Here is international school setting at its Asian concentrated finest. Josephine jumps right in and is making tons of friends and very excited about Mr. Fisher's class. Quinn and I are bug eyed and trying to figure it all out. Bridget is a bit of both. She's great with going with the flow yet with the family feeling the overwhelmingness of not only China but also the SAS environment. She is choreographing the musical (Wizard of Oz) and will be editing and publishing the Elementary school yearbook.
Although She'll deny it, I believe our road trip pit stop this summer in Kansas to the Oz museum will be an added help to her interpretation of the classic story.
At this school, kids show up and sit down minutes before class start and are ready to learn. Increasingly in the states, I had found my job as a math teacher to be that of enlightening kids to the importance of mathematics. Forget that here. Every kid has shown up with sharpened pencil in hand ready to go. Not only that, but when you prose a problem, the pencils move at an amazing speed.
Most of the kids, and I mean a large most, are Asian. This is a massive study in racial integration as we are the white minority. We didn't quite expect this. The students are from, for the most part, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and then America (of Asian Descent) and Australia (Of Asian Descent) and Europe.
Quinn tried out for Rugby, but I don't think she was too impressed. We'll see as next week she scans the clubs and makes a choice.
John Vietch, the Head Boys Volley Ball Coach and new teacher from New Zealand, whom I've befriended, approached me about assisting him this year and I accepted. We had try outs this weekend and picked 12 from a list of 40 to be our Varsity Team. We (coaches after practice) did this over beers at the local pub. The sense of balance is well preached and well practiced here among the staff. We will travel to Hong Kong and Korea for tournaments this year. I haven't quite figured this one out - but once or twice a season the Varsity teams head to the airport and fly to various Asian countries for competition. More later as I learn. Right now my learning curve is steep in everything and now including Volleyball.
Today, Sunday, we headed out as a family to a local shopping mall. There is this massive battle with language and taxi's and where the hell am I, are we, going. Somehow made it to the mall after way too much time on research and practicing what to say. However, we shopped till we dropped - Well I dropped by losing my cool - but ended up at a great Tapas joint for a wonderful lunch. Quinn splurged on the virgin Pina colada.
Quinn is being tested the most of us right now as she strives to fit in with friends and activities. She is such a strong and wonderful girl, and it is hard to see her struggle with this knowing that anyone would struggle in such a situation. She knows it is good for her in the long run, really doesn't complain, but isn't thrilled about being the new kid at the school with surprising very little new freshman.
She is becoming a beautiful little girls - her hobo tooth is all but in place and well, not really a hobo tooth anymore. She is willing to do anything but trying to make good decisions the whole time. There is so much to learn: the social scene, the classes, technology, her computer, where people hang out, Rugby (or not Rugby) and what not. What a great little girl she it.
We've been spending a good amount of time at our pool and that has been wonderful. There is a gang of kids from the States, Holland, India, and what not that hang out there on a regular basis. It is really a lovely setting surrounded by a pond and willows. The kids play quite a bit. It is funny there are these dudes who show up with there goggles for a lap workout but there are no lanes. So they try to swim there laps but have to navigate the kids lost in game. Sometimes they'll just swim right into the kids. Sometimes the kids yield, and sometimes they don't. I like it when they don't. Then there are the kids of "Tiger Moms" who are only allowed in the pool if they are swimming laps.