Neressa’s farm is close to the quaint little town of El Molle. Apparently if you ask real nice and talk to the teacher and principal, you can just drop your kid off at school while you are in town. Neressa took care of the details, and Bode was enrolled in the local school for the week. Public school is free and we like this town already – hmmm, it’s just seems too easy…
The first grade class has 10 girls and 3 boys – make that 4, for now. Class starts at 9:00 and goes until 4:20. Possibly a long day for 6 year old kid who has never attended school and doesn’t speak the language well.
Day one, we didn’t know what to expect, but he survived. We asked how the day was and all we could get out of him was “horrible!” It was an overly-dramatic response – almost seemed practiced – so a little more prying eventually got a few more details. The worst part of the day was recess.
Day two took a little more effort to get him to school in the morning – he didn’t want to go – but it really didn’t take much to load him up and send him off. His opinion at the end of this day was merely “it was dumb.” We took that as being better then “horrible” and again determined that the problem was recess.
It turns out that recess isn’t really the problem, but the hierarchy of the entire system. Leave it to our kid to have fundamental issues with the way that school is structured. The entire recess issue is that there are only a few balls and all the 6th graders take them. He wants to play with the the older kids – or at least a ball – but it’s just not going to happen. What 6th grader wants to play with a 1st grader at recess – especially the new gringo kid?
Angela and I have got most of the bases covered when it comes to math, science, history, reading, writing, etc. What we’ve neglected to teach him so far is what it’s like to be excluded, ostracized, etc. Of course, there are lessons to be learned here too – life isn’t too different than what happens on the playground at recess – and I certainly still remember those days. It’s just part of growing up.
So, after some brief discussions, things were moving along pretty smoothly with the morning of day 3. He ran of to school without mentioning a thing and he came home telling us about his day.
Day 4 – adios, padres. He grabs his backpack and runs off to school.
Day 5, and we mention it’s likely his last day. “Awwwww! But why?!”