Lectures et questionnement

Ça fait deux semaines que j’ai commencé à répondre aux questions de Dr.Caso, et voilà une autre semaine qui commence avec d’autres questions… Comment vais-je faire pour ratrapper tout ça?

  • Quels livres ont eu un impact important sur votre vie/votre vision du monde?

Pendant l’adolescence, je me questionnais beaucoup sur la foi et la place de la religion dans ma vie. J’ai grandit dans la tradition catholique (baptisée et communiée), mais mes parents ne sont pas pratiquants. Curieusement, mon cheminement a commencé avec beaucoup de livres de fiction… et continué avec des choses plus sérieuses! 😉

D’abord, La Reine Margot, d’Alexandre Dumas, a piqué ma curiosité sur les guerres de religions.

Ensuite, Au nom de Compostelle, de Maryse Rouy, m’a interrogée sur les cathares.

En fin de compte, je me suis dit que si je m’idendifiais à la religion chrétienne, au-delà de la tradition culturelle et familiale, et si je voulais savoir en quoi je croyais vraiment, il fallait simplement que je lise la source de tout ça, c’est-à-dire la Bible. Je l’ai lue en entier du début à la fin (pour de vrai, pas seulement des extraits), de l’Ancien au Nouveau Testament, de la Génèse à l’Apocalypse. D’abord en français, (aussi en espagnol, allemand et italien — quand je voyageais je m’achetais une traduction dans la langue du pays que je visitais), puis plus tard plusieurs fois en anglais (avec mon mari), puis en portugais quand nous étions au Brésil… Ça fait beaucoup de livres !

Plus tard, je peux dire que je suis réellement devenue luthérienne, par conviction, après avoir lu les cathéchismes et confessions, de Martin Luther.

  • Quand vous faites vos courses (fringues, bouffe, etc.), est-ce que vous vous fiez toujours à certaines marques, ou est-ce que vous vous en fichez?

Pour les habits, je n’aime pas acheter des marques visibles (j’enlève systématiquement les étiquettes de tous mes habits). Je n’achèterai jamais un t-shirt avec écrit Adadas ou Nicki en gros dessus par exemple (je ne vois pas pourquoi je devrais payer plus cher pour leur faire de la publicité !). Mais par contre pour les pantalons qui sont pour moi un supplice de trouver et d’essayer (j’ai une taille fine et de larges hanches), je sais maintenant quels modèles de quel magasin me vont bien et dans ce cas ça me simplifie la vie d’acheter le même truc en plus neuf quand j’en ai besoin. Mais je n’achêterai jamais un pantalon en ligne, il faut absoluement que j’essaye avant d’acheter.

Pour la bouffe, je m’en fout un peu (mais j’achète le moins de nourriture processée possible), j’achète ce qui est en promotion !

  • Qu’avez-vous cherché dans Google la dernière fois?

Le Quatuor Zahir. J’ai découvert cette pièce que j’ai trouvé super chouette et j’ai voulu en savoir plus…

  • Quels choix précis avez-vous fait à propos de l’éducation de vos enfants?

Je voulais leur enseigner le piano / rudiments de musique le plus tôt possible, mais quand ils avaient 5 et 4 ans c’était trop tôt (pour eux) et l’essai n’était pas concluant. Ils n’avaient ni de concentration ni d’intérêt pour apprendre et moi encore moins de patience. Je ne voulais pas les traumatiser à vie donc j’ai arrêté les scéances de tortures ! Maintenant qu’ils sont un peu plus vieux peut-être que ça va aller mieux ?

Quant à l’école, ils ont connu le système d’éducation au Brésil (en portugais) et maintenant le système d’éducation francophone au Canada. Un truc rigolo: maintenant j’entend parfois des drôles de sonorités franco-ontariennes quand ils parlent!

On n’a pas encore décidé quand ou comment on va les transférer vers une école anglophone (il faudra bien qu’ils apprennent aussi l’anglais). On verra.

  • Qui sont les personnes qui ont été les plus gentilles avec vous, dans votre vie?

Mes parents bien sûr, car même avec les manipulations de mon père, je n’ai jamais manqué de rien. Et puis j’ai eu des professeurs de piano et de chant formidables qui m’ont souvent donné plus d’heures de cours que je ne pouvais me permettre de payer… Et aussi tous les amis et les inconnus qui nous ont aidé dans les moments les plus difficiles. C’est dans ces moments que l’on se rend compte de la sincérité et de la bonté qu’il y a autour de nous, même si parfoir on a tendance à ne voir que tous les malheurs du monde.

  • Qu’est-ce que vous rêvez de pouvoir manger tout le temps?

Je ne peux pas digérer les fritures, alors je n’aime ni chips ni frites ni rien de gras… C’est pratique. Par contre j’aaaime le chocolat (surtout le noir) (et le chocolat au lait avec des raisins et noisette), mais je suis au régime et je dois couper ces trucs que j’aime un peu trop…

  • Qu’est-ce que vous n’avez jamais fait que la plupart des gens autour de vous ont fait?

Je n’ai pas encore acheté de maison. Je rêve de m’acheter ma propre maison un jour.

Anúncios

Bullet Point Week

  • The aquatic “river walking” class started out very easy: walk 3 loops with the current. The instructor informed me that I would be the youngest in the group, but reassured me that he would adapt the class to my needs. I looked around me in the water and saw that there were indeed older ladies ahead of me. The class description in the booklet said “medium to high intensity”, oh really!? It does not look that way to me. What did I get myself into?
  • When I was done with the warm up, the instructor told me to walk 3 loops against the current… Ah. Ok. Now we are talking!
  • One hour of this (and variations) was painful, but oh so fun. (One more reason I love the water: I don’t want to know how much I sweat!)
  • The boys were supposed to start their new swimming session today, but the first lesson was canceled “because of technical difficulties”. Whatever that means.
  • The twins were invited to a playdate at their friends house this afternoon (twins too), but the mom called me this morning to cancel because one of the boys woke up with fever. Better telling us now, than having the whole family sick for a week. Thank you, fellow twin mama.
  • There are 3 sets of twins in the twins’ classroom. Two girls, and two sets of two boys.
  • I took advantage of some down time between two projects to rearrange my recording studio this week. I’m loving it so far. (It’s the kind of thing that I can’t be doing during a project because so many little things change the quality of recording).
  • My computer mouse died two days ago. It was a small and simple, wired black thing, but I liked it. It wouldn’t click anymore.  D says in his many years of repairing computers he’s never seen that before. So I ordered a new one (white, rechargeable, wireless). I am using a big black hamster until the cyborg arrives.
  • We’ve had a little bit of snow this week, but so far this winter has been more gray than white. Not fun.

Halloween and the aftermath

The kids were very exited for Halloween. Last year we arrived in Canada a few weeks after the festivities, so this time around we couldn’t NOT participate…

A couple of weeks before, they had all been invited to a birthday party that was Halloween themed. They had to go with costumes so I bought a superheroes kit on Amazon (capes and masks), from which they chose whatever they wanted to be for a few hours. I figured they would at least have double duties of these props!

We didn’t decorate, and I didn’t plan to give candies out, because I was planning to accompany the kids around the neighborhood. That was my plan.

On Tuesday afternoon, I felt some tingling down my throat.

Wednesday morning I was totally out of commission. Sore muscles and fatigue all over the body. No more voice. (Aaah! I can’t work! I’m freaking out!)

So the kids went out trick-or-treating around the neighborhood with their dad. Our street had very little participation (only one or two houses). The neighbor across the street was all decorated, but no one was there to give out candies on All Saints’ Eve! Weird.  But my boys walked a little further and were very happy when they came back with bags overflowing with chocolates, candies and chips. “Next year, we’ll need bigger bags!”, they informed me. They didn’t eat very healthy for the following days and there were a few tummy aches to fight.

This week-end, Elias was sick with the flu.

Monday, Elias and Uriel are both sick, not going to school.

Today Uriel is still sick and home. What a sad way to spend one’s birthday… Happy birthday, stinker. ♥

Saudades

The boys have started school again, and you know what I miss about Brazil? The uniforms.

There are a lot of things that can be said about the superior quality of education in Canada, but I miss the uniforms of a third-world country!

In Brazil all the kids wear uniforms for school, from kindergarten to secondary school, public and private schools alike. People like uniforms so much that a lot of jobs that I wasn’t used to see with uniforms, require their employees to wear one (pharmacies, supermarkets, restaurants, gyms, driver’s schools, etc.). It usually consists of comfortable shorts and T-shirt, sometimes a pair of pants and a light jacket too (optional — in states with cooler climates only), in a resistant and very washable fabric. It’s cheap, durable, and oh so practical. The boys had each two pairs of uniforms, and I simply needed to wash the dirty one while the other was being used.

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RO 2015
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GO 2016
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SP 2016
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SP 2017

The magic school bus

Our first concern when we arrived in Canada in November was to enroll the kids to school as soon as possible. While the school year in Brazil is from February to December, the following school year which is from September to June had already started here! The twins were only finishing their first year of primary school in Brazil, but they had missed the first months of their second year (Gr.2) here in Canada! And Uriel had missed his first months of primary school (Gr.1)… I was afraid that their reading skills would be behind from the rest of their peers.

Another concern was the language. They had started to read and write in Portuguese and had  adjusted rather well to the Portuguese language. I was completing their education with some French lessons at home and French is also the language we speak at home. However, they’d had little to no contact with the English language before coming here. What would happen now?

In Southern Ontario we discovered that there are four publicly funded school boards, English public, English catholic, French public and French Catholic. Free education of good quality (and free school buses!) was after all one of the main reason we came back. I’m loving it! 🙂

The choice was hard for us. On the most practical side, there is an English public school two blocks from our house. The other option was to send them to a French catholic school a little further away, but with free school bus service. Should we drop them in the English language and see what happens (we know how kids learn fast, right?), or ease the transition and look into a French school (their oral skills are obviously good, but the writing and reading in French in not as… intuitive).

We ended up deciding to send them to a French school for now. The idea is that they will hopefully learn to read and write the harder language first, be exposed to the French Canadian accent (which is not a bad thing in my opinion — they are French and Canadian after all!), then pick up English along the way (most of the kids in school speak English at home and behind the teacher’s back!).

Another fun fact: taking the yellow bus to school is a (very exciting) daily adventure! Their first thought was probably that they would step into the fantastic world of one of their favorite series. In truth, the ride that would take only 10 minutes if I would drive them directly to school takes them around 30 to 40 minutes… (not that they have anything else to do anyway, ha ha)

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Magic school bus

 

As provas

I have been writing and editing this post for so many days now that it’s starting to stale!

The children should usually be in school from 7am to 11am every morning, I say usually when I actually don’t really know what usually means here; there is always something or other to change that. For example, last week I saw a sign at the entrance of the school to ask parents of the afternoon shift to pick up their kids half an hour earlier than usual “because of the heat“. The heat! I don’t see how finishing classes half an hour earlier is going to change anything because the worst of the heat is early afternoon (around four is actually starting to get better), but I discarded the info since it didn’t concern me. However this week, there was a little note on the kids’ agenda informing parents that we should pick them up one hour earlier, everyday of the whole week, because they will have provinhas (little exams)… Please, can someone explain to me on which planet do preschools need the kids to have LESS hours of school in order to give them exams? I can’t even begin to understand. We must be living  on a parallel dimension.

The weather has indeed been very hot and dry. So dry that we all wake up coughing. The kids complain about their throat and nose. In Canada I would probably have bought a humidifier at the Walmart without a second thought, but here in a small town in Brazil, even if humidifiers do exist they are hard to find. One has to do many little stores around town and ask for it. Sometimes you are lucky, sometimes you have to wait for weeks for the next shipment. It’s a lot of work to spend money! Chatting with friends I have been told to leave a humid towel at the head of the bed before sleep. It did seem to help! Also, the damp towel was amazingly totally dry the next morning. Dry, dry, dry. I’m telling you.

Then, suddenly, it rained!

 

EDIT: To add to the endless list of school related complaints (sorry, I need to vent!). The following week, I was told on Monday that my kids wouldn’t have classes for the rest of the week because the results of their exams were satisfying. In other words, they were penalized for passing their exams. I am not complaining that the teachers take time apart for the students that need extra attention, but surely there is a way to deal with advanced students (not that my kids are particularly advanced, they simply know their letters and numbers, I think that the rest of the kids must be particularly behind) and keep them studying some more while doing catch up with the tardies, no?

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Falando de escola…

Here is a follow up on the schooling saga: (here is the last time I spoke about that)

As you might remember, last year my boys were attending a private school in Rondônia. We were living downtown and the school was right next door. Very practical since they were attending the morning shift from 7:30AM to noon.

Since it was a “Lutheran” school which used to belong to (or be affiliated with) (I’m not sure of the technicalities) our church, our kids were offered free tuition. This was great because we couldn’t possibly afford tuition for the three of them (that would sum up to the equivalent of one entire minimum wage salary per month — not gonna happen). But although the tuition was free for us, there were very expensive apostilas (some sort of big exercise books with all the academic program) to buy every semester and you should have seen the school supplies list at the beginning of the year, it was as long as my arm! And that was for each one of my boys! And they are all in pre-school!!!

So, even if the private school was “free”, it wasn’t really.

I was constantly frustrated with the teachers. They would send homework that would be either full of spelling mistakes, hard to understand (I would often go to my husband to see if I had lost something in translation) or clearly way above our children’s comprehension: Once they were asked to complete a crossed word puzzle, but didn’t know yet how to spell!

The list of mind boggling shit that went on in that school goes on and on, but as a result of our experience and circumstances of our move, we decide to enroll them in the public school system this year.

So upon arrival in Goiás, hubby took care of finding out were would our children study. The public system here is either funded by the town (municipal), the state (estadual) or federal.

First surprise is that we were apparently following a new education law back in Rondônia, but now we have to follow an old law here in Goiás regarding standard school age. So the twins (5) who were attending the last year of pre-school last year and were supposed to start first-year, are repeating the last pre-school year again. Not that it make much difference because I can’t say that they are advanced for their age (yes, they are bilingual, but that’s beside the point).

The school is downtown and we live much further from it. So it makes a much earlier rising and a short commute with the car. The morning shift here is from 7:00AM to 11:00AM… Ow. The building itself is clearly under funded (not a surprise), but it looks much cleaner than the private school in Rondônia. The teachers too seem to know what they are doing. My boys’ home works are typically pages and pages of letters and numbers to write, they have learned the vowels and are starting spelling with a B-A BA method that I remember well 😉 , all of which was completely ignored last year!  I am finally starting to see some progress in their alphabetization. I am relieved.

Unfortunately, to illustrate the under-funded problem, the teachers were on strike a couple of weeks ago. They had not been paid their salaries since the beginning of the school year… Can you imagine? The story I’ve heard is that the current mayor had thought that nobody would notice if he took a little bit of money on the side… His lawyer and the teacher’s syndicate lawyer got involved, and as we say, the shit hit the fan!

Anyway, I understand that the teachers needed to go on strike, but on the mean time, I had no idea when would my kids go back to school… The Schmilblick went on for three weeks. There was no sign on the closed door of the school, no official note to the parents, nothing. I asked around and the apology that I would receive was along the lines of “Ah yes, that’s the way things are done here, you have to hear the news through the grapevine“. Well apparently unlike the rest of the moms, I am not plugged to the grapevine because I showed up many days with kids in tow at 7:00AM (I am rarely well awaken at that hour) to a closed door and nobody in sight…

Today the kids are back in school and will be for many Saturday mornings too, to catch up on the missed days.