Blog posting has been slow as there hasn’t been much going on (partly due to the fact that I’ve come down with a nasty cold); instead of doing the tourist thing, we’ve been hunkering down to get ready for the school year. Quin is all set and registered for school now; he has his uniform and everything. His first day will be Monday. He met his teacher at registration, and she seems very nice. In fact, she’s from Illinois! Unfortunately, Berkley is still in limbo; he’s first on the waiting list, but the last day to register was Friday, so we won’t know until this week if he’s in or waiting for someone to leave. For next week then, home-schooling it will be.
I’ll say that one thing we’ve already come to appreciate during our short time here is public education in the U.S. - which guarantees a place for everyone. Apparently, across all of Hong Kong, there is not a single space in second grade in any of the expat schools. Thankfully, we’re getting (mostly) reimbursed for the cost of schooling here too; if we weren’t, we probably would have had some sticker shock! Also bewildering is the array of options; there are international private schools, but there’s also a whole system of local private schools – some of which get support from the government, so they’re more quasi-private. The local school system tops that off, but it’s not like most places in the U.S. where you live in a district for a local school. Apparently, there’s some application and lottery system – all very confusing to an outsider. However, if Berkley doesn’t get in to the American International School, we may contact the regional school office as apparently Hong Kong has some program for integrating non-native speakers into the public school system (at least that’s what we can make out from the website). If that’s the case and Berkley’s not in, then he may be going local. This may not be a bad thing as Quin’s bus will be picking him up at 6:35, and he won’t be home until 4:30! That’s a long day.
As we start to settle into a routine, we’ll probably be posting less frequently about our trips out and about and more frequently about our cultural observations. I’ve got a few brewing on grocery stores, identity, restaurants, and Diet Coke, and I’m sure Doug has things he's thinking about too. Of course, if we’re home schooling Berkley the whole semester, things will really be infrequent as we’ll need to use every bit of spare time to get actual work done. Keep your fingers crossed for us!