Teetering and Toddling

WARNING: Children Teetering and Toddling

WARNING: Children Teetering and Toddling

As you can see, I have memorized this utterly useless piece of information long enough to pass a test question. I now intend to forget it forever. You’ve taught me nothing except how to cynically manipulate the system. Congratulations. – “Calvin and Hobbes”

I just had to get that “Calvin and Hobbes” crack in, because lately I have been spending way more time at Anne’s school than I normally do. Last weekend there was the pancake breakfast and last night there was a potluck dinner. If you feed me, I’ll show up. The potluck was billed as a taste of the world. This event turned out to be a promotion for the school district’s foreign language department. I felt a little out-of-place, because this event seemed primarily focused on interesting parents in having their children take language classes and we no longer have kids in the district. But that was all on me, because everyone there was welcoming, especially to Anne. Everyone loves Anne.

Being a potluck, we were asked to bring an international dish. Kudos to whoever decided to buck the trend and brought Northern Iowan Jell-O and marshmallow salad. It looked hideous, but isn’t that what you are really going for with this dish? We brought Mouse’s Yassa Poulet, a Senegalese dish that features chicken, mountains of onions and a take no prisoners’ hot sauce. Anne did all the cooking and had the foresight to set aside a little, so that tonight, we can have réchauffé. That is French for leftovers.

After the meal was the program. It started out with about a dozen parents from different nationalities coming forward and talking about themselves, in their native tongue. Next was shown a YouTube video, “What is 21st century education?” Then the four school principals each spoke about what they and their curriculum are doing to foster language, understanding and diversity. I liked the high school principle’s story the best. He started out as a professional basketball player, in Argentina. When he started, he couldn’t speak a word of Spanish. He didn’t even know how much the contract that he had signed paid him. In between his current gig and basketball, he was a Spanish teacher. The evening was closed out with music from an Andean music group, where one of the band members was also a school parent.

On a related topic, I learned this week that the one universal word in human language is “huh”, as in, “Huh?” or “Huh.” Enough said. I’m so glad that we all understand ourselves about this now. One final item, the school district has just rolled out a new substitute scheduling website, with more success than Obamacare. Anne has lots of new jobs now. In fact on one day, she got five requests for her services. Like I said before, everyone loves Anne.

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