Thursday, March 3, 2011

Forgotten photo

This is for you, Val.

I try really hard not to be an "immersion school mom."

You know, the kind that manages to casually drop comments regarding their child's brilliance into every conversation. "Oh yes, our son is actually fluent in Chinese, he goes to an Immersion school in Minneapolis........."

You know the type.

Before Aidan started kindergarten I attended a "Back to school night" at Yinghua. That evening I sat with some parents who were absolutely horrified at the thought of living in a suburb. They couldn't. even. fathom. the. thought. Thankfully I have forgotten their faces but I haven't forgotten their careless dismissal of us "suburb dwellers." I think it is great to be proud of your children's school but when I talk about our choice I try really hard not to make others feel small by comparison.

However....... there are times I do want to brag a little, and often it is about unexpected moments. Like last week when we were at Borders and there was a huge gathering of Chinese people there and my little blue-eyed, blond-haired son went right up to them and started conversing in Chinese. The look on their faces........

Or earlier this winter when we spent an afternoon at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and he was reading all the ancient Chinese manuscripts. They were telling a story - and he could read them! Yes! It was amazing......... and if you have been there you might remember that there are staff everywhere (and I think they especially like to keep a close eye on potentially rambunctious little boys.) I could see by their faces that they were astounded as he read me the stories off of vases and wall hangings. Amazing.

So there. That is my bragging session for the month - and Val - I hope that answers your questions about school. Watching your child learn another language is a great opportunity, but seeing him actually put his knowledge to use in a social setting outside of school is amazing.


bethany said...

So neat, Naphtali. It actually make me all teary. To give your child that type of gift--an ability to connect with another culture, something that not many children have these days--is amazing.

When Gabe and I talk about having kids, I've often mentioned Aiden and the immersion school. I'd LOVE to find that for my someday-babies. It's seriously so cool. Cool is such a lame word...but I just cannot think of something else to describe it. Your heart must have absolutely burst with pride watching him read the manuscripts and connect with the group in Borders!

Valerie said...

Oh my gosh, I have college students who cannot do what Aidan is doing. Cannot or will not? Hmmmm. You are right that the younger the immersion process begins, the better. Thanks for the stories.

downthegardenpath said...

What great stories - and what a great *payoff* for all of you.

I love to hear Aidan quietly singing his ditties around the house.

Stephanie said...

I was reading your blog out loud to Eric and kept saying "wow wow wow!!" That is soo amazing! Aidan issucha little smartie!!! I love these stories.. Keep them coming! Also. Side note, I have been geting a lot of flack lately for living in the big bad suburbs and I am sick of it!! We should collaberate on making some angry bumper stickers or something..