World order was partially restored this week when Madeline started school in Saigon – another brand-new school for the second time in two years. She was really looking forward to school starting since we returned from Canada, and her enthusiam lasted until Wednesday morning, when she struggled a bit to manage a smile for her "first day" of Grade 1 photograph. Madeline's class is completely composed of children who are new to the school this year; we learned this when her teacher was swamped with the other students and their parents at the orientation the day before. I hope that this means that she'll make some good friends in short order. Madeline got over her initial hesitation quickly; she came home smiling on the first day, eager to show me her daily reading journal and explain that she will have a music class the next day, and PE on Friday (she is sure happy to have PE only once a week, balanced out by swimming once a week).
The morning drop-off was a bit disappointing as the cute little playground is off-limits to elementary-level students (only for the preschoolers), and the afterschool pick-up is maddening. Besides the obvious challenge of waiting around in the hall with an active younger sibling, three hundred students and their accompanying guardians have to "check-out" with an electronic card system from a single exit, one student at a time. My educational background includes a healthy dose of queueing theory so this painfully slow process really makes my head hurt.
I miss Madeline's old school in Thailand. I remember feeling the same way about her dear preschool when she started kindergarten a year ago. Maybe I have some new-school jitters of my own to work through 🙂