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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

We're Not In Kansas Anymore

Conner is in big-time shock with the amount of homework he got his first day back in an American school. He and John have been at it for a fair amount of time; luckily they have been working in the hotel "lodge" while I have been pulling bedtime duty. I think I got the better end of the deal. Conner has come in and out a couple of times to get things. I learned to stop asking if his homework was done. The last time he came through he said, "Oh, and by the way, if this is how it's going to be, I'm not doing it."

It is fair for him to feel a bit of strain: For three years in Italy he hardly had any homework to speak of. School was in session from 8:30 to 4:30, five days a week, and the long days mostly cancelled out any work being brought home. And mostly what they did assign for homework involved memorization, which for Americans sounds hideous, but for Italian students is so routinely assigned it becomes old hat. Conner could whip through it in well under 10 minutes, more often than not, and maybe go over it again in the bus the next morning. (Though I'm probably making that part up.)

I will say that the Italian method certainly generates a lot less paperwork. Egads! They must kill a whole tree every half day to keep these kids in paper. A big tree. One of those Redwoods in California you can drive a car through.

I haven't really gotten a grip on what all Conner came home with today. I do know I still have a whole stack of papers that I need to go through and sign. Or just read. Or just have so the school can say I should have known better. Or because we don't have enough of a paper trail in this hotel room already. I think I liked it better in Italy when I could plead ignorant to anything I missed because, you know, I no speak Italian. Now I've got to be with-it and pretend like I'm some kind of super soccer mom. And I don't even play soccer.

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