Thursday, 15 September 2011

Saturday Dilemma

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

First of all I would like to apologise to those people who couldn't leave a comment on my last post because of a Blogger glitch. I only knew about it because they asked my brother to pass on a message about their difficulty.
I hope Blogger is working again now.

You might be wondering about the little owl photo on this post.
It was brought round by my friend and neighbour this afternoon.
At first I thought that it was a little bag or purse with a key ring on it. However, when I opened it up there was a strong nylon bag inside. That is ideal for unexpected shopping journeys. You know how easy it is to pop in for a small item and then go on to buy six. Then you notice you haven't sufficient room in your bag.
I am always doing that. Now I can clip this little owl onto my bag and never have to come home with a plastic bag again.
So I am well pleased. I do seem to have some lovely friends, don't I?

I hear some funny things while waiting in the hospital for my treatment to start.
Today I found myself sitting in a corridor with another lady while they prepared the two rooms for our radiotherapy.
The lady started telling me she'd just started having the treatment after a long session of chemo. I remarked that she was extremely lucky to have kept her hair.
She replied that it was a wig.
I was truly amazed because I can usually tell when some one is wearing a wig and this one even seemed to be mottled with grey. Very natural looking.
Anyway, she went on to inform me that while she had been having chemotherapy, another lady had asked her if it was her own hair or a wig and when she answered that it was a wig, the older lady asked if she could borrow it for the weekend while she went to a wedding because it looked so natural.
What a cheek. It would be as bad as someone asking to borrow a set of teeth or a false limb. Just a bit too personal.
We both had a chuckle about that.

It was my oldest granddaughter's 9th Birthday this week. I can hardly believe that she only came to this country five years ago after living in Japan from birth. She has done extremely well with all her English subjects.
However, she is feeling a bit sorry for herself at the moment as she is being taken by her mother to another city every Saturday to a Japanese school for the whole day.
It is the only way that both children can even attempt to keep up with their appropriate school year with reading and writing in Japanese.

The positive thing will be that both children will be fluent in both languages when they become adults and most likely will end up with good jobs because of this.
The downside is that they are doing a six day school week when everyone else is only doing five and they will miss parties with their friends and outings with their dad.

I can remember when I was only twelve and my teeth were overcrowded and my dentist wanted to make more room for them by extracting four good teeth. My mother left me with the choice and I obviously chose not to have the surgery.
I later told my mother that I wished she had made me have it done as my teeth grew crooked.
This seems to be a similar case with the girls and their Saturday school.
They might be glad of the extra tuition on a Saturday if they end up with good jobs as bilingual English/Japanese speakers.
What do others think about this?
Is it good or bad to cram children's schooling with an extra day?


Rae said...

What a fab owl, and so useful too

I think keeping them current in their Japanese is an excellent idea, sometimes the grownups have to take charge for the benfit in the long run, it will give them much better futures, as long as they don't get too worn out doing it, which I'm sure they won't

I had 4 teeth out when I was 12 for overcrowding - I wasn't given an option for which I am glad because I know that I would also have chosen not to do it

Teacher's Pet said...

A great blog, Maggie. What a thoughtful and useful gift the owl is! Love it!!
Regarding the borrowing of the wig...I laughed OUT LOUD when I read that...and wondered how I would say "No"...and not hurt feelings....but that is definitely not something to loan. I laughed so hard at the analogy of loaning false teeth. A good one, Maggie...a good one!
And...I am more than happy that your granddaughter is taking extra courses and extra time in order to learn more. Who is to say that a 5-day school week is 'appropriate' anyway? Noone. I was like you, Maggie...had the overcrowded 'teeth'...and had to have 5 teeth extracted...and had braces. Yes, it was bothersome to have it done...but the results are lifetime ones. I'm very impressed that her mother is taking her to school on Saturday. Your granddaughter will be richly blessed...even though right now she doesn't particularly like it. She will reap the benefits....soon. My best wishes for her..and always for you, Maggie.
With love,

Wisewebwoman said...

As they say we only regret the things we didn't do, I'm all for the Japanese immersion, it will not be regretted.
And the wig request? Is there no end to some people's brass? Really?

Nora said...

My grandson goes to German school every Saturday and his German is very good and he is good in all of his subjects. He spends eight weeks in Germany every summer and goes to school there for a few weeks. So yes to Japanese school.

I had one tooth that grew in crooked and I wish something had be done about it when I was a kid. I had to wait until I was an adult before it was.


TechnoBabe said...

What a thoughtful gift. We all do that, stop in for one item and walk out with several things.

I enjoyed hearing the story of the woman asking to use the wig. Ha.

Wendy said...

What a cute owl! And so practical. I always buy more than I'd planned, so either I have to purchase a bag (they cost 5 cents now) or go back to the car and bring in more grocery bags.

Ha! Borrow my wig! LOL!

I think it's wonderful for the children to be learning Japanese. They will have time on the holidays to socialize. I think it's worth the pain.

I too had to have 4 teeth removed because of overcrowding. Seems like a common problem among us ladies (having read another comment). I did and had braces on my teeth as well.

RNSANE said...

What a delightful little owl, Maggie! That's much better than a plastic bag, anyway!

I think it is so wonderful that your granddaugters are not losing their Japanese language skills! I know their Japanese grandparents must feel a great sense of pride that they can speak to them in their native language when they visit Japan. I've always felt that it is important for everyone to be bilingual. We, Americans, seem to think everyone should speak English. When my two youngest were born, I advertised for a monolingual Spanish speaking housekeeper ( my forensic nursing job involved a lot of call and I had to leave the house at all hours of the day and night! ). I wanted the boys to grow up speaking Spanish like native speakers - and they did. Of course, they took Spanish in school, as well, but in high school, they graduated with state honors in Spanish and I am always proud of the proficiency with which they speak.

SueAnn said...

I think the opportunity to learn and excel in Japanese is well worth their discomfort!! They will be glad they did this when they are older.

Mya said...

I had a brace when I was young and I really didn't want it. I'm so glad my parents insisted now. I think being bi-lingual helps kids in lots of ways, they seem to make some connections quicker and it gives them a lot of confidence - my son really loves to dissect the roots of words and he loves it when english and french words inter-relate when he's not expecting it - if that doesn't sound a bit up myself!
Mya x

Suldog said...

That's a hilarious story about the wig. How could someone ask to borrow something so personal? Yikes!

Brian Miller said...

I think that as long as they have outlets for social development it is a good thing...and def a prefered skill to have.

what a cool bag. owls are very cool but have yet to see one this year.

yeah, i def would not be sharing a wig...

have a lovely day maggie...

Hilary said...

What a newsy and enjoyable post. I'm trying to catch up with too many blogs after being away from my computer for about ten days.

I wouldn't want to put kids through an additional day of school but I do get the need to keep their cultural awareness alive. It will certainly benefit them later. said...

My two grandsons (2 and 6 months) and half Chinese and they will go to a Chinese language school on a Saturday. I really think it's excellent because, as you say, they will be bi-lingual (well, almost) and as for the future - anything that gives an advantage on a CV can only be good.


Rose said...

I think keeping the girls up in their Japanese is a good idea, even if they're not too happy about the sixth day of school. As you say, it will be a definite benefit for them in the future. And I, too, was given a choice about braces--I opted not to get them because I didn't want to look even uglier than I thought I was. But I've always regretted not having nice straight teeth! Sometimes adults have to make the best decisions for children.

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree with other people on here. Keeping up with Japanese is a very good idea, and I'm sure that they will feel the benefits in the long run. It's also a very Japanese thing to do. When I lived in Tokyo, I was amazed at how much work the kids had to do - but I suppose it's keeping them attuned to part of their roots, their history. I think it's good, even though they might not like it.

Jeni said...

It is a bit of a sticky wicket when kids don't really have much of an outlet for physical exercise and socializing too -both things that are equally important along with the schooling. However, as long as the girls are agreeable to the task and realize that it won't be forever (even though to them right now it may seem that way) and if your family can also manage maybe just a teensy bit of fun times in the time leftover, I think by the time they reach adulthood and realize the benefits that come from being truly bi-lingual, then they will understand fully how important this education will have become to them! Tough to balance, but it can be done!

Happy Frog and I said...

Great post though I couldn't believe that one woman would ask another if she could borrow her wig. Never heard of that happening before. Really pleased the glitch seems to have been solved and I am able to leave comments again. x

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

Yeah it is eezier to lern anuther langwidge wen yor a cub, so I think she will be happy abowt it wen they ar older.

I like the owl. Sept I call them wols.

It is a wile since I vizitid yu an I did not noe that yu wer unwell. Me an the uther Bears ar sending yu lots ov Bear hugs an hope yu feel ok.


Mummy sez, don't feel bad abowt yor teeth. Her bruther, my Unkol Roy, had 4 owt becos they wer crowded. Then he had a brace fitted to strayten themm all. They lookt grayte after that, but they dident stay that way. They carryd on an moovd an now they look crooked enyway, eevn arfter he went throo all that! So yu never noe!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I was always glad when Saturday came and no school to attend. For my kids, also. However, we spent Saturdays at he ball park or doing outdoor activities. Things have changed now, as I know many in my community have their children enrolled in school on Saturday.

Love the story of the wig.

Brian Miller said...

just stopping in to say hi today...smiles.

Jayne said...

Love the owl - but I thought it was the size of a cushion! So I was wondering how you'd clip it to your bag when out, and then I looked at it again and imagined it small. :-)

It's tricky when your grand-daughters see everyone else at play on Saturdays but hopefully the school make it as enjoyable as they can for them and they have nice friends there. It's fantastic to speak two languages - wish I could.

Anonymous said...

Such a cute owl. And I laughed at the story of the wig!

My kids are bi-lingual and they have extra English after school during the week. I feel that children really need the weekends to relax and play and a whole extra day of schooling doesn't sound much fun. On the other hand, what a shame to lose their skill in Japanese - they will be very thankful later on to have kept it up!

Mimi said...

Maggie, I loved this post, chatty and full of news.
You write so beautifully. I always enjoy reading your posts.
Had a good laugh re the wig..some people know no boundaries!
Re the girls/Japanese, it's hard for them to have a 6-day week, but I can see the benefit for their futures too. But would a half day not suffice? My daughter did Japanese as an extra Leaving Cert subject (her choice, not mine!) and it was a big commitment, even though she did enjoy it a lot.

aims said...

I absolutely adore owls Maggie! I have owl jewelry and wooden owls - ceramic owls - painted owls - paintings of owls....

I've always been attracted to them and I'm not sure why.

I laughed out loud when the lady asked to borrow the wig! What a hoot that is! oh! no pun intended!

There are a couple of ladies who sell wigs at the hospital I go to every Friday. I was stunned to discover the price of them! When you are paying close to $1000 for some of them I'm sure you wouldn't want anyone else wearing it!

Mickle let me know that you are going through treatment again. My heart is with you dear lady - dear friend.