19 of August
Well, I have two opening words for you: Thank God. This morning I awoke at 6:00, curled my long blonde hair, slung my bag over my shoulder, and trotted sleepily downstairs. The kids and I snarfed up a large breakfast of a croissant, fruit, and a smoothie before posing outside for a “firstdayofschool” picture.
When we got out of the car, the boys stayed with my parents and Kira and I trudged up the stairs and into a classroom Daisy showed us to. There, all the kids in Prepa (high school) and Secundaria (middle school) convened for a meeting with Jim that luckily for Kira, Daisy, and I was in English. Even though the Larsons have been in Playa for a year now, none of them speak Spanish. Daisy walked into the room and said hello to some friends with those universal, greeting kisses, and I did likewise to some acquaintances from the party I had gone to. I noticed some girls all rounded up in a corner together and I thought about what a perfect clique it would be if only they were braiding each others’ hair, fixing makeup, and gossiping. Daisy read my mind and confided in me that those girls weren’t fans of her, and probably wouldn’t be fans of me either, since we are so alike in our social mannerisms. After the introductory speech, the kids split off and went to their classes. I walked with Daisy to mine and sat down next to the girl, Alma, whose party I’d gone to that weekend. Daisy and her sister Lily don’t go to normal classes with the kids of the school anymore- instead they sit in the laboratory, alone, doing online public school, but our one class we have in English she does attend.
I am the youngest in my class, and the only full-time student who isn’t bilingual. The kids are pretty good at English, especially Malakai, the boy who sat on my left today. The classroom was barren, yet tidy. Wooden chairs with oversized armrests used as desks lined the two longest sides of the rectangular room. Professors moved to each classroom, instead of the American traditional way of the kids moving rooms- we only leave to go to our elective and PE. I gathered Kira after our first class and pulled her into the elective I had chosen, sports, which had not been offered to her as far as she knew (I think she just couldn’t understand the Spanish.) Alma, the girl who threw the party and my new friend, and I were the only girls in our class who chose sports, the girls seem to be very segregated from the boys. Anyways, the two of us plus Kira padded down in the sweltering heat to the miniature soccer field on campus. And I must say, Kira and I kicked some ass. The coach not only praised us on the field, he referred us to Jim, who later told us that the coach had said we are just as good as or better than the boys. The only drawback: we were sweaty as heck. Break followed and Kira hung out with me; I was with Daisy and Alma as we traveled to groups of juniors and seniors I had previously met at the party. I made good friends with most everyone while Daisy sat and listened to music quietly.
After break was PE, and the coaches I had for sports class were the same coaches for the sticky business of fizz ed. It was absolutely terrible, but Alma, Daisy, and I had some good laughs while the coaches pointed at me and whispered in Spanish. By the way, my Spanish improved drastically in one day, with the help of Malakai and Alma. After three classes, we had our first break, then two more classes, and another break for lunch, although it was too hot to eat anything. I saw Kalin and Aidan- since Papalote has grades from kindergarten to twelfth, all six of us attend shool there- they seem to be doing very well. By the end of the day, I had a massive headache from Spanish overload and I was doused in a light layer of sweat. Mum and Pop picked us up and we cruised home to a jump in the pool and shopping for shool supplies that we now know we need. So back to those first two words, “Thank God” for a great first day.