Sunday, February 8, 2009

Boyz on School - first impressions

1) We have big black lace-up shoes and tall wool socks for our uniform, but during school we don’t have to wear our shoes and socks and many kids just go barefoot. (And people, mostly kids, just walk around town barefoot, including going into stores.)
2) We have houses in school just like in Harry Potter. I am in Wakefield and I already earned house points for my house. We have a ribbon with the house name on it and Mom has to sew it on my school sweater.
3) It seems like there’s going to be a lot more writing in school because we’ve already written a bunch.
4) Our science teacher is called The Mad Scientist and he’s a huge Obama fan. He has a picture of Obama on his door. In our first science class, we put our fingers through flames.
5) Many of the kids are extremely polite, like they introduce themselves and shake your hand, but some of them also swear a lot.

1) They do speak English here, but they use quite a few different words like “heaps” for lots, "zed" for the letter z, "rubbish" for trash, and they have “tea” instead of snack.
2) The first day of P.E., we played rugby with an invisible ball. The teacher said it was to practice the mental part of the game. It didn’t help me much because I didn’t really know how to play anyway.
3) People seem to let bad words slip out in school; two of my teachers swore on the first day. (My English teacher also told us that if he had seven Alzheimer’s moments, we could remove him from the classroom.)
4) There are heaps of rattails here. Lots of the boys have short hair with one long tail in the back. They all try to hide them by tucking them into their shirts at school because they are not allowed to have them.
5) All of the kids think everyone in America is a gangster and that everyone lives in big cities like Los Angeles and New York.

Notes from Mom - The boys had a short week to start because of Waitangi holiday on Friday, but all seemed to go well. Alex's middle school is more cozy with one main classroom and teacher per class and Nikko's high school is big with 1,800 students and a very spread out campus. It's too early to tell how the academic level matches where they are in Vermont, but it looks like it'll be fine. Alex is in a mixed-age class of year 7's and 8's so not the youngest in the class as we had feared since we were pushing him up. Nikko is in mostly "extended" or advanced classes, including P.E.! The school supplies lists were dizzying with each subject requiring a different number/size/shape notebook. The bill, however, was a nice surprise with most of the books costing less than a quarter. Alex starts soccer pick-up games with the school team on Monday night and Nikko is exploring the possibility of trying out cricket (on the beginner team). Mom has promised not to offer to volunteer in the schools quite yet.


traftons said...

alex,you look like a mailman!i wish i could take my shoes off in school. nikko,i can't believe you are trying cricket!why don't you wear a hat like alex? bye,chloe

alex, thats cool that you get put into houses like in harry potter!will you have to battle evil wizards? nikko, its cool that you are starting cricket but dont forget about baseball, football, or golf. from,Carter
hi from chiara

Melissa said...

hi everyone, those evil wizards really got the best of me today but i will get them tomorrow!!! i am also the champion of best mailman in nz award. i am proud of my succes as a kiwi.

from your friend/cousin/wizard/mailman/ (a.k.a. alexander otto pasanen, alex)

Melissa said...

oh - and Alex wears a sun hat because it's mandatory here when you are outside. They are very careful about the sun - and are always putting sunscreen on (they have an ad that runs that says "Slip, slop, slap, and wrap" -basically, slip on a shirt, slop on the sunscreen, slap on a hat, and wrap yourself up. I guess but when the kids get bigger, they can't make them wear hats. Melissa

M-16 Bass said...

you do look like a mail man alex. how good are the soccer players?