Monday, April 9

Mr. San-Nen-Sei

march 27: meijo koen: nagoya This guy has started his third year at the neighborhood elementary school. He has a new teacher who is younger and speaks English (which is a boon for us, not for him). He'll be playing the recorder this year, learning Japanese calligraphy, and exploring the region along with a heaping dose of world geography. He was really apprehensive about the start of the new year which made him irritable these past few days. Since he goes to a small school, there is only one class per grade so all of his classmates are the same. His main source of stress comes from the concern he will have to study more, which is a valid concern but something he'll have to adjust to. He's not exactly a poor student: he is simply not studious. The only thing he is serious about is goofing off and not losing face in front of his friends. For bilingual/bicultural kids, becoming the class clown is almost a natural role to adopt in order to bridge the potential prejudice that arises in a monolingual monoculture. Humor can overcome a lot. Sebastian and Nico both employ goofiness as a means to social acceptance and though we don't encourage it, we don't really discourage it either. We did throw them into a rather stressful social situation so I believe it is only fair that they are the ones who manage their behavior within that sphere. Yet it does mean that Sebastian spends way too much time thinking of his next wisecrack so that he has little attention for the more serious side of school. I also tend to think that since he has to deal with the double edge blade of academic learning in a second language AND with course content that is not presented in a very enticing manner, he simply gets bored and switches to Mr. Funny Man to pass the time. My hope is that this year will be more interesting for him and having a younger teacher (with more recent pedagogical training) will help him discover that there is more to school than jokes and P.E.. Not that I expect Sebastian will ever outgrow being a goofball; I wouldn't recognize him if he did. I just want him to have more pleasure in going to school. Anyway, now I have to go fulfill his shopping list for the new year. (Plus buy some bulk foods in preparation for my extended hospital stay which is fast approaching. I hope the boys don't mind eating spaghetti, curry rice, and ramen for a few days.) Hope you are all well. xoxo


Vika said...

Interesting comments! Thank you for taking your time to write your thoughts down.

I hope the year goes nicely. :)

Tiffany said...

Thanks Vika! I have been trying to be more diligent here.
Take care.