If you know me, you will know that October is my favorite month of the entire year. First, pumpkin everythinnnnnng. No to pumpkin spice lattes but yes to pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin muffins. Next, farms and apple orchard are the best. Why? Apple picking. Give me all the apples and apple cider please. Third, all the Halloween movies on Disney Channel plus all the horror movies. How can you not get hyped when Halloweentown or Hocus Pocus comes on? Or watching The Shining or The Conjuring. Finally, I love the change from summer to fall in October because it is the perfect weather.
However, I didn't get that same excitement this year. I realized it was October but it didn't register that my favorite time of the year was here. This is for a number of reasons. First, I have yet to see a pumpkin anywhere. Apparently, you can buy them at the supermarket but according to my colleague, they're expensive because they are exported. Next, apple picking is not happening here since there is no where to pick apples. Alongside that, I don't have a proper oven to bake anything. Third, I have no idea how to work our TV but I highly doubt we get Disney Channel here in Hong Kong. In addition to that, they don't celebrate Halloween like we do in the States. According to the other English teacher, children don't get dressed up and trick or treat nor do they acknowledge the holiday. Apparently, Halloween is seen as worshipping the devil. But the party scene is still pretty prominent for Halloween. AND finally, ITS STILL SO HOT HERE. I still go outside and sweat after walking for two minutes.
I did realize that the year was progressing because there is definitely more stress in the school. Why? Because midterms are approaching. It's still hard to wrap my head around a proper midterm block for children at this age but it's a different country with a different system. That being said, next Thursday starts the four day period of testing for the different grades. I don't teach any classes during those 4 days because of testing.
It's crazy because grades are such a big part of the school system here and testing should not be the only factor you base a grade on. They are all so young and just because you're not book smart doesn't mean you aren't smart at all. There are so many different types of intelligence but I feel like they only test for a couple of intelligences through this testing period. This isn't just my primary school either. It's the majority of the schools here in Hong Kong. Grades are extremely important to them and being stressed at such a young age isn't healthy at all.
I talked to a P2 student last week where he told me he wanted to be a doctor but he doesn't think he will be one because his P1 overall grade was a 92 out of 100. I told him that was a good grade and his response was "but it's not a 95." It's sad to think that at only 8 years old, this young boy is already worried about his grades affecting his future. I understand that they need to receive good grades in Primary School to attend a good Secondary School and so on but I still can't get over how grade driven the school system is. So three cheers for midterms. Good luck to every single one of them!
Just traveling the world and sharing my adventures and experiences.
Travel Wish List