Written a week ago:
For the first time ever, I’m worried about my son fitting in. Is he going to have the right kind of snack? The right kind of container for it? The right kind of clothes? Will his classmates make fun of him for being different or respect his perspective?
These are things I never worried about or even considered at Briarmeadow. At Briarmeadow everyone is a valued member of the class. At Briarmeadow they are all strange little people with very different backgrounds and perspectives. Everyone has different family makeups and histories and different home languages – and they’re all honored. Brooks has been the minority in his classes since daycare and for the first time he’s walking into a classroom of kids looking exactly like him. It’s a sea of blue-eyed, blonde haired wealthy children. That’s what I get for choosing a private school in a country that is already 97% white. (Clearly I’m still pining away for Briarmeadow.)
Written today after drop off:
The only thing I’m worried about today is that Brooks eats lunch. Or at least samples something. Actually, he doesn’t have to do any of that. If he just doesn’t have a melt down when he is asked to try things, then I’ll consider today a win. This is what’s on the menu for today:
- Vegetarian Soup: Lentil Soup
- Chef’s Choice Soup: Soup of the Day
- Main Mean: Homemade Pork Meatballs
- Vegetarian Meal: Quorn Bolognese
- Pasta Bar/ Baked Potato
- Toppings: Pasta sauce, Ham, Tuna, Cheese, Garden Salad
- Sides: Spaghetti, Seasonal Vegetable, Homemade Green Salad
- Desserts: Jelly
- Cold Desserts: Selection of Fruits, Fruit Salad, Yoghurts
- To drink: Milk, Water, Juice
This morning he got more dressed up for school than Brett and I have ever gotten for work. He looks ADORABLE! His tie isn’t quite right as I waited until this morning to watch a YouTube on how to tie one but other than that he matched all of the other kids marching up the sidewalk to his school. Most of the public schools here also require a uniform based around their school’s colors. Brett said that they look like preppy gangsters.
Here are some pictures of him this morning before we left for school. And don’t worry, it was a cool 48 F here this morning so he was not hot! Definitely a first for us to start school without breaking a sweat walking to the door.
Everyone convened in the play yard where the teachers circulated and eventually lined the kids up to go inside. There are two groups of P2 students: the Alphas & the Betas. I’m assuming that the Alphas are a bit older because they had about a head above the tiny Betas!
When I got home I checked the parent portal – yes, I realize I should have done that PRIOR to the start of school – and noted that Brooks has gym today. So glad that I packed his gym clothes! Check them out! The funny little shoes are what people here refer to as indoor trainers.
A couple of people have asked me about school supplies. All he had to bring was Kleenex, a pencil bag, and Crayola Felt Tip Pens (markers) and one Children’s Atlas work book. There are other things that I think they are getting in bulk and then charge us for later.
Written today after pick up:
An interview with Brooks:
What was your favorite part of the day? PE. What does PE stand for anyway?
What was your least favorite part of the day? Reading books.
What kind of books did you read? Polar Bear books. They were BOR-ING.
What kind of math did you do? We didn’t do maf. And no science, ya know. And there wasn’t even any maf!
What did you eat at lunch? Carrot strips. I didn’t like the look of the baked potato.
Did you make any friends? Only one person.
Do you remember their name? Nope. I don’t remember my friend’s name but I want to play with him tomorrow.
Do you have to wear your jacket all day? Uh, no. And Mom, they call it a BLAZER!
Did you like your new school? Yeah!
Do you like your new school or Briarmeadow better? I like bof of them! Mom, I told you! I like them the same amount!
Were you the only one wearing shorts for PE? I don’t know. I was so confused by all of the excitement that I don’t even know!
What was different about your old school and your new school? I played with the big kids. I wanted to do the balance thing. No science or maf.
What was the same as your old school? It had a really big space for running. Ug! Mom! I really don’t feel like talking right now!
It was raining during pick up so I didn’t get as good of a shot as I was hoping to! He had PE at the end of the day so he was in his PE clothes. I’ve been calling his school the /All-bin/ School. British people around me call it the /All-Bine/ school. Guess what Brooks is calling it now?!
On a very different note, last night I joined my first book club with the American Women of Aberdeen Association. The group is actually open to expats from anywhere who want to join but started out as a North American thing. In the past, book clubs I have participated in have been with people that shared similar life experiences or had similar purposes in reading the book. I give books to others who like to read the same things as I do and thus create a cycle of thinking and then having my own ideas reinforced through people who are like minded.
The only thing that the women in the book club have in common is that they were not from Scotland originally and they like wine. It’s really book club/wine club. We read the book Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (which is fabulous and if you haven’t read it you should go out and buy it right now; the description on the back isn’t enticing but I promise you won’t regret it). It was fascinating to hear the perspectives of people from backgrounds that were incredibly different than my own, especially on such topical issues.
Even more impressive was the level of acceptance and respect among the women in the room. There were no airs put on, no need to one up others, no need to be right. It was the embodiment of people understanding that others, with their differences, can also be right and respect for the experiences that others have lived.
Oh and another little Scottish thing I learned: most people take their shoes off in the door way. Last night the ladies pulled off their shoes as they entered and most brought a pair of socks along so their feet wouldn’t be cold. Guess who didn’t! I’ll know for next time!
So, a good 24 hours was had by all! Hopefully we can keep up this trend tomorrow!
Since I’m trying to embrace the Scottish culture, I’ll sign off the way they do.