2010年2月20日土曜日

again and again...

Another PTA meeting tonight. This time I was just a guest though- oooohhh. It was the first school PTA meeting. Yup, still six weeks till school starts but I've already had my first PTA meeting. It was the local, local one. All the mums of the school age kids who live on this mountain turned up. Fourteen mums in all.

Quite an interesting meeting actually. The usual territorial gumph about proportional representation- the flatlands have doubled or tripled their population in the last five or so years with the sacrificing of rice paddies for kit home enclaves. This means that some districts have hundreds of children, literally- there are 140+ kids in Meg's best friend's district. The mountains have a lot less paddyland to sell out and so our population tends toward the gradual decline. We have 18 kids in ours. You can see why people complain.... Anyway, 30 minutes of 'but we've been here longer....' later we got onto advice for the new mums. Three main points really:

1. Getting to school. Meg will need to be outside our house (and hopefully having had something for breakfast and not still in her PJs) at the oh so friendly hour of 6:40am. AM. I think I've probably already complained about that ooohh a hundred odd times and bear with me as once I actually start having to do it I'm sure complaining about it will become a daily ritual.... 6:40 AM...

2. Getting home from school Pt. 1. It takes a long time for the kids around here to get home. Not just because it's a freaking long walk. Not just because there's a freaking great mountain to walk up for the last kilometre. Not just because they have little legs. Nope, it takes a long time to get home because they get distracted, stop to watch bugs, climb great freaking retaining walls, play at the local shrine, hang out at the pocket park (that triangle of land you get when you don't want three intersecting roads to actually intersect) etc etc. Now, after explaining this issue did they remark 'so, please make sure to tell your kids to come straight home, don't dilly dally, say hi to mum- tell her where you're going- then go play'? Of course not. They said 'so, please don't worry if your children take longer than normal to come home. They're probably just playing with their friends.' Yeah. Don't think that one's going to happen. May have to be known as 'Meg's mean mummy'.

3. Getting home from school Pt. 2. Every neighbourhood has to have a kids' safety house. A house to run to and get help if they need it. The kids' safety house gets a nifty sign to put out the front:
イラストは「こどもを守る安心の家」の看板

and have to be there during the times kids are walking to and from school. So far so good. We have only had one safety house in the neighbourhood. A woman who was home looking after her bedridden husband. The husband passed away and now she's back in the apple orchard again. Passed in her sign.... No problem. The PTA asked the young people's activities committee (how on earth do you translate 育成会?) to find another safety house candidate.

....

Nope. Not a single house in the neighbourhood has year round able-bodied people in the house. Hmmm.... What to do, what to do? Have a couple of houses where people are likely to be home? Nope. Take the sign down altogether and report to the powers that be that we don't have a safety house? Oh no. The sign stays up and we just tell the kids that the woman will most likely not be home. A fake safety house. You'd think that would worry me- especially seeing as I'm to expect Meg to be late home yeah? Nope. See we may no longer have an official safety house anymore but we have many, many safety orchards, safety market gardens and safety vinyards. All those people who aren't at home are really just out there watching not just the kids but the whole neighbourhood!

All in all an informative evening.

But 6:40am. Really. 6:40am...


3 件のコメント:

jojoebi さんのコメント...

6.40AM? what time do classes start?
The kids meet outside our house (well technically the house opposite) at 7.30am, it probably takes them 30 mins to walk to school (it would take me 10).

Xana さんのコメント...

6:40? Ugh! I am dreading the 6:55 departure here, and it's still a year away. It's only 2.2km, but M is soooo slow. It takes her 20 min to walk to the kindy, it only takes me 5. It takes me 35 min to walk to the ele. school, so that would take M...2 hours and 20 min? I hope she is really motivated to keep up with the other kids.

Does your M have any classmates on your mountain? I am glad she will have the whole neighborhood looking out for her.

We are the last on our route and it is the walk back that really worries me. I wish they would all come back together, or at least 1-3 grade together rather than sending the little ones off on their own.

Gaijin Wife さんのコメント...

That'S just ridiculous. How far is it? I think ours is about 7am with a 2km walk but by the time these kdis go to school the primary school will have merged with the one in the middle of town and they will have to bus as two very long, dark tunnels on route. Good luck with getting Meg fed and clothed before then!