Thursday, October 1, 2009

School Days

School is so funny here. Today is October 1 (first day was August 24) and we still don't have most of the textbooks for Bo and Redd's classes. We went up yesterday to buy them--told that the Houghton Mifflin rep would be on hand between 12 and 3. So we naturally tried to be efficient and went at 2:30pm when they get picked up for the day. Too late! We were told that the books were sold out, and that you really need to get here closer to noon if you want them. So, no more books. But we've been told they are ordering more. Next time we'll show up early. But for now, homework is really not an option for the boys if you've got no books!

Mason's uniform just showed up last week, though the funny polyester sweater which goes with the god-awful polyester blue pants is too small and needs to be exchanged. That will probably arrive around Christmas, which is, happily, probably the first time he will need it. None of our kids has adopted the Mexican cold mentality (yet). First day under 70 degrees, it seems, and all local children are heading to school in fleece coats, heavy school jackets, and scarves wrapped across their faces. Babies are swaddled year-round in thick wool blankets, with no features showing at all. It's a wonder they are still alive under there. It can be 85 degrees and the moms and dads are walking around town with these bundles of flesh completely covered and held close to their chests. But I digress. It's the completely relaxed nature of the school system here that I was actually writing about.

I had to write a paragraph to Bo's teacher yesterday (typed on the computer and translated by a handy online translation service) telling him it was impossible for Bo to do his homework because he had no idea what the instructions were. He came home with some questions which had been dictated in Spanish by Prof. Jose Luis Mario. Bo gave it a good shot, but as it was his phonetic interpretation of the teacher's oral presentation, things were a little lacking. Both Sam and I tried to interpret it ourselves but we were kind of at a loss. And this was no ordinary, "What did you eat for breakfast?" kind of question. As best I could tell, Bo was being asked to write some paragraphs about the difference between the Aztecs and the Toltecs in Mesoamerican civilization. Huh? I gave Bo the note to give to Prof. Mario (telling him Bo would need to see these questions written down, rather than dictated). And until then, I told Bo, let's not worry about your old homework. It's all so relaxed around here after school....

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