Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cultural whiplash: Part II

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the vast difference in planning between my passport culture and adopted home.  Here's an examplanation.

Oliver went to school in Michigan this fall for the first time.  A couple weeks before school we went in and finished his enrollment papers, got information for the start of school, etc.  We had a "back to school night" where he received all his supplies, folders, and the classroom was ready and neatly labeled.  One thing he needed was a physical.  The first doctor I called didn't have an opening until January (it was August).  I was able to talk to a friend who got me in to see another doctor in October.
I had hoped to sign him up for little league soccer.  I was told registration finished in June and there was no way he could be allowed in, even though we had just moved to the community.  Planning is a must there.  Time is rigid, and exceptions are simply not made.  The benefit is I had clear information before starting school, and knew what to expect.  Still, I was frustrated about soccer and getting him a simple physical.

Now we're back home.  I tried to go to school the week before the new semester to get materials I needed for Oliver.  No one around who could answer my questions.  I also have taught at this school for three years.  I tried to find out a little information about my job, as I was guaranteed a teaching job upon my return.  No such luck.  My key still worked, so I was able to bring some of my materials.  We're now in day four back to school.  I've been many hours organizing my files, preparing my classroom, and talking with staff.  I've helped out in classes, and had a blast reconnecting with my old students.  Still waiting on a specific job description.  Oliver got his schedule and today I finished getting his books ready.  Still haven't had to worry about paying tuition, as the school knows me and it will get taken care of soon.  I needed  to get him in for a dentist appointment.  Called the dentist.  "How about tomorrow?"  Great.  No worries, just name the time and he's there.  We're also getting ready for baseball.  Abu Tulip is a T-ball coach.  Last year we were still adding new players two weeks into the season.  Ahlan wa Sahlen!  I'm frustrated by the lack of organization at times, but it's also a relief to just "go with the flow" and let things work themselves out. 

Trying the remember the positives about both ways of doing things, and hoping for a great semester back at school.

~ Um Tulip

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