#sol17- October 31, 2017
Today we looked at report card deadlines for first semester and I died a little inside. Sure, first semester does not end until December 15, but deadlines come much sooner than that. This first semester has been filled with holidays, which sounds nice in theory, but has wreaked havoc on my love of flow.
We started school on a Tuesday (August 8). Now I prefer to have the first week start on a Thursday (or a Wednesday), but all went well, so it was fine. That was followed by a complete week of school and we were starting to build routines. Malaysia is a country that has three main cultures (Malay, Indian, and Chinese) and then the holidays started.
Days off so far:
- Thursday, August 31- National Day
- Friday, September 1-Hari Raya Haji (the local Malaysian name for the Muslim holiday of Eid al Adha, “the Feast of Sacrifice”)
- Monday, September 4- public holiday declared by the prime minister because Malaysia did so well in the South East Asia Games that had just concluded (this was announced just a few days before and a PD day that we had scheduled in second semester has been rescinded as a result)
- Friday, September 8- King’s birthday
- Friday, September 22- Awal Muharam (the beginning of the Islamic new year)
- Monday and Tuesday October 9 and 10 (Parent Conferences)
- Wednesday, October 18-Tuesday, October 24 -Deepavali (teachers had a PD day on the Monday)
So, last week we had just three days of teaching and this week we begin a stretch of 5 day school weeks (but only four such weeks, because December 1 we have the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday and December 11 it is the Sultan of Selangor’s birthday).
Now if all this sounds peachy to you I ask you to consider this week. Today was Halloween and although it is not really celebrated here you would not know it from the malls! The students are allowed to come to school in costume although we are not allowed to have parties. Suffice it to say excitement was high! On Friday we have Deepavali Cultural Day at school, where the students can come dressed in traditional Indian clothing. We have an assembly highlighted by some dance performances and a time set aside to visit the “hallway activities” where students get to try treats, make crafts, etc. We also have a cultural day like this for Malaysia Day/Hari Raya (celebrated already this year) and Chinese New Year (still to come).
Lots of excitement happening here for sure, but it sure makes it hard for me to find my rhythm (and I know at least some of the students feel the same way). I am already getting stressed and nervous about all the semester one common assessments that have to be done in time for reports (never mind writing the reports). Holidays are a good thing and I love this multicultural country, but it sure has made for a choppy first semester. Anyone with timeshifting talents please feel free to send tips my way as I try to get it all done (and find my rhythm too)!
*Another slice from Zhi Hong (former student).