School update

I picked up two happy girls from school yesterday. Siena was excited after her first day of school, talking a mile a minute of everything she has done. Jade looked happy but when I asked her how it went, she said “So, so. English was boring. We are learning things that I learned when I was two.” I am starting to think that maybe part of what’s going on is her age, preadolescence. Even when things are going pretty well, she won’t admit it. I did tell her that I would talk to her teacher to see if she can use the twice-weekly English class for something more useful than learning mispronounced words that she already knows. (Jade came home one day laughing because the English teacher, who really doesn’t speak English all that well, was teaching the kids the word knee and pronouncing it “k-nee”.) Maybe she can use the time to read in English or better yet, write stories in English and we can correct them at home.

So that was yesterday. Today, was a complete reversal. As we entered the school grounds, Jade ran off to her class without so much as a look back or a goodbye. Siena, on the other hand, grabbed my hand tightly and started crying when it was her turn to say hello to her teacher and go into her classroom. (At Waldorf schools, teachers greet each child individually at the door by looking them in the eye and shaking their hand. Here, children are greeted with a handshake and a kiss.) I guess it’s going to be up and down for a little while.

I, on the other hand, took advantage of the kids being back at school and went to a ceramics class on my own. As much as I have enjoyed doing ceramics with the girls over break, it felt wonderful to have adult time to mold and shape the clay and chat with our teacher about grown-up stuff. I also got to finally bring my first finished piece home. Here it is:

I have to confess I am very proud of it because it has been a labor of love. It has been so gratifying to create it from scratch, from an idea. Then to use my hands, not a pottery wheel, through a technique called “rollos” (rolls) to build it up roll by roll. And then of course to paint it. The mandala inside took forever to paint, as did the rest of the piece since I was trying to make it look like an antique. I found out that making something look old is a lot of work and requires many colors and many layers of paint.

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