Elanor began Primary 1 on Friday.
I would love to talk about the experience thus far, but I don’t think that I should just yet because I’m suffering from serious Culture Shock. This has been a thoroughly unpleasant dive back into my early expat days where I was just clueless about everything all the time. I assigned incorrect motives and explanations as I tried to make sense of things. My understanding of what’s going on and how I feel about it is cycling rapidly, and it would be unhelpful at best and misleading at worst for me to opine about anything at length.
I’m experiencing “cultural confrontation” at the moment. Between my own experiences as a student and five years as a teacher, my expectations regarding what school is “supposed” to be like run far deeper than I realized. I feel anxious, sometimes even angry about things that are different–sometimes because I don’t understand why they are the way they are, and other times for no rational reason other than “this is different and I am uncomfortable with it.”
So I’m going to give it time, and will hopefully be able to give you a more nuanced explanation of what it’s been like to be the white expat parent at the school thus far once I have begun to move back into the adjustment phase.
So what will I tell you?
I sent E to school with her blouse buttoned all the way to the neck and she came home annoyed that I didn’t know she could leave the top button open.
She seems pretty happy, although she’s missing her friends from GUG and has gotten a bit weepy about that more than once.
The second spelling test of the year has the word “cannot” on it, which is so Singaporean I burst out laughing when I saw it.
Elanor is over this whole wearing shoes all day thing. Her Kindy had kids take off their shoes and wear socks indoors–wearing your shoes all day is an uncomfortable and unwelcome change.
I have joined a whatsapp group of other P1 parents from my primary school, and it’s a relief to see that I’m not the only one who doesn’t know what’s going on with regards to many things.