Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This one has a lot of swear words. You know, in the spirit of Christmas. Sorry Mom.

I'm a pissed off mama.  I'd planned to do a lovely post today about all the holiday fun we had over the weekend, and I'm still going to do that, but in light of what I view to be the mistreatment of the Loosh at the hands of the French school system, I will now write this post with a "Get us the f*ck out of here I hate this f*ck'g place mother f*ckers" filter.  Festive! And just in time for Christmas!

We did the stupid Christmas Light Tour over the weekend.  (At the time, we didn't think it was stupid but right now I think everything is stupid so it was STUPID.)

Lucien and I went early to pick up the tickets while Alex waited for the babysitter for Ms. Cokes.  As we entered the shop where you pick up tickets, we walked smack into typical French "organization" -- complete pandemonium, no line, just a big group of people pushing to get to the counter (my Dad refers to it as "the French wedge" and I find that term shockingly accurate).

There were some anglophones darting about, looking panic-stricken and shouting back and forth, "What's the SYSTEM?  I don't understand the SYSTEM."  "Heh, good luck suckers," I thought to myself, "no way in hell you're making the tour if you stand around whining about a system in the middle of a French wedge."  Then I plunged headfirst into the crowd.  I pushed and wedged like a seasoned professional all the way up to the front of the line with my little boy's arms wrapped tightly around my waist.  He knows the drill.  When entering a French wedge, cling to mama and hang on, kind of like a cute little baby koala, but with more fear.   

I received our tickets and complimentary blankets (nice touch -- Christmas Light Tours are chilly) and was directed to the complimentary hot beverage table in the middle of the chaos.  I managed to grab a hot chocolate for the Loosh but then beat a hasty retreat.  Hot drinks and pushing crowds don't go together well as evidenced by the large number of yelling, scalded tour participants.

When it came time to get on the bus, another French wedge formed outside the bus doors.  The anglophones were very cute, all lined up nicely on one side of the bus but we Frenchies (I consider myself one of them now, in matters of line-waiting and enviable style only) just crushed up together on the other side of the door.  The anglophones looked bewildered as we steamrolled them out of the way.  Americans and Canadians flew left and right and yelled, "Aghhh!  SYSTEM!  There's no SYSTEM..."

Of course there's a system, people -- it's called "smashing the hell out of other people."  Alex arrived just in time and congratulated me on my badass procurement of the best seats on top of the bus.  The top of the bus was full of French people.  I'm pretty sure the bottom of the bus was full of crushed, wounded tourists applying cold compresses and band-aids. 

The tour was pretty.  Alex and I loved it.  Lucien, not so much.  I underestimated Lucien's interest in Christmas Lights.  Grossly underestimated, as in he doesn't really have any interest at all.  When you paired that disinterest with having to watch a bunch of  kids eating junk food, playing games and riding rides just outside the bus, he spent most of the tour frantically begging to be let off the bus so he could go have fun.  We said no and pinned him to his seat.  A struggle ensued.

I made a video about The Paris Christmas Light Tour 2010.  It's six minutes of video heaven.  I just received word the video has been blocked in Germany but I don't really understand why.  Sorry, Germans.  Guess the Christmas Lights were too shocking for you. 



Moving on -- I'm about to knock some skulls over at the preschool.  Seriously, if you think I'm impressive in a French wedge, you are going to be blown away when I bust down the front door of a French preschool and squarely land my karate kicks.

Dr. Michel once told me it was my job to defend Lucien in the French school system, that they don't handle "different" very well.  Well, mama's about to put in some overtime.  Lucien has been talking recently about how he was moved to a different lunch time.  I didn't think much of it, OK, they switched his class's lunch time, no biggie.  But then he told me this morning, very quietly, that he didn't like school because he was being punished and had been moved to a different lunch time -- just him, without his classmates, in with the bigger kids, most of whom he doesn't know.  He often sits by himself.  (... and Mama says, "WHAT THE F*CK?")

This alarmed us so Alex asked about it at drop-off and was told that yes, Lucien was moved to a different lunch time to "send him a message" that he needed to stay in his seat and be quiet in the lunchroom. He had been completely removed from his class, singled out, shamed and embarrassed, because he wouldn't stay in his seat at lunchtime -- and without his parents being notified first so we could help explain what was going to happen.

I'll send you a message, Frenchies. It involves KNOCKING some SKULLS.  

Now I don't want to get all soap-boxy on you here, but aw, what the hell we're all here and have nothing better to do.  In my humble American opinion, shaming and embarrassing a child is not effective punishment.  In fact, with someone like Lucien, it's only going to make things worse -- now he's angry and hurt and much more likely to act out because he's feisty like that.  Plus now, thanks to you, Frenchies, he's internalizing every single day that he's the "bad kid."  He knows what you want yet he can't help his energy level, he can't help his extreme extroversion that makes him lose his frickin' mind when he's around his friends.  You're punishing him for being himself, for being the kid he's always been.  It's reactive and antiquated and completely f*cking ineffective.

We know Lucien can be tough -- the energy, the volume, the constant desire to wrestle -- we get it!  It's hard to handle sometimes!  But is the only solution to squash him like a bug, fit him into the mold, browbeat him into submission, embarrass him into silence?  Oh my God, was your answer just "Yes?"  You uncreative bitches! 

The teacher says he's a smart kid, he does his work, he learns with no problem, but he's too disruptive, jumps around a lot, likes to yell, etc. etc.  She mentioned we may want to talk to his doctor about it.  I assured her we had, and that the doctor doesn't have any worries about Lucien, in fact he appreciates his spirited ways and is a big fan.  Instead of being satisfied and moving on to constructive solutions for dealing with his behavior in class, she frowned and said, "Well then you probably didn't explain it correctly." Fantastic.  Very helpful.  KNOCK some SKULLS.

The Loosh is a rowdy kid stuck in a land where children are expected to be seen and not heard.  But I don't want a silent kid. I want a child who's confident in his own skin, who's not afraid to speak up, who believes he's a good person even if he's not perfect.  I want plans that are proactive, not punishments that are reactive. I want constructive ideas to help him manage his energy in a classroom setting, not destructive spirit-sapping techniques from the stone age.  I'm no longer convinced any of that can happen in France, not for us anyway, not with the Loosh being who he is.

Oh and hey, you know what else, France?  I went out with a couple of the ladies Friday night (Virginia Mom and Australia Mom, how I love thee) and we scandalously ordered a bottle of rosé wine in winter. We got a funny look.  Well f*ck you, too, stupid wine man!  We're going to drink rosé in winter!  We're going to let our freak flags fly!  It's who we are and you will not shame us into being any different.  So eff you and eff you and eff you and eff you....

Happy Holidays, everybody! 

You are a very, very good kid, mon chou.  I will fight these Frenchies to the death so you know it.
MJ

 Mr. Sarkozy, I stand outside the  Élysée Palace 
wishing to discuss the matter of my education...

P.S.  We leave for Quebec this weekend and then we're going to Colorado for a little bit and I hope we don't die because that's a lot of planes but IF WE DO, can someone please come over here and kick some ass in my place?  Start with the lunch ladies.  They'll be the ones in the hairnets. Promise me.

32 comments:

debbie in toronto said...

Wow...somebody's pissed! and I don't blame you....they could have at the VERY least told you about their "plans" for changing his lunch hour before hand so you could discuss this "problem" which from the sound of it is this:
french teacher can't be bothered with any kid who does't just sit there like a statue.

dear oh dear..good thing you are getting out of dodge for a while or I would have had to read about American expat going berserk in Paris grade school on CNN

have a great holiday in the frozen province of Quebec..hope you have boots.....

Merry Christmas MJ to you and all your little and big Canadians!

It's Just Me! said...

Tell the F'ing teacher (sorry MJ...I'm at work...can't drop the F-Bomb in its full glory) - just tell that lady if she would CHALLENGE your child INTELLECTUALLY he may have no reason to pull the whirling dervish act out of his back pocket. He may well be disruptive because he's BORED. The brow beaten Frenchie misfits in his class to stop the synchronized drooling and get with the program. It's about keeping up with the Loosh-man (sorry if a parent is reading this, I'm sure you and your child are lovely, I'm just paintin' the whole mess with the same brush - very American).

Tell my man Lucien that if Frances and I were over there we'd be eating fancy Frencie lunch food with him every day.

Merry Christmas. Colorado is very far from Seattle. (sniff) I'll wait.

Mrs. Howard said...

I'm the kind of person who will adhere to the rule of lining up in a calm and orderly fashion until someone or something provokes me and gets on my last nerve. After that, I'm all, "Fcuk this sheetcake, there's no line, well then get the farfignuegen outta my way!".

Poor Loosh. Intentionally isolating him from the rest of his classmates and then humiliating him into behaving? Not cool. Because of this, I hope he continues to be his awesome, energetic self, much to the dismay of his teacher. Is that awful?

Linda said...

Sorry to hear about the lunch time thing...that's just ridiculous! Hope it's only temporary. Poor little guy.

Thanks for sharing the lights tour. I was there in the fall for 5 weeks but when planning I had wanted to be there at this time of year to see Paris at Christmas time. It didn't work out and I miss Paris anyways but sucks that I'm missing out on this time of year. Ahh well I will have to live vicariously through those who are posting lovely videos/photos. Thank you for sharing this! (Pardon my whine :)

Anonymous said...

I also have a bone to pick with the lunch lady, so I can do yours while I'm at it! Say hi to my old love Quebec for me and I'll see you when the crazy business of Christmas is over and done with! SO sorry for this weekend, I guess it wasn't meant to be! (By the way, do you think it would have been worse or better with Elliot on the bus together with Lucien? My bet is it would have been netter for them and worse for us! As for the whole school situation, I hear you! If we move away from here in a year or two, that will be the reason!
Joyeux Noel!
Annica

Rachel said...

Done. I'm an eighth degree black belt in ass kicking. Especially when it comes to teachers belittling children.

It's Just Me! said...

oh...and MJ...one piece of advice. Leave anything that can be construed as a weapon at home when you go for your little conversation. You'd hate to be associated with the wacky sword-wielding teenager....

oldgreymare said...

I promise.

Hair-netted broads were always mean to me in school, so it'll be my pleasure!

Safe trip.
merry merry

xxx

z

Annie said...

Hi there,

You don't know me, but I like your blog and your writing style.

I a homeschooling mom of three boys. (No, I'm not here to convert you to homeschooling!) We homeschool because Lucien's experience is exactly what we were headed for.

You don't need me to tell you this, but stick by your guns on this one. There is a whole world of kids out there like Lucien who don't want to be crammed into the mold. (Just listen in on gifted homeschooling listservs. You will hear the same story over and over.) Turns out, they become these amazing, creative, interesting adults. So, I applaud your instincts.

BTW, if you haven't read it, you might like Kurcinka's Rasing Your Spirited Child. It might help you channel that intense energy till he's ready to do great things with it.

MJ said...

Hi Debbie. Who's pissed? I'm pissed! And no, I don't have good boots for Quebec. I'm screwed.

Hello dear friend C, thanks for the support, woman. Indeed, Lucien may be bored but I can't get him to sit still long enough to tell me if that's the problem. We miss you guys.

Mrs. Howard, hello and nice to see you around! I hope Lucien stays strong against the teacher, too. We hope he can abide by the rules without losing who he is. Is that too much to ask?

Hi Linda. No worries, I'm all about the whine (wine?) Christmas in Paris is spectacular. I don't know how, but they manage to make a beautiful city even more beautiful!

Annica, I thought the very same thing during the tour. "Would this be better if Elliot had come?" I'm not sure of the answer. It probably wouldn't have gone over well with the other passengers. See you in the New Year!

Rachel, I appreciate you having the Loosh's back like that.

Hi, Z! Merry merry to you, too. What is it with the mean people in hairnets?

Hi Annie and welcome! There's no way I could homeschool since I was born with no patience, but I admire people who can deal with their children all day, every day. Very impressive.

We say often these skills will benefit Lucien in the long run, we just have to raise him up without crushing it out of him first! We are indeed sticking to our guns and will continue to fight putting the Loosh in the dreaded mold!

I own that book, Raising Your Spirited Child. Actually, I not only own it, I kind of obsess over it. It's helped give me perspective and a lot of ideas to help him at home. At home he's pretty great; it's the school part that's kickin' us in the butt. Maybe I should have the Frenchie teachers read it? HA.

Thanks for your support.

Actually, that goes for everybody. That last post was definitely a chapter for "therapy blog." Thanks for bearing with the rant.

Happy whatever you celebrate at this time of year, everybody.

Duchesse said...

A French colleague of mine put her very French kids in a British school because she disapproves of the French school system...

The Loosh is very lucky to have a mom who will fight tooth and nail for him!

You know, I'm gonna be 38 in two weeks and I'm still smarting from certain public humiliations I suffered in my youth... Although I was not rowdy, I was always unconventional. Guess what? I stuck to my guns, got the last laugh and so will Lucien.

Can't see you little Xmas lights movie either! Guess it must be a Germanic thing;) Will try at home:)

Have a safe trip home, have fun and come back soon!:) Merry Christmas:)

Woodengirl said...

I just love this blog in part because of your tales about Lucien! I can relate, as I raised my own little boy, who could be Lucien's twin in spirit. My son is now a successful lawyer, devoted husband and loving father. He is still an energetic man, friendly, and loving to those around him. He nearly drove his teachers up a wall though, when he was young. I think the greatest challenge was to not let him think he was "the bad boy". He was not bad, just full of spirit. That "bad" thinking is so destructive.

g said...

mj- you are 100% correct ...uh didn't you say preschool....energy and spirit is a given and their solution is completely wrong! why not give loosh more resposibility put his energy and social relationships to good use- like helping clean up, passing out paper or some sort of daily responsibility .... i am a teacher and this would NEVER, I REPEAT NEVER be a viable soloution over here in the good old usa....that methodology is archaic in my humble opinion. children like loosh work wonders with shy children, underachieving children and are often the bridge to mixing groups in activities that normally may not do so...he is def. an ASSET, sometimes it is the way you see a situation and his teachers are not looking at it correctly....in my humble opinion again! you are his advocate his voice in a system that is hard to navigate...just be strong and determined and do not accept ANYTHING that is not comfortable to you and big al! HANG IN THERE!! go kick some french butt and on a side note maybe you could suggest to the teachers loosh do some puzzles to help his behavior issues-

rmwm said...

so, all of these "perfectly" behaved french children grow up and cause "french wedges" all over town...? what? what ever happened to the nice line-ups we seen in the madeline books? pure rebellion by the time they reach adulthood! :)
lucien is awesome, and lucky to have you guys as his parents! good luck, safe travels, and happy holidays!
loved the paris lights video, too!

Amy said...

That is so awful MJ. I had a similar situation when I was in 4th grade. I wasn't in a different country, nor was the punishment as degrading, but it did mess me up.

I was a VERY friendly, outgoing kid who loved to talk in class to friends or anyone. I would do my work, but I talked. So did tons of other kids. Anyway, my teacher decided to give the embarassment punishment a try, and made me sit in front of the class all day, talking about how I was a bad kid for talking. It hurt me so bad, and I was so embarassed. I never talked again in class, not even to answer questions, until I got to college. My personality was altered, and I was generally scared to talk.

So, I'm ok now, don't worry :), but it probably would be good to have the situation changed for Loosh. It might hurt him and his darling personality. But in my ever attempts to be positive, he might have such a wonderful, confident spirit that it won't effect him.

But you're Mom, and you're in charge. You can direct teachers, not the other way around.

Good luck and hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Sincerely,
Amy M.

emmabovary said...

I read this post with complete understanding and empathy.

There are tremendous differences between the US educations system and the French one, the biggest (and most damaging one, IMHO) being the French belief that one should motivate by humiliation vs the American way which is to motivate by positive reinforcement.

I have stood up for my daughter, now 13, since the maternelle. And to no avail. Now in 5eme, her report cards have consistently carried the same comments from her teachers: "Travail irregulier, eleve dispersee, doit se concentrer plus en classe". Her different way of learning was never appreciated nor accommodated for.

The French system has no use for any student who thinks in an individualistic fashion. It will take a swift and violent hammer to any nail which dares stick out.

It is not your child who is in error, but this arcane education methodology. It is of no use to go in and "talk" to the principal or the instructors; sadly, your opinion does not count inside the school walls. It is horrible and depressing for a mother to witness this, trust me.

There are few alternatives here. Either you put your child(ren) in a more-American style system (the Lycee International, for instance...but still there are vestiges of the French Way there) or you homeschool. (Probably illegal here.) There are no "sensitive instructors" or schools which are specialized for children who think outside the box. You either go to mainstream school, or to special schools for what the French consider mentally-deficient students.

It is very frustrating and sad. No wonder these systems churn out a certain type of personality.

DaVicious said...

wow. You've really riled up your posse on this one. Good for you MJ sticking up for your baby like that. When he's older, he'll see you continually going to bat for him like this, and he'll absolutely know how much you love him - and he'll be a better dad for it. You can ask my 15 year old boy, boy who has the energy of 10 boys STILL, and he'll tell you all about the crazy lady he calls mom who's had to whoop some school administrator ass from time to time...this same boy who acts like a dad to any little kid in the family - protective and kind. Don't back down!

TN said...

TO THE DEATH! I have heard bad things from friends as well but for the older kids (middle school age). This is disturbing that they do it SOOOO young. Maybe being American we are so in tune with the self esteem issues kids have because in our schools they really emphasize it. BUT I still think what they did to Loosh is so wrong.

Hell hath no fury like when a MOTHER's child is messed with!

Keep it up

Also about "THE SYSTEM" I have found myself complain about this I guess I'm still a newbie to Paris haha!

TN said...

O and I thought it was just the teachers in the US who wanted to put kids on ADHD drugs...BOOOOO! I hate how the simplest solution is to dope up our kids.

Juliane Berry said...

Love your blog!

Thank you for this post. What a horrible experience for a young child! Poor Lucien! I'm also an American mother in France and although my energetic son is only 18 months I'm already worried about his emotional development in the French school system.

Good luck and Merry Christmas to you and your family!

MJ said...

Hi everyone! Thanks so, so much for all the rallying support around the Loosh monster. It means a lot to all of us, seriously.

Let me give you all a little shout-out now.

TN! I think you're exactly right -- self-esteem issues are not a big topic in France. I think Americans are the champions of "self-esteem at all costs!" and that attitude is quite foreign to, well, foreigners.

BUT, the U.S. is also still the champion of medicating children. No one here has mentioned medication -- in fact, when Alex just blurted out, "we're not going to medicate him," the teacher looked shocked kind of like, "What the hell are you talking about?"

No, I suppose the "MEDICATE HIM OR ELSE" battle will be the one we face in the States. There will be plenty of skull-knocking to be done at home, to -- The U.S. has its own issues in how we deal with children and education.

Davicious! Your boy seems to have turned out just fine (even if he won't smile in pictures, wink wink) so you give me hope. We'll keep fighting for him, wherever we live, because we know he's going to do great things with all this energy someday.

Duchesse, isn't it true, though? We are all still stinging from things that happened way back when. It happens to everyone and we can't protect him from every hurt but we're certainly trying to step in when we can! Merry merry to you, too.

Woodengirl -- exactly. What we fear more than anything is him internalizing that he's "bad." If a kid thinks he's "bad," he's going to act bad. Your story about your son is so sweet. I'm glad he channeled all that energy into being a fantastic man and energetic contributor to society!

g -- ha ha about the puzzles. I really appreciate all that you said and wish the French teachers had the same perspective you do regarding spirited kids. I think he has so much to offer a classroom setting, really!

rmwm -- interesting point. These orderly children grow up to cause absolute chaos! I need to think about that one a minute...

Hi Amy -- ugh, what a sad story what happened to you in class. Shaming a kid is never a good idea. It changes who they are, and usually in a very bad way! Being in France, though, where "self-esteem" is not considered of premier importance, stuff like that continues to happen. It's just a total different value system. But I'm glad you're talking again!

Emma, I feel for you and your daughter. Deeply. I cannot imagine having to fight again and again and again for so many years. Lucien is so young, our fights are only beginning! But I know they won't end this year; I know they won't end when we're in the States even though the States does things differently.

Ugh, just keep fighting for her. She's lucky to have a mom who will keep going to bat time and time again, and gives her a soft place to fall when she comes home. And by the way, I know it wasn't your goal, but you write very beautifully. Good luck with your sweet girl.

MJ said...

Hi Juliane! Welcome to the blog posse. It's hard being in France with a spirited kid, there's no way around it. Your son is young, so who knows what kind of school kid he's going to be, but if he happens to be anything like the Loosh, prepare yourself for battle. Best of luck to you!

rhodna said...

Loosh, It's me, Max, My Mom says when you come home, we can beat each other up and scream and yell and throw things at Elly and pull the dogs tails and we can even break stuff ! Just like the good old days when we were young..... to bad my Mom had to get some old dining table cause it's totally messing with our gym but it's pretty good for flying off of. Hurry up - I'm waiting..... My Mom wants you to tell your Mom that Seattle Public Schools let you stand in the lunchroom if you want.
Love Max

MJ said...

Max. OH my God, I miss the sh*t out of you and your mama. Seriously. I could use some rambunctious, insanely loud and destructive playtime about now. Don't forget Lucien, Max! I promise we'll return someday! Then your mothers will hide the valuables and let the good times roll.

Thanks for saying hi Rhodna, I mean Max. One final word -- NIBS.

TN said...

MJ

Thanks for your response. GREAT so glad that they were not referring to Meds! That makes me feel less Crazy Angry at your school for mistreating Loosh (but just a bit) ;-)

Karin (an alien parisienne) said...

Okay -- I have only made it through the first half of the post and had to comment about the first half (up to the video) first, and then I shall read the rest. :) Promise.

YOU KILL ME. I swear, you are like the Tina Fey of Paris Bloggers, babe! That video was incredible. Just to demonstrate what a weirdo I am, I started crying and clapping at the end. I must have been a sight, alone here in my apartment, laughing like this at various points, "BWAH HAH HAH HAH HAH!!!" and then at the end getting all verklempt and then clapping. I am a case, I swear. But:

BRAVO!!!!!!!

I loved it. Thank you for making my holiday special with that. Seriously. I have not been in the most holiday of moods until today, with some cool things that happened to me earlier and then seeing all the pretty lights, humor, and that La Luge scene at the end in your video. That made my day complete. :)

Okay, now off to the sturm and drang that led to many F words. :) Be right back...

Karin (an alien parisienne) said...

Okay, re: sturm and drang and knocking skulls.

"It's reactive and antiquated and completely f*cking ineffective."

AMEN! You tell 'em! I think now that Madame Kickmyass is no longer your instructor, you should take the name "Madame Kickyourass" when it comes to that school.

Oh MJ, is it possible for you to find The Loosh a new school at this point? The one I take the little three-year-old I watch does not seem like that crew you have in your maternelle much at all. Little A, whom I watch, acts out a lot in school as his parents are splitting up, but his teachers seem to roll with it a lot better, at least from what I can tell, and without the techniques that are being employed there. Maybe it is because it is in a part of the 20th that is, how do they say it here? Like, with more challenged students because it is an economically-challenged part of the city, with lots of immigrants and such. I mean, yeah. It's still a French maternelle and there is still sh*t like that which may happen unbeknownst to me, I am sure. But it seems better...

Is there anything you can do to move him somewhere else in these remaining months? Lucien is *clearly* a good kid, just North American, for crying out loud.

Oh this is so frustrating. I'd gladly kick some ass over there for you. I wish I could say important educator things in French -- I'm a former teacher, you know, and I'd give them a piece of my mind.

But, clearly this is a cross-cultural conflict more than anything. The French have a right to "do school" the way they want to, and to me it is clear that The Loosh is just being an energetic kid -- a more North American kid, like I said. If Lucien had been raised as a typical French kid with parents who went to those kinds of schools growing up, he'd probably fit in better.

Be that as it may, what I really think is that Lucien sounds gifted, he sounds like he needs a gifted program, and he would be better served in a different environment. Can't Al's company pay for some education somewhere else, perhaps?

*le sigh* I'm sorry if I have asked too many unhelpful questions of things about which you have considered before. I think I am almost as sad, frustrated, and angry as you are just reading this, though. I'm wanting to reach for solutions because the whole situation breaks my heart.

Hang in there, you wonderful mom, you.

P.S. Please say hello to Colorado for me. :) I miss it right now.

Betsy said...

Wow. I have to come back and read this again, quietly and slowly. It's all hitting too close to home. I'm safely ensconced in England now, after having escaped rural Burgundy for a moment. Just yesterday I was blown away by an announcement from the management in the supermarket actually apologizing for how long it was taking to get through the checkout. "Could you imagine anyone apologizing for such a thing in France?" I said to my husband. Then I went to the Olympic horseshow, one of the most organized, well-run, spectacles for adults and children I've witnessed in a long time. I've forgotten what it was like to attend an organized event. That said, I'm staying away from Heathrow for a few more weeks...

Raimondo said...

The Italians across the street have your back. We'll kick some French butt for The Loosh.

zannelaw said...

Where do you all live that you can freely get so pissed? When I do i always get the icy stare like 'who do you think you are?" It is not PC where I live to get mad about anything least of all express it.

Anonymous said...

Free spirited is wonderful, but he cannot distrupt the classroom so that others cannot work and he is constantly the center of the teachers attention. They way they handled it was not right; they should have spoken to you. I have experienced times when children in my own children's classroom were unruly, distructive, and high energy children that could not sit still. Very bright children can also have ADHD, and children with ADHD need the attention of people who know how to handle it.

MJ said...

Anonymous, ADHD? Who said ADHD? I didn't, and thankfully neither has anyone else involved. Not his doctor, not his teacher, and believe me, we've asked. Lucien has no problem focusing on and completing his work, and his behavior changes drastically when he's not around a bunch of other kids. Most likely not ADHD given those two factors, but extreme energy, extroversion and intense desire to entertain.

In the U.S., boys with energy tend to be labeled ADHD right away. For that reason it's good we're here because the French think Americans are a little nuts with that label(and we are.) I have no doubt that will be our battle when we return to the States. Medicate, medicate, medicate! (or at least label, label, label...)

The main problem I have here is the use of humiliation as a teaching tool, which from what I understand is all too common in the French system.

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