Never leave the old road for a new one, if you don’t want to take the risk of dealing with unexpected situations and this is a truth universally acknowledged for me. I’m writing this, as, few days ago I meant to introduce Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in one of my (many) classes, but I felt like doing it in a different way this time. I wanted them to focus on the opening lines of the book, so I assigned the following homework: tell me which is a truth universally acknowledged for you in 200 words. Of course they didn’t know whom this line belonged to and I never mentioned the name Jane Austen. Just asking. The name would have been revealed only afterwards.
Of course, they were puzzled and attempted to understand what I was actually expecting. None of them was crossed by the thought that those words might belong to somebody and “google” them. I thought them smarter or maybe I was too good at hiding my purposes. By the way, after a little hesitation I started to receive answers. Some of them considered safe to produce the truths universally acknowledged of the world and the universe like:
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that the speed and position of a subatomic particle cannot be known. This concept can be found in the “Uncertainty Principle” of Heisenberg……”(Umberto P.)
Is it really so? I don’t know and I didn’t mean to check it. Another one attempted to give a scientific demonstration in his way:
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a 50 cc scooter is slower than a 125 cc scooter…” (Vittorio F.)
Then all a sudden the answers took the form of universally acknowledged Italian truths, which mostly regarded pizza, pasta and family:
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that when you cook carbonara pasta, a poor dish of the Roman tradition made with eggs, bacon, pecorino and pepper, you ABSOLUTELY don’t need to add onions.” (Andrea R.)
Actually, there has always been a dispute on this point and I agreed with him, no onion in a good carbonara is required. Even with the following truth I agreed:
” It is a truth universally acknowledged that pizza and pineapple cannot be a good match … Pineapple is a fruit and YOU CAN’T PUT FRUIT ON PIZZA!!!! . A good pineapple is sweet and juicy and I think that Italian people will never appreciate a taste like this.” (Flavio F.)
” It is a truth universally acknowledged that mozzarella cheese, should never be kept in a fridge….as the low temperature alters its flavor”. (Fabio D.B.)
Words of wisdom indeed. And what could be said about the following one?
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that when you go to visit an Italian grandmother, you have to eat a lot. Even if you’re on a diet, you can’t leave that home without having swallowed whatever she has prepared for you. It has always been so and I think we all love it. When you arrive, as your grandmother opens the door, you can smell all the food she has prepared for you. It seems impossible, but even if you tell her that you’ll go to visit her only two hours in advance, she will be able to cook for an army. It is a grandmother’s power. Many of us go to have lunch at her home on Sundays, others go to visit her rarely, but it doesn’t matter. What really counts is her happiness when she sees you and her special attention that only a grandmother is able to give. Moments like this are the ones that describe better the word “family”. Moments like this make our adolescence amazing. Family is the most important thing in our lives.” (Eleonora R.)