Baila - I do believe the "camping" you speak of, with the much sharing of the bathrooms, does not make you "Israeli," just "grumpy." Although, come to think of it....
And to Tziona, thank you for your offer, but unfortunately the magic only works IN the Kinneret; witness the various near strangulations we experienced in the car, driving home, a mere few minutes from the Kinneret.
This week the kiddies have been enjoying their kaytanah. Yaakov's favorite activity by far was the day they made Chocolate Covered Cornflake Delight. Which he proceeded to eat. With his hands. In the hot car. By the time we got home, he looked like he had been touched by that kid from The Chocolate Touch. As he looked up at me, with a big, chocolatey grin on his face, he said, "You know what Mommy? We made chocolate on our corn flakes today."
"Oh? I couldn't tell."
"And you know what Mommy? I very very like it!" he added helpfully, with visions of endless chocolate corn flake breakfasts dancing in his head.
Last night was FIRST GRADE orientation!! Wow! In the words of Yaakov, we sure are bigger! We found out who Ariella's morah is (Moriah, who looks just like her gan teacher, Maya), who her friends are (reunited with Aiden, of course), and which "aleph" she's in (shtayim, in case you were wondering. There are 4 alephs. Each with about 33 kids in it. That's a LOT of anecdotals.)
So after finding her classroom, the teacher promptly kicked out the parents. I like her already! The way they organized it, the kids all sat in their classrooms and did an activity with the teacher, while the parents (and assorted siblings, with varying attention spans, ranging from 5 seconds to one minute) sat outside for the parent meeting. Ariella, for her part, enjoyed the activity and explained the whole thing to me afterward, barely even pausing for breath. She's cool like that.
For my part, I was hoping to get some "tachlis" questions answered. How does the first day work? What is the "seder hayom" - what does their day look like? Are there any other uniform rules beside the school shirt? When do chugim start? Is there tzaharon (the afternoon program, since school ends at a shocking 12:45) on the first day? When do they bring in all their school supplies?
But instead, we first listened to a presentation from the "yoetzet" - a school counselor/psychologist type. While she seemed lovely and I'm sure her presentation was very worthwhile (and for the five minutes I paid attention, I did understand the Hebrew. Go me!), I was nervous that she was wasting Yaakov's precious few seconds of attention span on fluff, rather than answering what time does school start the first day???? (I was throwing nervous glances at Yaakov's rapidly shrinking bag of grapes, hoping they would last until the end...don't eat so quickly Yaakov....savor each grape....)
So after her thirty minute presentation, which included some baffling activity in which the parents had to write something in their weaker hand (yes, there was handing out of numerous sheets and pencils to over 100 parents), the principal got up. Good, I thought. Now I'll find out what time school starts on the first day. But no. First we had to hear the five guiding principles of the school. The grapes were long gone, and I gave up actually sitting on a seat, instead choosing to stand in the back and let Yaakov run around, racing himself. ("Ready, set, GO!" he announced, before taking off). Finally, after the principal's principles, she started talking tachlis. At this point, the children were beginning to emerge from the classrooms, seeking out their parents. "Oh," said the principal, "it seems the children are finished. Okay, let me get through this quickly... schoolstartsateightthefirstdaythereisaceremonyatnineifyouwanttocome-"and the rest I missed, because Yaakov needed to pee, and then I saw the tzaharon people sitting in the lobby, and realized I owed them some more money ("Here's my checkbook! Keep my kid in school past noon!!")
So school starts at 8:00 on the first day. That's all I needed to know, thank you very much.
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