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Archive for June, 2012

CRASH!

So yesterday was Elijah’s end of the year ceremony at his pre-school. The school referred to it as a “stepping up” ceremony, but most of the parents and families treated it as a graduation. Now, I’m all about celebrating milestones in life and even love a little end of the year celebration, but going from pre-school (3 years olds) to Pre-K (4 year olds) is NOT a graduation!

We live in a VERY diverse part of DC and Elijah’s preschool is like a model UN. There are kids from all different backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures. I actually really love it, but it was very apparent there was a CRASH of cultures yesterday. If you’ve seen the movie Crash then you will get where I’m going with this. Basically, people are just being who they are, how they know to be and celebrating in the way they are comfortable. But in an environment where there are so many different cultures, this can be a fascinating study of sociology….or it can be a complete nightmare!

For me, it was a completely nightmare! Now, I’ll admit the past couple of weeks of living in the city have been tough on me for a variety of reasons, so maybe things were just building up. However, this experience was frustrating, appalling, laughable, and discouraging for me.

First of all, thank goodness I dressed half-way decent instead of wearing my typical jeans and a cotton shirt. Most parents and family members were dressed to the nines….there were hats, sequins and three piece suits in some cases.

Secondly, there were balloons. Not just balloons for decorations on the stage, but there were “Happy Graduation” balloons or “Congratulations Graduate” balloons carried by families. Seriously? Most of these kids can’t even read yet!!! One mom even tried to tie balloons onto her child as he was processing in.

Third, yes, there was a processional. Cannon in D – the remix version apparently. At least it wasn’t Pomp and Circumstance. I don’t think I could’ve stomached that!

Next, the audience. They were loud and obnoxious. I figured, it’s fine to chat and have conversation, albeit loud, when nothing’s going on, but things should settle down a bit when the kids perform. WRONG! I couldn’t believe that those around us never got quiet. The parents were having a wild and crazy party while the ceremony was happening on stage. They would video something and then enjoy watching it while everyone around them strained to hear or see their children on stage. The parents would listen when their child was on stage, but did not respect the others around them enough to be quiet when other children were on stage. It was loud and crazy chaos!

Then, the principal asked the parents to please move back or sit down….that didn’t happen. People were literally standing directly in front of the stage taking pictures of their child, blocking the view of everyone else. How do we ever expect the kids to listen if their parents won’t?!?!?

Last, I recognized my own culture in the midst of it all. I felt like a character out of Downton Abbey that had been catapulted into an episode of Samford and Son. I’m sure people were thinking, “That white woman needs to loosen up and have some fun! She’s sittin’ so  stiff and trying to be all proper. Who does she think she is?”

All I was thinking was, “This is a nightmare and it is only the beginning of many cultural CRASHES as my children continue to interact with the education system in DC. How will I ever make it through?”

I’m sure this post can’t quite convey the anxiety, frustration, comedy, and discouragement that I felt yesterday, but I had to write something. Most of the time we celebrate the diversity in our city, our neighborhood and in Elijah’s classroom….but yesterday was not one of those days for me!

Nonetheless, here’s a couple of pictures of my sweet boy “graduating” (ridiculous) from preschool….heading to PreKindergarten!

 

Cannon in D (remix) processional with his teacher, Ms. Lewis – she’s awesome!

Elijah walking with his friends, Lucien and Brian. And, yes, I kept him in his school uniform…didn’t even dress him “properly”

 

On stage with his friends….and, nope, we can’t hear a thing!

Got his “diploma!”   Only 14 more years until he gets the real thing! 🙂

 

 

 

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Back from my 6 Month Hiatus

Has it really been six months since I’ve been on here? WOW! So much has happened in the last six months, it’s difficult to know where to begin. I’ll just give a quick run down.

January – Winter missed DC this year! Mostly awesome, except I REALLY like snow, so kind of a bummer for me!

February – Church, Church, and More Church. Lots of new people every week! A little overwhelming, but still fantastic! Oh yes, and thanks to a good friend who threw a wine tasting party so I could figure out which wine is my favorite, I now have a favorite red wine – Syrah.

March – BIG NEWS!!! My mom left her home state of 70 years and moved to Leesburg, VA…only an hour away from us! It’s been great to have her just down the road.

April – Birthday Month!! Aaron and Natalie both have Birthdays. Natalie turned one!!

 

May – Month of travel! I was so thankful to attend the Christian Alliance for Orphans in Orange County, CA. It was so inspiring and informative. Had a wonderful time. THEN, Aaron and I got to go to NYC for a weekend. We saw my friend Chauntee play Nala in The Lion King on Broadway. She was AWESOME! We also just had a lot of fun walking…all OVER the city!!

June – The month has only just begun, but so far Hand, Foot and Mouth has been the theme. Poor Natalie has been sick so much this year, and once again she’s got some awful virus….NOT FUN! We literally just had the worst night of our married lives. Natalie was awake, screaming the entire night….and by the sound of it, it seems like tonight might be very similar.

There’s so much more that I could share….but hopefully I’ll be a little more consistent starting today! 🙂

We’ll see….

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