Friday, August 18, 2006

School's In...Drive Carefully!

Well, summer's over in Ghana. At least at our house. Cooper returned to school on the 16th.

Hang out the black banners and speak in subdued voices. No more fun, no more happy carefree days. Just the drudgery of his second year at Lincoln and first year in high school.

I am reminded of his hopeful face when we told him we were moving to Africa and his first question to us was: "Do they have schools there?".
Darn it all, they do. And we keep making him go.

I almost gave his dog away on the first day of school. Elliot alternated between checking Cooper's bedroom and running to wherever I was to report Cooper AWOL.
He whined, he did his best Lassie imitation ("Come with me! Timmy's in trouble!"), he ran to the door, ran to Cooper's bedroom, ran back to me- over and over and over.

I didn't let him outside because there were people coming and going all morning and I didn't want him to be crushed by a vehicle or accidentally end up outside the gate. That was a mistake, because when Cooper did come home, I opened the front door and THERE HE WAS! Elliot practically held up a sign that said "I TOLD YOU HE WAS OUT THERE!!!!"

He improved somewhat on Thursday, and hopefully by next week will have the new routine under his furry belt.

Meanwhile, Mr. Freshman in High School is playing it cool. He has a great group of friends- and with the single exception of a friend who has been unexpectedly required to remain in Israel with his parents, has his old
"international posse" back after a summer of world travel/home trips for most of them.

Except for P.E. and French (where he is woefully un-Francophonic and therefore in a French II class with 18 eighth grade students and three other freshmen) he has 10 or less kids in each of his classes! Whoot! This is an opportunity for some seriously personal attention from his teachers and his Dad and I are jazzed.

He is in accelerated Math and Science (to offset French for Dummies) and he is one of seven students in his English class- and the only boy. He is gonna LEARN stuff this year! I can feel it.

Meanwhile, he and I slog through U.S. History at home. Every school district offers it in different years, and as we've moved around he has missed out on it each time. His last opportunity to get it in the U.S. has past, so I bought textbooks before we came to Africa and he and I are doing it up right. If you ask him who won the War of 1812, he will give the correct but wiseguy answer..."Nobody. Both sides screwed it up." He can cite how they screwed up, and he enjoys having a teacher who swears and shares her personal opinions on historical events.

Hopefully it's honing his critical thinking skills, too. Maybe I should have a subjective essay final on "Why the teacher's opinions are/are not a load of hooey."

Anyway. School's in, drive carefully!