Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hanging in there

This was the week I was dreading. Juliette's first day of school was Monday and my school is now in its more intense mode of four different subjects per day. Not to mention that now that the main summer vacation period is over there is more traffic on the road. Damn all those extra cars on the road. Why couldn't they just stay on vacation?

But we're surviving. Juliette seems to be adapting well to school. The first day she only cried when she realized Remi and I were leaving. Otherwise she was eager to play with the toys in her new classroom. But it pulled on my heartstrings to see her little face break into tears. And to know I had to let her handle it on her own. That's part of growing up. And, yes, to answer the question you're all wondering, I did cry a little, too. Just before while we were waiting outside the school to go in. But I was able to dry my tears pretty quickly.

In front of our apartment on the first day of school.

Waiting outside her school.

When I picked her up at the end of the day she yelled out "Mommy" and ran into my arms. The first thing she said was "new friends!" That's what I'd told her she'd make at school, so I was happy to hear it. The teacher said she is "adorable", which in French can also has the connotation of well-behaved. At least I think so. The after-school care ladies have been complimentary of JuJu, too. I hope she continues to be a good girl!

As for my school, things seem to be going so much faster now. The good news is that I like what I'm learning, especially now that we're having more lessons in biology and microbiology. Luckily I have learned most of this stuff before (though in some cases it's been a good, oh, 17 years ago!). Statistics really scared me at first when I realized I didn't get it as fast as the others. The bad news is I've never had a math brain, and with age, those neurons need some extra training. I've been redoing some of the exercises, and it's becoming clearer now. I still think I'll throw everyone I know (and that includes you, blogger friends) a party if I get a passing grade in this class!

This Friday we had our first lab class and it was funny to see all my classmates in their white lab coats and imagine them working one day in this field. Immediately everyone seemed more serious, even if it was just due to appearances. We only got a run-through of the safety procedures in the lab. But the teacher also took a sample of yogurt and put it on a microscope slide and showed us that there were indeed live active cultures of bacteria in there. Pretty cool.

View from my classroom. Red tiled roofs all around.

Of course, it's tough trying to study on the weekends when Juliette is not keen to nap. I get nervous that I'm not going to be able to pull this year off. I'm doing my best, and things are obviously different when you go back to school as a mom. My home life is not the same as it was when I first got my degrees in the U.S. Boy, is it different. When the bell rings at my school at 5:30 I'm off to my car and ready to be my "mom" self again. I generally can't get back to my notes till 9 or 9:15 at night. And if I try to read in the bedroom I'll often nod off. This year is a challenge. I knew that. But if I can make it, I'll be proud. Just about ten more months to go!

PS: Quick blogger poll. Should I take PE (physical education)? It's an option but any points I get over 10 (out of 20) will help my overall average. If I don't take it I have two extra hours to study at school per week. But maybe I need a bit of exercise to be more effective?!


Crystal said...

I admire you for going back to school full-time and being a mom to a lively toddler. I know you can do it, and when your classes at the end of the 10 months, you'll be so proud of yourself (and all of us will be too!)

Juliette looks so cute in the photo with her little school bag. She's growing up so fast!

And as for your poll question - I say go for the PE class. Exercise is great for stress relief, and it probably will end up increasing your concentration. Have fun :)

Amber said...

You are amazing! I know it'll be tough, but you can and you will do it!
PE sounds fun.. get some exercise, clear your mind, and get extra points. If you think you have the time for it, then why not? I know that for me, sometimes shutting my brain off does me more good than trying to cram in two extra hours of studying.

Jenenz said...

The view out of the classroom window is so lovely. And Juju is so cute with her rolling knapsack. Yes, I remember the tears. It sounds like she will enjoy school.

Like everyone has said, you are amazing! PE will help you, take you out of your mind and work your body.

Lindle said...

You both look so adorable waiting for school. This was a very special "Hallmark Moment," wasn't it?
Embrace the journey! It will pass so quickly.

Oneika said...

Ahh! So cute with her little backpack suitcase. Good luck with going to school for both of you!!!

Oneika said...

Oh, and DEFINITELY take PE. Improve your average and improve your health at the same time??? WIN.