Thursday, 6 September 2007
First Day of School
So today was the big day- the first day of school. As Maggie put it, “it’s kind of like diving- I’m excited, but kind of scared.” After lunch, the kids got all dressed up in their school uniform. Quinn chose blue shorts with a white polo type shirt. Maggie chose a blue skirt also with a polo type shirt.
We walked down rue de Courcelles which is the quicker way to school. Above the street hung flags of many different countries. It was very appropriate, as Quinn and Maggie’s classes include students from many different countries- Portugal, Spain, Indonesia, Japan, England, Canada, France, Africa and a couple from the U.S. The teachers seemed very nice and welcoming.
We first all walked Maggie to her class and met her teacher, Madame Béranger. We met many other students and parents. There are 12 students in Maggie’s class. Maggie’s teacher told Sean to check with the office to enroll so he too could learn french. They would find a seat for him. We kissed Maggie and headed down the hall to Quinn’s class.
We were the first to arrive, even before the teacher, which was nice because it gave Quinn a chance to check it out on his own. The teacher soon arrived and was very pleasant. Quinn’s first assignments were to put his name on a card , and to draw a picture of the American flag. He excelled at both tasks.
We kissed Quinn, wished him luck and then skipped happily down the hall. We were relieved that the students, as well as the teachers, seemed quite nice. Both Quinn and Maggie appeared ready for the day. Quinn was deeply concentrating on his flag at our departure. They are right down the hall from each other and can peer in each other’s classroom. We were also feeling light because this was Sean and my first time out together since our arrival in Paris. We were looking forward to savoring a cappuccino and enjoying some idle chatter or maybe just a little quiet.
After school, only a couple of hours later, the teachers released our kids to us. They were happy. “That was short!” exclaimed Quinn. “Yes, it was”, we agreed, “but tomorrow will be a full day complete with a hot lunch.”
Maggie reported that she made a new friend who spoke three languages, but whose name she couldn’t recall. They both remarked that their teachers speak no English, but it didn’t seem to bother anyone.
As I predict will become our routine, we headed to Parc Monceau where we had a snack and the kids rode their favorite swing “la balançoire”. We chatted with another couple with a child in Maggie’s class who hail from Victoria, Canada. We traded finding apartment stories and told how we came to be here. Turns out they just wanted to live here for a while like we did. It’s nice to connect with other people in our position.