Wednesday, October 6, 2010

(2005) Work and school

October 2005

Dear Aunt Agatha,

Life is finally settling into something like a normal routine.

I think I'm starting to get a grip on my new job, even though it's so unlike anything I've ever done before. More differences I've noticed: love of email (I think I now get more in a day than I used to in a month) and endless meetings.

After nearly a year out of the saddle I've finally got my bike back into commission and I'm checking out possible routes into work. The good news is that there's a stunning trail going all the way down the Peninsula and into Victoria, well maintained and well away from busy roads. The bad news is that I haven't figured yet how long it's going to take me to commute, but it'll probably be at least an hour each way. Good job they have changing rooms and showers at work.

Megan and Matthew are enjoying school and pre-school respectively. Megan said once that she wished it wasn't the weekend, because she wanted to be back at school! Wonder how long that'll last. On the flip side, though, she is struggling a bit with the slower pace of schooling here compared to the UK. She went into kindergarten last year writing whole paragraphs in her journal while many of her friends were still learning to form the letters of their names. Now in grade 1, they are starting all over again for the benefit of kids who missed kindergarten. Megan is getting bored and we've asked her teacher to give her assignments to stretch her a bit.

I know that the disparity between the school systems can cause problems the other way, too. When I was 11, a kid from Canada joined my class. He struggled and never really caught up with the more academic subjects. At the time everyone just thought he wasn't too bright, and I think he came to believe it. But I wonder now how much of a different course his life might have taken if he'd stayed at a consistent pace within one single school system.

On the other hand, we reckon the pace will suit Matthew well. He won't be pushed, and he likes to pick things up when he's good and ready, thank you very much.

Ali's been getting involved in the school, working with some of the other parents to organise a "walking school bus". And she volunteered to help set up a Sparks unit in the district. Megan wants to join Sparks, but the nearest unit is full and they have enough girls on the waiting list for another unit. What they were missing was helpers to run it. Well, there's nothing like getting involved in the local community to help settle in.

The whole moving experience was quite an adventure, but now, nearly a year on, it's good to feel that we are all establishing ourselves in this country.


  1. Nice glimpse into the past, Ian. I'm curious . . . how's school going for your children now?

    Also, I wished we had something similar to the bike trail here in NYC. I mean, yes we do have them -- but well away from busy roads they are not! And certainly my workplace doesn't have changing rooms in place for us. My wife does, but she works in a hospital.

  2. Good question, David. I smell a follow-up post coming on to talk about that...


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