Friday, November 2, 2012

School news and views

From my facebook post:  Give it up for the JENNINGS BOYS! Achievement awards! Team swimming! House Captain! It's amazing what slipping a few packets of TJ's freshly-baked-salted-chocolate chip cookies can do for your children's success at school!

At our most awesome school* (my extreme fondness for which is only matched by Sanislo, the little school with big ideas) they give a monthly academic award per year/grade -- This month the boys BOTH got awards!  O for his tropical grassland savannah project and presentation and PFPJ for being HELPFUL.  They both competed Wednesday in the inter-school swim gala. AND O got his official House Captain pin.  He's supposed to pin it on his uniform every day.  I sure hope they have a dozen of them tucked away for every time he loses, breaks or forgets it. (or all three)

PFPJ on the starting block in lane 2 next to his buddy from our rival school, Liam.  These two just wanted to swim against eachother.  Liam's dad is a great swimmer (not that PFPJ's is not, ahem....) and coaches their school's team.  The kids were 1-1...PFPJ won this race but Liam won the freestyle race.  But stay tuned b/c we watched the video of that race and have a new strategy....just do what Liam does!

Here is O with his most awesome diving skills.  The race ended with a photo finish -- we don't know what place he got - 1, 2, or 3. There were 8 schools competing...two heats per race per age year. O competes with all the kids born in 2002, PFPJ with all the 2005 (and under -- we send some 6 year olds/2006 kids just to fill the lanes...they are so tiny and even 25m is a LONG race!)

You'd never know these two were serious students.  PFPJ and his Dutch buddy/classmate Senne

Senne, finishing his freestyle race.  (am I loving the new camera? just a little bit.)

O, up late, putting the finishing touches on his grassland savannah model.
The beginning of the rainy season is also gecko-hatching season.  This little guy (an extreme closeup of the previous photo) was enjoying the grassland habitat all day long.  It even took a ride on the giraffe before making a quick getaway via the ping pong net.  O used some 'real' elements -- a twig became the tree, some dried roots were fallen logs, and some pebbles became boulders.  He 'made' the beach out of paper that was spread with glue and buried in the sandbox and the watering hold is a scrap of blue fabric -- it's got cool, circular, wavy ripples even.

The model was 1:50 (except the paper mache birds - they are too cool, made by a local birder -- they are usually hanging from the light in our dining room).  The scale was based on the size of the one plastic animal we had on hand, Twiga the giraffe. the cheetah was only 1.6 cm tall and required some incredible effort on the part of this scientist-artist.

Here is the front of the cheetah...stalking a herd of paper-doll 1.8 cm impala who are happily munching on the hand-dyed and painted piece of towel -- which is actually a (new) terry cloth diaper.

And a quick PS:  When our schedule gets busy...things around the house get a little...chaotic.  Just look at this mess! This is one of a thousand messes at the Maison du ville Poulet.  It's beyond embarrassing but if you need to know why I am months behind in updating Village Chicken.... look no further than my desk:

I took a few minutes (OK, hours) off today; the ole officio is looking much better.  Do you see the newest addition to our tech family? Shiny, silver, it even SPEAKS english to me -- not that I have had the time yet to do anything but plug it in and open the lid.  It started talking to us and we all got kind of freaked out so we closed the lid and there she sits....waiting. next week. or the week after. we'll see how the US elections go.  I may very well be curled up in a little ball in the corner.

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