The first time I met Eitan was in Ms. Muraca’s Italian class freshman year of high school. While there it’s difficult to summarize all that happened in Italian class, one thing I will always remember Eitan’s contribution to the nature of that class. Every student in the class had to come up with an Italian name that they would replace their name with for the duration of the class. Eitan decided to name himself “Il Padrino” or “The Godfather.” I remember how he didn’t hesitate to ask “how do you say “The Godfather” in Italian. That was indeed his name for the next three years (Italian ended our Junior Year of high school).
On the other hand, because I had learned some Italian the summer before, I chose the name “Super Penne” which literally translated to “Super Penne.” The word “penne” is the name of a type of pasta. While this is incredibly immature, the point of me naming myself Super Penne was because when people mispronounce “Penne” and did not stress the two n’s, it becomes “pene” which is one word for “penis” in Italian. While many people gave up and simply referred to me as “Arturo” which is my real name translated into Italian, Eitan was always the person in the class who would chant loudly “SUPER PENE” just the way I wanted it to be pronounced.
Another interesting thing that Eitan liked to do was to team up with Luke Schulert and steal my binder. Once my binder was obtained, they would quickly draw as many penises as they could in the binder. In return I bit a large chunk out of Eitan’s quiz. This sort of immature “penis-vandalism” became so commonplace that Ms. Muraca gave up trying to moderate it. One time the class actually hid my bag from me, causing me to be unable to do any work for the entire class; however, this was the nature of our class, and these things didn’t just happen to me. Everyone was always a target, and there was something in Eitan’s enthusiasm that made this kind of active ridiculous humor make sense, and that’s one thing that I really miss about Eitan.
While this short reflection may not encapsulate all of Eitan’s sense of humor, I can’t emphasize enough how much Eitan contributed to this high school memory of mine. Without his enthusiasm, and his voice, and his presence, that Italian class wouldn’t have been nearly as memorable. While I didn’t have Eitan in many of my other classes until senior year, I will always remember how he could define whether a class was enjoyable or not, just from being around.