usare tutti i nuovi termini imparati insieme quest’anno: più cose potete dire, più cose potete pensare; e più cose potete pensare, più siete liberi
3. Leggete, quanto più potete. Ma non perché dovete. Leggete perché l’estate vi ispira avventure e sogni, e leggendo vi sentite simili a rondini in volo. Leggete perché è la migliore forma di rivolta che avete (per consigli di lettura, chiedere a me).
4. Evitate tutte le cose, le situazioni e le persone che vi rendono negativi o vuoti: cercate situazioni stimolanti e la compagnia di amici che vi arricchiscono, vi comprendono e vi apprezzano per quello che siete.
5. Se vi sentite tristi o spaventati, non vi preoccupate: l’estate, come tutte le cose meravigliose, mette in subbuglio l’anima. Provate a scrivere un diario per raccontare il vostro stato (a settembre, se vi va, ne leggeremo insieme)
6. Ballate. Senza vergogna. In pista sotto cassa, o in camera vostra. L’estate è una danza, ed è sciocco non farne parte.
7. Almeno una volta, andate a vedere l’alba. Restate in silenzio e respirate. Chiudete gli occhi, grati.
8. Fate molto sport.
9. Se trovate una persona che vi incanta, diteglielo con tutte la sincerità e la grazia di cui siete capaci. Non importa se lui/lei capirà o meno. Se non lo farà, lui/lei non era il vostro destino; altrimenti, l’estate 2015 sarà la volta dorata sotto cui camminare insieme (se questa va male, tornate al punto 8).
10. Riguardate gli appunti delle nostre lezioni: per ogni autore e ogni concetto fatevi domande e rapportatele a quello che vi succede.
11. Siate allegri come il sole, indomabili come il mare.
12. Non dite parolacce, e siate sempre educatissimi e gentili.
13. Guardate film dai dialoghi struggenti (possibilmente in lingua inglese) per migliorare la vostra competenza linguistica e la vostra capacità di sognare. Non lasciate che il film finisca con i titoli di coda. Rivivetelo mentre vivete la vostra estate.
14.Nella luce sfavillante o nelle notti calde, sognate come dovrà e potrà essere la vostra vita: nell’estate cercate la forza per non arrendervi mai, e fate di tutto per perseguire quel sogno.
15. Fate i bravi.

And here the English translation:

  1. In the morning, sometime, go walk by the sea in total solitude: look at how the sun is reflected and, thinking about the things you love most in life, feel happy.
  2. Try to use all the new word you learned together this year: the more things you can say, the more things you can think of; and the more things you can think of, the more free you become.
  3. Read as much as you can. But not because you have to. Read because the summer inspires dreams and adventures, and because while you are reading you feel like swallows in flight. Read because it is the best form of revolt there is. (For suggested reading, ask me).
  4. Avoid all things, situations and people that make you negative or empty: Look for challenging situations and the company of friends that will enrich you, understand you, and appreciate you for who you are.
  5. If you feel sad or scared, do not worry: the summer, as all wonderful things do, can trouble the soul. Try to write a diary to record your feelings; (in September, if you like, we will read these together).
  6. Dance. Shamelessly. In line at the bank, or in your room. Summer is a dance, and it is foolish not to take part.
  7. At least once, go see the sunrise. Remain silent and breathe. Close your eyes, grateful.
  8. Play sports. A lot.
  9. If you find a person who enchants you, tell them with all the sincerity and grace of which you are capable. It doesn’t matter if (s)he understands or not. If (s)he does not, (s)he was not your destiny; otherwise, the summer 2015 will be the great gilded vault under which you walk together (if this goes wrong, go back to step 8).
  10. Review the notes of our classes: for each author and each concept, ask yourself questions and liken them to what happens to you.
  11. Be as cheerful as the sun, as untamable as the sea.
  12. Do not use bad language, and always be most wise and kind.
  13. Watch films with poignant dialog (preferably in English) to improve your language skills and your ability to dream. Do not let the films end with the credits. Re-live them while you live your summer.
  14. In sparkling light or on warm nights, dream about what your like can and must be; in the summer serch for the strength never to give up, and do everything to pursue that dream.
  15. Be good.

The Old Wolf has nothing more to add.

The fruits of ignorance: Spell Casters

Native doctors

Today’s email:

Good day everybody, I’m Flora from U.K. Today has being the most happiest day of my life after 6 months of sadness and sorrow without being with the one i love. I tried all my possible best to make sure i make my husband happy but it never seems to work out well, it was like I’m doing everything in vain but all thanks to Great Priest Essyewa for coming to change all my worries and sadness to Joy. i knew this great man when i read some wonderful reviews about Great Priest Essyewa on how he has helped a lots of people on their relationship problems, i was reading a magazine which then i saw great testimonies on how he has helped some many women to reunite their homes and husbands. so, i decided not to waste time and i contacted him via: and he told me not to worry that he assures me that within 48 hours everything would be sorted out, i believed Priest Essyewa so much because i believe he can’t fail me and i sent him all my details. Truly Priest Essyewa never failed me, my husband who left me for good 6 months come back to me apologizing and asking for forgiveness. since then, My husband and i have been living contentedly since Great Priest Essyewa reunited us together with his love spells. Thank you so much Priest Essyewa for your powerful spells. expressions are not sufficient to say thank you. here is his email address just in-case you have any below problems and i believed he will surely solve yours just the way he solved mine.

(1) If you want your ex back.
(2) you need a divorce in your relationship.
(3) You want to be promoted in your office.
(4) You want women & men to run after you.
(5) If you want a child.
(6) You want to be rich.
(7) You want your husband or wife to be yours forever.
(8) If you need financial stance.
(9) If you are barren and want to have a child.

This is not the first spell-caster email I’ve received, I seem to recall another one hawking this particular individual’s “services.”

I was curious as to how prevalent this sort of thing is, given the kind of rubbish my mother received when she was still alive.


The depth and fearsomeness of the ignorance is staggering; the two following examples have to do with “curing” HIV, found at a page called “My Home Remedies:”

I want to share my testimony about the man called Great Priest Essyewa who helped me heal my HIV sickness, i know so many of you will be skeptical about this my story but you have every right to be skeptical because i was doubting when i first read a testimony of a man who said this man has also help him, until i get in touch with this man, this man is a real God sent from above to heal his people from this deadly disease. i am a living witness and i am heal from this sickness,so i would like so many of you that is HIV positive to be cure by this great man. This is the main reason why i am sharing this testimony so that you will contact him and get his herbal medicine, you do not need to worry or skeptical until you contact him and get what you are looking for from him, this man is a genuine man i have meant him facially and i have seen his hand work.please anyone looking for the help of this great man should contact him via: truly here is a really solution home to all problem. please do what he ask you to do just trust me all your pains will be gone, i have gone for check up in the hospital my pains are all gone. I AM FREE. THANK health is power.

Here’s another one:

Hello my name is Joyce Adams i am from Togo i have a wonderful testimony to share to you all , how a great spell cast help me and my friend to cure our hiv .back them we where doing prostitution but we change but we did not no we where have hiv when i was about to get married me and my husband visited a doctor for blood group the doctor discover that i was a hiv positive i was so diverstated we try to look for a solution .One day i went out for a shorping i meet an old friend of my he introduced me to a very powerful spellcaster i did not believed him but he told me every thing we be fine i believed him .he told me to go within 7days every thing we be fine she told me to pay a little amount of money to buy things that we be used .and immediately 7 days i was hiv nagative i am happy married and have a child.thanks to if you need her help email her

A spell-caster’s website.

Sadly, the amount of bulldust that runs rampant in our world is beyond a quick cure, and people die as a result of chasing after these shamans. As a race of people, far too many individuals still live in darkness, and where darkness reigns, the philosophies of men rush in to fill the void – most of it driven in the name of profit.

It will take generations to raise the population of our planet out of ignorance and misery; education is the only answer. We as a planet must begin to think more globally – billions of people continue to live in intolerable conditions, and their human value is being largely ignored and wasted.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

The School for Animals

Once upon a time the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of a “new world” so they organized a school. They had adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all the subjects.

The duck was excellent in swimming. In fact, better than his instructor. But he made only passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming in order to practice running. This was kept up until his webbed feet were badly worn and he was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable in school so nobody worried about that, except the duck.

The rabbit started at the top of the class in running but had a nervous breakdown because of so much makeup work in swimming.

The squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustration in the flying class where his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of the treetop down. He also developed a “charlie horse” from overexertion and then got a C in climbing and D in running.

The eagle was a problem child and was disciplined severely. In the climbing class, he beat all the others to the top of the tree but insisted on using his own way to get there.

At the end of the year, an abnormal eel that could swim exceeding well and also run, climb and fly a little had the highest average and was valedictorian.

The prairie dogs stayed out of school and fought the tax levy because the administration would not add digging and burrowing to the curriculum. They apprenticed their children to a badger and later joined the groundhogs and gophers to start a successful private school.

Does this fable have a moral?


This story, in the public domain, was written by George Reavis when he was the Assistant Superintendent of the Cincinnati Public Schools back in the 1940s. This was a handout for my Educational Administration classwork in 1972.

The Old Wolf has spoken.