Saturday, September 28, 2013

Agricultural adventures... and school.

First of all - sorry for my absence.
School has been swallowing me whole. My school, my kids´ school - there´s always school. And that´s okay, though I admit it is tiring... but tiring is okay, too.
This, by the way, is not the school I work in. It´s a historical classroom in a schoolmuseum we visited last weekend - my friend organized a private tour just for us, and I loved, loved loved it!

This was an authentic classroom from around 1890. I loved seing that they used a lot lot of the stuff we still use in our school today - the abacus, the three-dimensional blocks to illustrate cuboids and spheres and cylinders, and that they also mixed their kids in age.
I loved seing my kids become enthusiastic, asking tons of questions and raising their hands all the time, eager to learn a long-gone handlettering. And the museums curator was a very sweet guy in his 70´s, who called us the day after just to thank us for being interested in what he had to tell.

However - within the last weeks I figured out certain routines with my little folks in school - a mixed bunch of wild, multicultural 7-10 year olds, and some routines with my colleagues, too - also an interesting mixture of two different educational systems now in the process of being merged, not always according to their will, and I figured some routines to cope with it at home.

It´s a lot of work, but it makes me feel super awesome and proud to see how much improvements we made within the last month, and to feel like my qualities as a role-model for my own kids just went up sky-high: I want my sons to know that women go to work, too, and I want my daughters to see that a mommy is not all you can be in your life as a girl. 
Oh, and I received my first paycheck, and hell yeah, I loved that, too.

By now, we even manage to mingle some of our favourite activities back into our scedule... and this year, that would be...
After an 8 hour day of work for all of us, it feels like the most beautiful thing of the world to just sit in our friends garden and help them harvest their hazelnuts, all together in a large circle on the ground, chatting and laughing. That´s pretty much unbeatable when it comes to relaxing.
My boys ran off to the playground with their boys, my friend tells me ll he knows about cutting back fruit trees in a funny mixture of german and italian, and we picked some more fruit, and we could even take our share back home:
See the hairy gray things in the silver bowl?
Those are vineyard peaches.
I had never seen them before, but they grow in immense heaps in our friends´garden, and they produce incredible amounts of bright red juice. Which is now nicely bottled up in our basement. And for the apples... well, since I just got my paycheck, I thought I´d treat myself with a juice extractor that works on a centripetal principle, and is therefore better for making apple juice - the steaming method works fantasic with soft fruit like berries, peaches and bananas, but you don´t get a lot of juice out of apples with it. I´ll show you :)

More agricultural adventures?
Nah, those chicken are not ours. Ronnie and I just visited another friend/now colleague who has chicken and could tell us all about how you keep them... yep, we´re so getting chicken next spring!

You can even cuddle them... not all of them, but some of them don´t seem to mind. I love the oh-so-motherly expression of Ronnie´s face, by the way. 

My kids wouldn´t mind getting a couple of weeks off of school to help on a farm, like the kids from the 1890´s - at least temporarily.

So now you know what we´re doing. We´re learning French and English, we´re learning how to write and count and how to analyze poetry, we´re learning how to network and keep a class busy and calm and solve conflicts, and we´re learning about chicken and eggs. And during the nights, I´m translating ad´s for software companies or writing articles about milk foam machines. Don´t ask. It´s certainly broadening my horizon.

Have some music:

And you feel like coming home.

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