Saturday, July 20, 2013

Celebrities for a week

Robin in her school uniform
Robin and Will have now completed two weeks at Mission Beach State School.  This is the public prep (kindergarden) though grade 7 primary school in Mission Beach. When we lived here four years ago the kids attended this same school so this time around we all knew what to expect; for example, two lunches (little and big), uniforms (see pic at left), religion class in public school, saying good afternoon to the teachers, barefoot students, out loud whole class response to questions, having to buy our own supplies etc.

Since Robin and Will have finished two weeks this is a good time to check in with them on how things are going.  Since neither wants to write a blog about this we are going to do this one as a group interview.

Michele: Were you nervous about coming back to Mission Beach State School?

Will: Not really because I already knew some people but a little bit because I didn't know the teachers.

Robin: I was nervous because it is a new school. How can you not be nervous?

Michele: But it isn't a new school because you've already been there.

Robin: But it has still changed  a little bit

Michele: What are some ways that MBSS is different than four years ago?

Robin: Fewer people go barefoot now.

Michele: Why is that you think?

Robin: Right After cyclone Yasi (2011) they weren't allowed to go barefoot because there was too much debris. Now, kids can go barefoot again but some kids are used to wearing shoes.

Michele: Your mom makes you wear shoes to the bus stop.

Will: Because there are so many wallabies in our neighborhood and there is lots of wallaby poop on the ground. So once I get to school I just take off my shoes and go barefoot like my friends.

Michele: All day long?

Will: Yeah.  I put my shoes back on for the school bus.

Michele: Are there other ways that MBSS is different than 4 years ago.

Robin: The lychee tree is gone. It got knocked down in Yasi.

Michele: What are some ways that MBSS is different than Wildwood Elementary School in Amherst?

Robin: MBSS is mostly outside.  There are separate buildings for each classroom and to get from room to room you have to walk on sidewalks.

Will: The walkways are covered and there are lots of plants everywhere.

Robin: The landscaping at MSBB is really, really cool because they have lots of flowers and tropical plants that we don't have in the US.  But it is also cool that MBSS has gardener who takes care of the plants and does a really good job. At Wildwood there aren't gardens because you only spend time outside at recess.

Michele: I remember meeting the gardener, he takes such pride in his work and the result is awesome.  Another limit to gardening at Wildwood is that the growing season is the summer when school isn't in session.

Michele: What were you looking forward to the most about coming back to MBSS?

Will: Meeting my old friends and that you can go barefoot and the fact that MBSS is outside with the cool plants and stuff.

Michele: The title of this post is "a celebrity for a week". Will, can you explain why this title?

Will: Because one of my new friends moved here from South Africa a while back and said that for about a week everyone treated him like a celebrity and asked him lots of questions and then after week he was just a normal kid.

Michele: So you were you guys treated like celebrities?

Will: Yes, there is a group of 5th year kids who kept asking me a lot of questions. But they stopped this week.

Robin: My friends would not stop asking me to say say 'water'. They also asked if I have ever seen any famous people or if I went to disney world or anything. They were disappointed when I said no.

Michele So you are you both just regular kids now?

Robin: We are still the 'American kids' but people aren't pestering us with questions.

Will: I agree.

Michele:  When we go around town, it seems like lots of kids shout out greetings to you both.  So you are pretty well known for sure.

Michele: How is going with your accents?

Will: The kids don't think much of it now but when the group is saying things together, like in class, I pull out my Aussie accent so my voice doesn't sound different.

Michele: Robin, are you also developing an Aussie accent?

Robin: I'm not developing an Aussie accent. But after hearing my friends talk and other people talk at school for a while I think that my own accent sounds weird and they sound normal.  Then when I come home I hear American accents and my voice doesn't sound strange anymore.

Michele: Do you feel excluded at all because you are American?

Robin: Not usually but sometimes my friends talk about things that I don't understand.

Will: I feel like I fit right in.

Michele: It looked like you guys fit right in for the school's "Feeling Groovy" show on Friday night (see pictures). Each class performed a skit or dance. How did you find the show?
Will as dog to the left of the couch

Will: I thought it was fun but at first I was going to be prop person. Then it turns out that a lot of people couldn't make it to the show. So I ended up playing a dog.

Michele: And you played a very convincing dog (see picture at right:).

Robin: It was OK. It was kind of fun to be performing but it was kind of a dumb show and it was not that entertaining sometimes.

Robin is on the left end of the dancing
ladies of Surfin' USA
Michele: But it is still  remarkable that within two weeks of starting school they had you up on the stage and acting and dancing along with your class. (Robin dances to 'Surfin USA' with her class in the picture at left. BTW: the mermaid was played by boy.).

Robin: They didn't want anyone to be left out so even though we are new, they still gave us parts.

Michele: It sounds like folks have been very friendly and welcoming to you both.

Robin: My friends remembered me and were glad to see me.
stingers in their amazing costumes,
blue streamers from blue hats,
giving just desserts to the feral pigs

Will: Everyone has been warm and friendly.

Postscript [Michele]: My favorite performance was the year 1 skit which featured various animals of the region (cassowary, wallabies, feral pigs, crocodiles and stingers). The best scene that stole the show was when the evil mean feral pigs went into the ocean and were killed by the stingers.  That there is awesome theater with a deep moral message!

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