History was made today. Oregon's first year of Russian immersion was completed and this class is only the fourth in the United States to have a Russian Immersian class. Yay for Sunny, she was part of it! My favorite part of the year was hearing Sunny sing the many songs she learned in Russian. She tried relentlessly to teach me but you know what they say about an old dog learning new tricks... Some things not to forget: Sunny's first bad note sent home- "Sunny has been having trouble coming in from lunch recess. She hides when the rest of the class is lining up to come indoors and gains an extra five to ten minutes of playtime. Maybe you can help her with this." Another one- "Sunny tried her best all day today. I'm so proud of her. She's become a real student" That was some great growth recalling the first two weeks where she bawled the first two weeks and withdrew into a shell that did not allow her to enjoy learning or anyone else to for that matter. I fretted for her at that time and also worried her teacher wouldn't ever have the chance to see the bright little beacon she is. Her natural leadership qualities had temporarliy been buried and a grumpy frown was the only thing anyone could see. But that time passed and she began to savor the days she had school, sometimes waking me up in the morning but still always wanting full control of the outfit she wore and usually it would be the same orange skirt with frayed edges for the fourth time in a row and the rattiest, faded t-shirt (only short sleeves) no matter what darling and stylish options were in her drawer. She gained great trust and faith in Ms. Z, so much so that when there was a subsititute the office secretary, April saw an awful lot of her as on such days Sunny suddenly had an increase of knee pain, severe indigestion, lockjaw, gout, an acute attack of bursitis and suddenly she would find herself lost in the maze others called school although on days Ms Z was around she knew her way around like a sleuth. After school she would pretend she was Ms. Zakharechenkov, "Miss Z" while Moses would be her student. I've caught her playing with dolls and stuffed animals speaking with what resembled a Russian accent. Occasionally she has told me words in Russian, gathering courage to me more experimentive in the foreign tongue. The second time and last time she didn't earn a sticker for good behavior during the year she gave me a hug when I picked her up as usual but Ms. Z let me know she had not given her the sticker she had on her hand...it had been acquired from a friend and I'm not so naive to think Sunny intended me not finding out. The floods poured as the web of deceipt unraveled. She didn't get the sticker becaue she was angry and colored a big line of red crayon on the classroom carpet out of spite. Nice to see her learn you can make a mistake, make amends and try to earn another sticker the next day. "Mom, you forgot to give me a snack today!" At a multicultural school concert her class performed three songs in Russian and up until stage time she was so excited. Curtain call caused Ms. Gunther to find me in the audience to let me know stage fright had set in for our dear
hero Sunny Carolina. I could see the sparkle through her ters that she desperately wanted to sing the songs she'd worked so hard to learn but there were oh, so many people out there. So I squatted onstage trying to appear just a fly on the stage with the kindergarteners but coming across more as a pregnant oompaloompa but holding her hand she wiped the tars and a bit of calm came back, enough that she was able to begin singing and she sang with vigor and vim. Yes Adrianna in the audience began to lose her composure and I felt split between both sides of the parted seas but we made it through eight minutes and peace was restored knowing she was able to do it. At her recent birthday party she enlivened as her true self, shining Sunny Carolina leading and spreading gleee and bringing fun and spontaneity and freedom to all around her. Kindergarten was a joy for Sunny Carolina.
Our track record of %10 completed assigned homework encoouraged an idea that her classmate Solomon did...his homeowork in the car to and from school. She always has a willing spirit to do her work and enjoys learnign and writing words and being able to sound out words. "I got a prize from filling up my word comprehension turtle today!" "I don't have my pet shop mouse because it was distracting so it got put in the jewel box. Waaaaa!" How was your day today sunny? What did you do today? "Great! I can't remember." The same questions my mom asked me and the familiar noncommittal answers I gave match hers...haunting.
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