Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Bilingual Babes, and their Bilingual Issues

I've never mentioned this, but I'm a native English speaker living full time in Mexico with my native Spanish speaking husband, and 2 bilingual daughters, 3 & 5. I speak almost exclusively in English with them (the occasional word here and there in Spanish) and my husband speaks probably about 60% English and 40% Spanish with them.

My kids go to a 'bilingual' school that teaches half their subjects in English (by non native English speakers) and the other half in Spanish (by native Spanish speakers). The issue I'm having is not so much within our home, as we seem to have finally struck a workable balance here, but rather in their school. Since my kids are truly bilingual, they have begun to dominate in contests and games in English, as well as their share in Spanish. It was agreed recently among the teachers and a couple of parents that when my kids win an event, that they will be praised or awarded, whichever is appropriate, but a tie will be declared between my child and the first place winner among their monolingual classmates. This practice irks me just enough to write about it.

Is it fair to my child to declare her a tie winner with a child who isn't scoring as well as she is? My eldest feels like she studies and practices and should be rewarded fairly for her efforts, and I'm inclined to agree. What about the message being sent to my kids? It's deflating to stand before your teachers a winner, only to receive a ' That's nice dear, we knew you were going to win.' and stand aside while your classmate is doted on for her accomplishment. It diminishes the achievements my kids, and other bilingual kids have reached. No?

*sigh* Am I being 'one of those parents'? Because I guess I just can't quite tell. I'm at a loss, and I don't necessarily like the way I am feeling about this situation, and need to resolve it. I don't expect that there are too many parents of bilingual kids reading this, but I need to sort this out. Advice?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Suegra generosa

So here's what happened: My mother in law offered the use of her credit card at Coppel, so we could get a camera...or whatever else it was that we wanted. She's the generous sort. Plus, we have a good credit history with her. We got our stove on her card too. Thanks Suegra!

New camera! And man, is it cute. It's a Fujifilm Z...something. It's good. And....( super awesome detail coming up ) the only model they had left was fuchsia. FUCHSIA! I'm understandably more excited about this than my husband, but...he'll manage. 

So, lots of nutty pics of the turds coming right up. A wise woman told me not too long ago, that your life needs to be documented. She's a smart girl.

Monday, May 16, 2011

i - Nothing

Of all the devices I don't have, ie: camera, blackberry, mp3 player, i-anything, which would you recommend I get first?

It's not that I NEED any of these items, I appear to be managing quite alright without them. However, it would definitely be nice to snap a photo or 2 of my rapidly growing children. Or make the occasional phone call OUTSIDE of my house or send a flipping text message once in a while. It's not like I'm considering a 40" flat screen for the john, or a slingbox so I can catch 'Jersey Shore' on the bus. I'm just talking about your basics here. By the way my students talk, I'm the only person in the free world without these devices. 

I have had digital cameras in the past, but I don't have much luck with them. My first one landed face down and was rendered unrepairable. Second one ( a hand me down from the early 90's) I traded for a ColecoVision or something, which I sold to buy a new camera from Wal Mart Mexico which came out of the box broken. Wal Mart Mexico refused to accept it as a return, citing their return policy as: 'We don't accept returns'. Harumph.

The cell phone that I have right now had 2 functions: Received calls and told the time. Now it does neither. Though, I bought it new more than 4 years ago for about $250 pesos, which is about 20 bucks CDN, so, I did have a good run with it.

The most technologically advanced device I have apart from my laptop ( hand me down without a working internal fan ) is my cordless phone. Seriously. I don't even have a microwave, or any sort of plug in and hook up to your TV game station like ATARI or whatever it is the kids are playing these days.

So, I ask you, constant reader, which if any of these new fangled devices would you suggest I consider? You know, in case I find a wallet full of pesos on the bus or something.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

First Day at School

When our nanny was out with the chicken pox ( enter high pitched sing-song voices: 'Maricela tiene varicela!' )  we had to bring the girls with us to work. Helps that we work at the best school in Manzanillo. Anyway, first day in and Jorgie and Phoebe have lots of questions for one another, like this one....

What's your teacher's name Jorge?

Miss Funny!

No es cierto... 

Si! Es cierto! Her name is Miss. Funny!

Are you lying?

No! I'm not lying, her name is Miss. Funny.

( Long pause while Phoebe ponders the notion of having a teacher named Miss. Funny ) 

Is she funny?

It's as I mentioned before, tiny little bilingual people make wonderful mistakes. Jorgie's teacher may well be a funny lady, I don't know her very well, but that's not actually her name. She is Stefani. Or Fani, for short. But not to us, here in the Sandcastle, she is and will forever be, Miss. Funny.

Greatest. Name. Ever.