Thursday, December 28, 2006


I went to school today. I managed to stay away for a week, and today I just stopped in briefly to get a book. While I was there I noticed that the teacher across the hall has put up a new bulletin board. It's about snow.

It seems we can't resist pretending it's winter, even if we live in a tropical place. My son has had a thorough introduction in school to cold and winter, so much so that he complained on Christmas Day because it didn't snow. This from a child who was born here and has never spent Christmas anywhere else.

I can understand the longing for seasons, but honestly I almost never experience it myself. Sure, falling leaves are beautiful, and so is snow, and yes, you do appreciate spring more when you've made it through a long, gloomy winter. But I'm quite happy to look at pictures of those things. Probably that's partly because I grew up in the tropics and only a relatively small part of my life has been spent with four seasons.

It doesn't bother me that so many of us organize our lives around the seasons, and teach our children about what they are like. After all, most of them will spend at least some of their future in places where seasons change. And I guess it's all part of their education.

Nevertheless, I do find myself looking for things to read with my kids that are more about their reality. It makes me sad that so many of them write Christmas poems about snow, as though it's not possible to write one about hibiscus blossoms and dust. (Some of them have lived snowy Christmases, but many of them have never seen snow at all.) I did find a poem this year about Christmas in New Zealand. Christmas at the beach - now there is an excellent idea!

In general, I'd love for my students to write more about what they observe rather than what they see on TV. I'd like them to see Tecwil as a place to be from and be proud of, rather than thinking of it in terms of what's lacking - no malls, no McDonald's. No winter.

No comments: