Conclusion: Reverance Facciamo Calzini (inaccurately translated as “Let’s Go”)

Alessandra Von Burg

For Nonna Ada, Maestra Ada. Nelle ortensie blu vedo i tuoi occhi, mi guardano.

For Djoulie, Martina, Matteo, Nicolò, Avery, and Kendall. For giving me back the joy and energy for teaching.

For Ale1, Fratellino Preferito, Orange. For not giving up on trying to making me understand snow and anything with two wheels. The road is your classroom.

For Josh, Ron, Mamma, Natalie, Mariarosa, Stefania. For catching me every time I fall.

For all my students. You are the reasons I keep showing up.

 


July 22, 2021 marks 100 years from my grandmother’s birth. Ada Felesina Valenti was a teacher, mother, entrepreneur, activist, community organizer, revolutionary, and so much more. This book is dedicated to teachers, and for me Nonna Ada was the teacher, la maestra.

 

The stories and memories about how and why Nonna Ada thought and lived rhetoric in everyday life could fill a myriad of books. The two that may summarize who she was is during the 1940s and in the 1990s. During WWII, as a young elementary school teacher and mother, she would hike the area around her village in the Italian Alps to deliver food and supplies to the Resistance (to the Fascist regime). On a much more personal level, when I got pregnant, she was the first to congratulate me and offer to knit baby socks. Let’s go. Advocating for people she barely knew but believed in or for me as her granddaughter, Nonna Ada was a skilled rhetorician, an acute observer and listener of people and places, saying and doing the right (or “wrong”) thing at the most opportune moment.

 

The chapters in this book about kairos, as well as those about pathos, ethos, logos, the forms of rhetoric, style, delivery, contexts, places, or larger concepts that guide the study and practice of rhetoric all focus, in varied and nuanced ways, on how and why time and place matter.

 

It is an honor to celebrate my Grandmother and all other tireless teachers who have and will always respond to students with an energetic, passionate, and at times reckless “Let’s Go.”

 

Authors in this book explained why being confident matters; why having parents, loved ones as teachers who generously give their knowledge and time matters; why having the support to break the rules, challenge systems of oppression, and push back against the status quo not only matters, but it is essential for justice for all. Authors also cautioned us against the risks of rhetoric, the breakdowns of trust in political and personal contexts. In all these and many other examples, authors as students, students as teachers, teachers as learners, highlight two simple lessons from this book: people may not always be persuadable, but they are teachable, or what I call movable. And everyone has something to teach, so please share and move someone in ways that are unpredictable.

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Rhetoric in Everyday Life by Alessandra Von Burg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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