Parents, Poetry and Punch
My son’s school has a “parents, poetry and punch” event yesterday. I am not able to attend because I work from home on Fridays and have to be in the office from Monday through Thursday. My husband attended the event instead. If you have been reading my articles, you know that I cannot praise enough the American educational system. Others might not agree with me about the American education system. To be precise, it is the American education system provided in a good school district that makes the difference. America is nevertheless a country built upon capitalism. The rich get richer and the good school districts with high property tax provide better and higher quality education. Anyway, we can’t really complain much. Even with some inconvenience caused by the heavy involvement required from the parents, it is a good thing. Parent involvement is key to a child’s development both academically and socially.
Talking about the educational systems, I have little to no memory of my school life before I went abroad at the age of 11. I don’t know why. Maybe, subconsciously, I have been resisting the Taiwanese educational system that it has caused my amnesia. Maybe, the experience of another educational system was so great that it overshadowed or outshone the Taiwanese educational system. Maybe, my puny little mind was so small that it forced out memory of any unpleasant encounters. I have deep respect and gratitude for my parents. Without them, I would not have the opportunity to be exposed to various educational systems and make the most out of them. I was introduced to English literature, English poetry and Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays in the beauty of their original language at the early age of eleven. Can you imagine the impact to an eleven-year-old girl on the study of English language through classics such as Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Emma, and the Merchant of Venice and so on? Other than reading classics as required by the school, I would read Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series. We have a library in our class, just like the one in my son’s. I can still remember how overwhelmed I was in this newfound land. I could not satisfy my hunger for knowledge and stop the stimulation to my thought. I am sorry to be biased. I never paid that much attention to Chinese literatures. Like I said earlier, the elementary education I received in Taiwan was a missing piece. How sad!
I am really glad that my son is exposed to the beauty of poems at such an early age. He is in first grade now and will be seven years old soon. I am also amazed at how early kids can compose poems. By the way, I saw the pictures my husband took at the poetry recital. It is a good way to expose the kids to the beauty of poems and to improve their stage performance at the same. I believe that it not only helps kids to overcome any stage fright or performance anxiety, but it also prepares the kids for effective speech delivery in the future.
Updated on 12/1/09:
These are the pictures of my son and some of his friends reciting the poems.