Saturday, 25 April 2009

First Day of School

This is a funny story, I'm just not sure I can write it funny. I'll give it a go and we'll see if it loses the giggle effect in the translation...

So, here we are, back in the U.S. after one taxi, 3 airplanes, 1 tram, 2 three hour layovers, and one joyous 3am reunion in San Antonio.

We arrived in Texas on a Sunday and Hannah started school the following Thursday. When I dropped her off at the reception area, she was whisked away to be tested before being assigned a class. I arrived to collect her at 2:45, and the school receptionist told me that after having been tested, they decided to place Hannah in Mrs. Johnson's class. She explained rather cryptically that it was a more appropriate place for her since there were students at a similar level as she in that particular class...uh...ok. So in the car, on the way home, I asked Hannah how things had gone. She told me that she was asked to read aloud, which was hard because she is used to reading to herself. And there were some very hard words...words even harder than "eclipse"! Then, they went on to do maths and there were these numbers with arrows (?). As she was trying to explain this mathematical function, I'm scrambling around in my head trying to figure out what would second graders be doing with numbers and arrows? After a few moments, the light came on and I realized she was talking about the "greater than" or "less than" symbols. This is not a math symbol used in England. They also did some worksheets that had pictures of American money and she had to add it up. She told me it was difficult because she couldn't flip the coins over to see how much they were worth. "Okaaaaaaay..." I'm thinking, "so she tanked the reading portion and was clueless on the maths portion...(sigh)." Hannah was still talking and I fought to focus on what she was saying. Something about coloring in the bubbles. She didn't know about coloring in the bubbles. Since I had that "Wha?" face on, she went on to explain that if there was a question and you had to choose either a), b), or c), then you had to fill in the bubble that corresponded with the correct answer. "ah-HAAA! a scan tron sheet!" my nimble brain concludes. So now the cryptic message that the receptionist had given me earlier begins to take form. What she was loathe to say was really: "They have placed Hannah in a remedial class...Mrs. Johnson is a special ed teacher," I brace myself for that eventuality.

The next day, Hannah comes home with a paper I must fill out that asks silly questions like, "My child is mature beyond her years" and I'm supposed to circle 1) dumb as a rock 2) average Joe 3) freakin' genius! (ok, maybe I'm paraphrasing, but you get the drift). I circled all the number twos and sent it back to her teacher. Monday, she comes home with aNOTHer form with a handwritten note in the corner that read, "please fill out this side." OK. I read the form title: Application for Gifted and Talented Program. Hannah pipes in just then, "Mommy, this paper needed both sides completed" I turn it over and sure enough, all the silly questions regarding Hannah's ability level are there with all the number twos circled. Do you see the irony? They want to test the kid for the gifted class and her mother can't even fill out a form without assistance? It's her mother that belongs in the remedial class, folks!

OK. This is the place where you are snickering at my idiocy or still waiting for the punch line. If this isn't funny, it's because I'm still in my special ed writing class...