Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Le garçon répare la bicyclette

So goes Oliver's first ever written sentence of French. Hoorah! Yipee! And he wrote it in French handwriting - it's like looking at a different kid: I'm so used to seeing his big, scrawly handwriting (I never realized how dear and familiar a sight it was from homework, etc.). He took Harry Potter again today and read close to 100 pages (how can I begrudge the kid reading? and yet I do! - we've bought him a French workbook that he can do while the other kids are doing stuff that is too difficult for him - I need to work on a French language-Harry Potter connection) - so, just to see, I asked him if he had any new French words to share today. He said "I can do better than that, I can write my first sentence in French." :-) We've done a lot with that sentence ("Le garçon répare le château" "La fille répare le microscope" etc.) - what might be next? What you see above is Iris's excellent drawing of a Mussel House - it's made entirely of mussels!

This one is also by Iris and cracks me up: the huge letters say "I rok" and then inside the "O" you have the world's most minimalist stick figure (complete with curly hair) and above the arms "me," and below the arms "Iris" - I like to say it with emphasis: "I rock!... me!... Iris!" good for you, my sweetheart - you do rock, as a matter of fact. According to Iris's teacher, Eleanor fell down on the playground this afternoon and it was Iris that translated for her to the teacher (where does it hurt? that kind of thing). Rock.

Clearly the fall was minimal, for here is Eleanor proudly showing us her painting of multi-colored "carrés" (squares). It's wild to see Eleanor's stuff up there with all of the other children's. It's the most wonderfully basic thing. The "bonjours" are getting warmer, and we've even exchanged a handshake or two with other parents. Slowly, slowly - we shall see. The little girls in Iris's classroom now come over to the Thinking Bench for the bisou - Iris loves it.

Here is a little quiz that Iris designed for herself involving a penguin, a seal, and a polar bear. I draw your attention to what might be the coolest penguin since Tennesse Tuxedo. She asked us to quiz her on the three words. How does a kid decide to do that? Brava. Mac and I had a long coffee today and talked a great deal about memory and memorialization and using works of art to reframe the war (it's very cool stuff and, yes, involves the Middle Ages: the second painting of three war paintings is a triptych, complete with predella!). A good day.

Ah, but you must know: the tooth souris will be needed again tonight! La souris répare les dents? NON! Elle donne de l'argent!


  1. Hi Anne, Have you thought about exploring the French school (Beauxbatons Academy of Magic) featured in the HP & the Goblet of Fire book, and their superstar, Fleur Delacour? Oliver may not be too into Fleur because (a) she's a girl, from a girl's school, and (b) she was the least successful competitor in the competition, but it's a connection, nonetheless! Just a thought. A tout a l'heure! D

  2. Hi Dana - I am getting a full report on the TriWizard Tournament. There's also Durmstrang, apparently (in Bulgaria, but hmm, could be helpful for learning German!). You're the best - thanks so much!