tonight i went to the open day for one of the high schools in hamilton, one of those parental duties that i can't escape. well, i could i suppose, but then i would feel guilty. still, there are ways to make these things fun. the best way is to totally embarass your pre-teen who is right at the point of their lives where they care the most what their peers will think. so any kind of loud or different behaviour will have them ruffled. and i've been blessed with children who seem to embarass particularly easily, along with the fact that i don't really care what other people think of me, so as you can imagine, there are endless hours of entertainment to be had. yes, i know, i'm totally evil. but i'm sure my little darlings will get over it, and at the very least, it's character building! or so i tell myself as i giggle wickedly in the darkest reaches of the night.
i last had to do this about 6 years ago, and nothing much has changed. i walked into the electronics classroom and it was full of boys, not a girl in sight. so of course, when the teacher asked if anyone had questions, i just had to ask "where are the girls?" same story in the woodwork and metalwork classes (although i managed to refrain from asking the questions). and absolutely no boys to be seen in the sewing class. so much for equality having been achieved. it was nowhere in sight. well, it was in sight a little bit in the cooking room, and the IT suite had a good mix, but i still find it a little disheartening.
i was at my naughtiest when walking into the french classroom, pointedly telling my child not to study french. of course the teacher there asked why, and i had to say "because they don't like us very much". i know that was a little unfair on the teacher, but on the other hand, i just can't forget that my daughter could not even have walked on to the campus of a french high school without having to take off her hijab. it doesn't just rankle, it makes me extremely angry and i really would much rather that she stayed away from all things french right now. think of it as a form of protest. unfortunately mother will likely lose this battle, because unlike the french, i'm not going to put in place any bans. she knows full well that if she wants to study french, i won't stop her. i will continue, however, to point out the benefits of studying maori, and if not, then how about trying spanish? japanese? anything else?
in case you're worried about my children's welfare (and i wouldn't blame you), rest assured that they are quite used to their rather strange mother, and i also do know where to draw the line. i do hope that some day they also learn to not worry about what other people think. it's so much healthier to be an individual, to be yourself, and to feel free to do what's right or to speak out against wrong without caring what reaction they'll get from their peers.