Another major milestone. Today is Dani’s last day of school for this his first year of full time education.
A soon as I received my start date for returning to work I had to book the flights to be back in Spain for this day. I had taken him to school and collected him almost every day in this, his first year. I definitely did not want to miss his last day. For me it will be equally as emotional as the first day. For him probably exact opposites.
The Time has Flown…
It only seems a few weeks ago that he started and I can still recall the moment that reality set in. When he realised that he was going to be there for a very, very long time. A lot has changed since then. He settled in nicely and has turned into a typical little schoolboy experiencing all the fun and drama of being in a huge prisonlike environment – albeit a day release version of prison. Things like conformity, group activities, playtime and even bullying. Well sort of. I still don’t believe kids of that age are actually capable of bullying. Anyway, more on that one to come in a (near) future post.
Noticing the Difference…
For all its faults, the positives outweigh the negatives and I am proud of how he has taken to school. Last night when I arrived he proudly showed me his workbooks for the year. The school sent them home with their schoolwork yesterday as clearly the kids will be too excited today. There was a noticeable improvement in his pencil skills. Huge in fact. When he started back in September last year he held the pencil like you might carry the Olympic torch or stir something with a big stick. Now he holds it correctly using his fingers to guide it and makes every effort to be precise. OK not every effort but certainly more of an effort.
I will go and collect him later and witness the sheer joy on his face as he says his goodbyes to everyone. Then it will be 12 long weeks before he sees them again.
Long Hot Summers…
Twelve weeks of summer holidays. It’s a long time. Back in the UK the summer hols are much shorter (probably about 6 or 7 weeks?) and do not start until mid-July. They also have week-long “half term” holidays. In Spain they save up all the holidays and use them in the summer.
This year June has been unusually hot in both Spain and the UK. Normally in this part of Spain the temperatures do not go above 40 degrees until July. Already they have surpassed that figure in June. Here in Spain with temperatures over and above 40 degrees being in school is very tough on the kids. It is no wonder they take as much time as possible for school holidays in the summer time. Half terms offer a great break but having to stop in school here until mid-July would be nothing short of torture.
Schools Out… (but not Forever)
I can remember only a few of my primary school final days. One that really sticks in my mind is walking out of the gates with the kids singing that Alice Cooper song “School’s Out, for summer….” Etc… That song was released in 1972 but the year I am referring to is probably more likely to be 1975 – my final year of primary school. A classic old Rock n Roll number; they still play it on the radio occasionally.
Oddly enough I seem to remember all my school summer holidays being warm and sunny. Out playing football or cricket all day. Cycling, skateboarding, fishing and camping out (in the garden). Surely we would not have done that if it was raining all the time? – as it seems to most summers these days in the UK. Maybe that’s what they mean by “climate change”? Nah! Don’t get me going on that one….
Showing my age – again. Hey! I never tried to hide it.