Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Write or Wrong

by Andrew

I have worried lately that our kids are not learning much Spanish in
Buenos Aires because they have not met any Spanish-speaking children. Imagine my surprise--and delight--when I glimpsed something that Katharine had written and saw that she had sprinkled her work with Espanol. "Hora of pane" stared up at me from a short piece in Katharine's notebook.

My heart went out to her. Although my little scholar didn't know the Spanish for breakfast, "desayuno," she had used her imagination, describing it instead as the "hour of bread." The fact that she had used the Italian for bread, instead of the Spanish "pan," did not bother me in the slightest. My cosmopolitan little daughter, breaking free from the scrapple of the Eastern Shore, had become a linguistic sponge. A burgeoning citizen of the world. I was so proud.

Imagine, then, the depths of despondency to which I sank when I read the full essay. "Hora of pane" wasn't Spanish. It wasn't Italian. It wasn't even English. It was instead the desperate yearning of a child whose parents felt they could homeschool their children.

Katharine had wanted to write of the "horror of pain" she had experienced when a beautician had attacked her cuticles. Instead, stunted by the selfish wanderlust of her parents, she had managed to scratch out her emotions the only way she knew how--in a mutant language that makes the Rosetta Stone look like pidgin English.

If our kids are ever to return to Broadwater, I have an awful feeling we're going to have to endow a new technology wing--or, at the very least, a language lab.


Richmond Rose said...

Have hope Andrew - we are sure (75%anyway) that even the Eastern Shore under Obama must get somewhat closer to Reychavik in terms of lingusitics and stylistics and creativity than they've ever been before. Keep up the good work - the world is thier school & you should be getting a grant for this/////Rose

Anonymous said...

are you sure katharine wasn't referring to the hours of pain between nine and eleven in the morning when the home-away-from-home schooling takes place?

One of the Roses said...

Ay, que dolor.

Home schooling is succeeding as long as Katharine continues to express herself without restraint.
Viva la nina.