Tuesday, September 27, 2011

There is a LOT of wasted time here...

Insight number 2...from Ira...

Our schools have a LOT of wasted time!!

You see, apparently in China, when they do school...THEY DO SCHOOL!!!

Ira typically has 8 "Lessons" a day...40 minutes long. These are lessons (classes) that are pre-selected. (Now, mind you, he attends a boarding school...that puts out amazing kids!!) After each lesson is a 10 minute passing period. From 7-9 pm every day of the school week, they have "study hours" where NOTHING but studying is done! :)

The have FEW "holiday" breaks from school during the school year...and their summer vacation is 2 months long.

So, when Ira found out that we were off on a Friday, for, of all things, Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival, he was dancing like a little kid. A few days later we struck up a conversation about Thanksgiving and I told him it was going to be a HUGE feast and all my relatives would be in! He said, "Holiday? You get that day out of school?" No, Ira! WE GET 3 DAYS out of school!!! He shook his head in bewilderment and laughed and clapped. Once again, we had made his day.

So I said, "Ira! Come with me!" I took him to the calendar where I began to point out ALL the many days we have out of school! He laughed and laughed and laughed!!!  And then I showed him the last day of school and he could not get over the fact that we have nearly 3 1/2 months!!

I just counted the days off...26!!  That's another entire month of classes!!!  I'm beginning to wonder about this school thing... It's no wonder why so many parents are turning to homeschooling...they can get so much more done...

Ok...let me go back to the "wasted time" tid-bit...

During our talk about the "daily lessons" Ira explained that only in dire emergencies are they allowed to leave the class. He just couldn't understand why we would have a 5 minute passing period that barely allows time to go to your locker and cross the high school, much less go to the rest room. He explained that this is wasted time. "You have longer classes, but the students are allowed to leave simply by signing a book. They miss a lot of instruction!" Hmmm....there's a thought! He continued by stating his shock that students were allowed to "sit and chat, listen to music or play on their iPod."

Yes, Ira...interesting isn't it!! And we wonder why we are having to offer required "core math" during the Jr. High years to get the kids up to speed on their math for the state assessment! Very interesting!! Truly, an eye-popping insight!!

That's all for now!...Lest I waste more time!

Just me-
Kristi

Monday, September 26, 2011

English is hard...

I haven't posted in a while...almost 3 months!

Not that NOTHING has happened...because things are ALWAYS happening in the Singers' world!

We are spontaneous creatures! Not much of our world happens because it is planned. Is that bad? Maybe for you, but it's just the way we roll!

One morning a few weeks ago, I received an update from an Adoption Chat group on Yahoo! Listed on that update were some boys from China who wanted to come as exchange students and we decided that day...1 week before school started...that we probably wanted to do this. We got rolling and within a week and a half...BAM! we had a new son from China!

We have really enjoyed him! I'm hoping he is enjoying us! Over the next few days, I would like to share some things I have learned from him!

ENGLISH is hard....I know we know this...but the following was in an orientation packet I received and I laughed through the whole thing:

"Let's face it--English is a crazy language. There is neither egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French Fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore it's paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indicies? Doesn't is seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it? If teachers taught, why didin't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on. People, not computers, invented English and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out they are invisible. (Mostly from writings for Richard Lederer who has written a number of books about English.)