Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Happy First Day of School to Hannah!

By day, she is a freshly minted fifth grader.

Freshly minted fifth grader

Complete with new cell phone.

New cell phone owner

By night, she is a hard-working mermaid.

Mermaids have chores, too

So Hannah made it through her first day of fifth grade yesterday. It was actually only 2 hours long, so I guess most kids could manage that. There was a quick presentation for the new students and their parents, then the kids got divided up into their new classes. Hannah was happy to see that 2 girls from her fourth grade class (but none of the boys) are in her new class.

When I left the school, I passed some older students on break and almost had a laughing fit. It struck me as hilarious that Hannah is now attending school with students with moustaches. (Gymnasium includes grades 5-12.) The younger kids are on a slightly different schedule from the older kids and have their breaks in a different area, so it’s not like she’ll be mixing with them on a daily basis.

Today is probably going to suck for her, though. She had to catch the bus at a few minutes before 7 am, class starts at 7:50 and lets out at 3:30. She has never gone later than 1 before, so it will take some getting used to. Actually, she’ll only have afternoon class on Mondays and Tuesdays, but those are going to be loooong days for her. She has 9 subjects over the course of the week, including Latin and biology. Fortunately, she’s already pretty good at English. *tongue in cheek*

I thought we were going to have to buy 500 pounds of school supplies yesterday, but Hannah only got the list for one class, so that simplified our shopping. After the pizza lunch, we bought new tennis shoes, yoga pants for P.E., a new backpack and wallet, and a few notebooks.

John and I had gone before the pizza lunch to buy the cell phone, and it was amazingly easy. We went to this chain coffee shop (Tchibo) that runs weekly specials on various non-coffee items (usually household and kitchen goods, including small electronics and clothes), and for 30 bucks, we got a Nokia cell phone complete with 1 Euro prepaid on it. All we had to do when we got home was charge the battery and put in the SIM-chip. The phone number was printed on the paperwork, and the phone worked like a charm. I tried watching the demo and reading the manual to figure out how to use it, but Hannah just picked it up, fiddled around with a couple of buttons, and voila! She managed to figure out how to turn off the ringer without the instructions or the demo. Kids these days! :-)

I like hanging out with Hannah, because she always has something funny to say. Yesterday she was telling me that she’d like to be a robot, because then if you get an axe in the head, it’s not a big deal. O-kay... She was also imagining how horrible it would be to have different parents who didn’t love her like us, parents who would make her “trample stuff” to make wine for them but would only allow her to wash her feet, not the rest of her, so their wine wouldn’t get germy.

Before we left for school, John was reminding Hannah that since she would have new classmates, she should give them a chance and be friendly and try to get to know them and not be teasing or sarcastic. “You’re taking away most of my personality! That’s most of Hannah, dude!”

She is getting so mature. She was very conscientious yesterday about not picking really expensive items; she was worried about making us poor. I could have bought 3 times the stuff just from my last tutoring check (I tutor 1 hour per week), but it was nice to see that she is catching on that money doesn’t grow on trees.

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