There’s this joke language teachers like to tell:
What do you call someone who speaks three languages? Trilingual.
What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual.
What do you call someone who speaks one language? American.
Hutch started Kindergarten last week in a dual-language immersion program at Pacheco Elementary. He’ll be learning in both Spanish and English. His classroom peers are 50% native English speakers and 50% native Spanish speakers.
I’ve been prepared for tough drop-offs at school, acting out, not sleeping well, etc, during this transition. Hutch is one of the youngest in his class. With California’s rollback of school start dates, he wouldn’t even be allowed to go under next year’s rules.
I was for “holding back” Hutch (I was afraid Hutch couldn’t get a girl to go out with him to prom, since he’ll be shorter and younger than everyone). Stan was for sending him to school (beware the bored male).
We couldn’t agree. So we used a tie-breaker: the lottery. Because of excess demand, Pacheco has a lottery for entry into Kindergarten. We decided to submit Hutch’s name for the lottery, and he got in (odds: 90 applications for 15 slots).
SLO has an open enrollment policy in its district. And while we have to “commute” 12 minutes to a school that is third nearest to our home, I really like the idea that everyone who is there seems to be there by (parental) choice. The mom in the labor economist is hoping for some positive self-selection!
So far, K is good. Hutch seems to be happy, and the only “bump” is him not sleeping through the night. A few nights ago, I heard him crying in his sleep and muttering repeatedly: “Muy bien, gracias! Y usted? Muy bien, gracias! Y usted?”
Well, at least I know he’s picking up some Spanish.
|Hutch is the boy in blue at the rear of the line (see–he is the shortest!)
That’s Stan in the background, also in blue, hanging on to Hutch’s lunch box.