Un probleme

We have been dithering all week in the Kyi household, trying to decide whether Monkey Girl should apply for late entry French immersion. Applications are due January 30th.

We are all sitting so firmly on the fence about this that we probably have little picket-indents in our butts. And while sitting on said fence, we’ve asked many passerby for input. Teachers (you have to follow the child’s interests), teacher friends (she’d be among motivated peers), babysitters (Kits Secondary sucks, so put her in a program that leads somewhere else), friends who went to French immersion (you have to live in France or Quebec to become fluent anyway), friends who are French (yes, of course, everyone should speak French), friends who happen to call at the wrong time (more than 30% of UBC undergrads are multilingual)…

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The arguments against French immersion are mainly practicalities. We’d have to start driving her to school, she’d have to leave her friends behind, the French immersion school is being seismically upgraded, so the students are in portables, where there was a rat infestation in September.

These things are unrelated to Monkey Girl’s academic success, but they’re not small matters. I mean, rats? And driving to school? I dislike both of those things equally.

The high school Min went to was in the worst area of Surrey, and he still turned out okay. The high school I went to was my town’s only high school, and there were probably more girls getting pregnant than girls in the French 12 class. Incidentally, both Min and I won our school’s respective French 12 awards. Though mine was likely because there were few competitors, and Min says he won because he organized the school ski trip on behalf of the French teacher.

We may be giving too much weight to a question that is unlikely to affect the entirety of Monkey Girl’s life. But then again, saying that is a bit like my mom saying: “I smoked and drank all through my pregnancy, and you turned out fine.” To which I always answer: “but think of what I could have been!”

She will probably turn out fine without French immersion. But it is a very strange thing to look at your brilliant child, brimming with potential, and try to choose the direction in which to steer her. What if she looks back and says: “but think of what I could have been”?

Or, “de penser à ce que je aurais pu être!”

And yes, that was courtesy of Google Translate. Now, excuse me while I go back to my fence.

6 thoughts on “Un probleme

  1. Shelley Hrdlitschka

    The secret is, once you make a decision, don’t look back.
    My children didn’t do French immersion because the local school didn’t offer it. If they had I probably would have enrolled them but I think there’s something to be said for going to your neighbourhood school. That’s how community is built.

  2. Tanya T

    Both my boys are in French Immersion (now in grades 6 and 8). I am sure you will make the right decision for your family, but do let me know if you want to chat. But, yes, go to France for a year regardless! 🙂

  3. Tanya Kyi

    Thanks, Tanya. I think we are leaning toward keeping her where she is, mainly for the logistical reasons. I like what Shelley said about the value of a neighbourhood school — which was exactly why we chose not to apply for kindergarten French immersion. We will stick with our ‘hood!

    And then visit Paris.

    Want to come? 🙂


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