A generation back most of the children usually finished their twelfth from the same school they started in. (unless of course they were Armed Forces kids). What with the world shrinking so drastically there are frequent changes in place of stay, sometimes even outside the country. Kids are excellent at ‘adjusting’ and manage much better than their elder and betters (?). However, here is a tongue-in-cheek assessment of such a situation.
Mrs. M has shifted to Singapore recently. I keep in touch despite the ocean in between as she is facing a tough time getting used to the new environment. In one of our frequent chats we got to discuss her kid. Adoo is in grade three and I wanted to know how he is coping with the change in the situation.
Adoo had taken to the new school and all the chinky eyed classmates well. This really reinforced my belief that kids have amazing resilience. Often we do not give credit to their strength but they adjust to new situations like fish to water. I remember my childhood as a series of transfers after two- three years in one place depending on my father’s posting. There were troubles and setbacks like different schedules or boards, but I managed to take all that in my stride. In fact a change was exciting as it meant new people and milieu. It is as an adult that I have struck root and am fixated at a single place for two decades now.
Anyways, reverting back to Mrs M.
Myself: How’s Adoo doing at school? Half yearlies started?
Mrs M: Its Ok. They don’t have half yearlies here. He will be having his written assessments.
Myself: What’s written assessment?
Mrs. M : It’s a kind of test they have to write on which they will be assessed.
Myself: Ok half yearlies.
Now for some reason Mrs M says she finds me very irritating. I really don’t know why.
Myself: Ok what about written assessments?
Mrs. M : Oh it’s a bother really. He is topping in maths and science.
Mrs. M : But barely makes the grade in English?
This was surprising. Adoo is in grade three but has been gobbling books since he could read. At any given time you will find him buried in a Secret seven or whatever kids read now days. Geronimo, I suppose.
Mrs. M : Yes but the papers here are very funny