Friday, November 4, 2016

A First Look at School Life

For the most part, my kids are enjoying school.

There are the occasional funny moments which bring smiles to their faces.

There are also hard times which they have to grow through.

Basically, it's just like school for your kids.

Kylie likes it when all the kids are hollering or discussing a topic in Arabic or another language and the teacher says, "Everyone has to use English in the classroom."

(This might happen in America, too, come to think of it).

Kylie also thinks it's "cool" when a kid doesn't understand a word in their assignment and has to ask for an explanation in another language.

The other day a kid said, "What's 'acne'?"  The teacher babbled something in Arabic, and all of a sudden, the concept was clear.

Language mis-use is also funny:  A boy will get in trouble and say something funny like, "What did I did?"   And one time a kid cut himself, and he said, "I'm blooding.  I'm blooding."

Karis has recently decided she likes Arabic class.  It's 7 weeks into the year, and she JUST figured out that every other day, they talk about religion.  The teacher does not expect Karis or Caleb to pay attention on those days, so it's basically a free day to read.

Seven weeks!

You would have thought someone would have translated this for her before now.

Of course, when Doug and I went to the parent/teacher conference day, I have no clue what the Arabic teacher was saying either (although someone DID walk over and offer to translate for us).

Cussing is rampant here.  I know it's the same in America, but here, I'm not sure they always know what they are saying.

It's not just students, but also teachers.  Last Friday, there was a Halloween dance at the school, and the DJ was cussing as well.

We've talked to the kids about making a difference where they are planted , and one day, Kylie had the opportunity in class to be a light.  One of her teachers would always say "G-d D-m-it" repeatedly.  Then the same teacher got onto another student for using the word "dumb."  The other student said, "Teacher, that's not bad.  Plus, you say bad words all the time."  When he asked which ones, she couldn't think of any, but Kylie could.  She told the girl the word, and when she relayed it to the teacher, he asked her what was bad about it.

Since the girl didn't know, Kylie said, "When you say that, you are using the Lord's name in a non-worshipful, negative way."

He said, "Really?!  I had no idea.  I will be careful not to say that word anymore."

Ever since that moment, he has only slipped once in her class, and he apologized when he did.

That's what being a light in the school looked like that day. :)


Shaming is part of the culture here, which is not only difficult to watch, but also difficult to receive.

Grades are yelled out for the whole class to hear.

One day, a teacher even said sarcastically, "H---- had such an improvement on this test.  I am so proud of him.  Why don't you give him a big hand.  He made a zero."

The teachers' favorite word for their students is "Hiwan," which means "Animals," which, as you might guess, is a very derogatory term.  Apparently, teachers yell it all the time.  Students call each other "hiwan," too.


As a former math teacher, it also makes me cringe to hear my kids say, "The teacher said to 'plus' them or 'minus' them."

But at least "plus" and "minus" are pronounced correctly.

If any of my children ever end up in the field of science, you will have to excuse their vocabulary when you can't understand them.

Here are a few of the pronunciations that they have received from their science teachers:

antibiotics = antee by oh ticks

penicillin  = pen sill een

respiratory = res pie rah tree

capillaries  = kuh pill' ah reez

molecules = mole kules

eukaryotes = yoo kree at iks
(I know most of us don't even know the proper pronunciation on English (/yoo kar ee oht/), but it's pretty clear it's not the pronunciation written above.)


Some things my kids tell me make me smile more than it makes them smile.

Like Karis telling me, "It's hard to focus in computer because the seniors stand outside our door smoking, and I sit next to the door."

"There's a sixth grader with a mustache."

"There are brothers in my 5th grade class.  One is 15 and one is 10."

"Most of the 11th and 12th grade boys have full beards."

"My teacher always says he's leaving the room to smoke a cigarette because the "animals" have stressed him out."


Boys sometimes pick on Caleb.  It's usually for silly stuff that really doesn't mean anything or that he can't change (like the white hairs on his head),

but nevertheless, some days being out in the community or attending school is just plain hard.  One boy on our street cusses at him and flips him off, but I'm starting to think that boy really doesn't understand what he's doing (at least I hope).

Anyway, I say all that to say, on days when we discover a treat here, it makes life a little bit lighter.

Doug found these at the store the other day.  Our first to buy in 8 months!  Yummy!

Then, we received this in the mail!

We took out half of the Mint Oreos in 30 minutes, fixed a pitcher of peach tea, salivated over summer sausage, and dug into the Hot & Spicy Cheez-its.

Thank you, Jesus!  You make all things new and you bless us with good things!

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