Sunday, May 14, 2006


*Warning: This is a long post completely unrelated to quilting, so feel free to skip it if you like.

Note: I had originally decided not to post this but info contained here explains other things I’d like to post about, so what the hay! I hope you don’t mind the reading.

Sometimes life hands you things and you just don't know how you feel about them.

This whole trip to
Iran has been meet with denied expectations and lots of life's little surprises. We are in the process of having apartments built on the lot that used to hold my in-law's house. They have been in a smaller house that we bought with his sister a few years ago while we are in a rental. The apartments were supposed to be finished a few months after we arrived, however, they are still basically a three-story shell with exposed pipes, sil didn't get any receipts for money given to the contractor for the job, he walked off the job and now there is a lawyer involved. So this has definately NOT met expectations.

The kids are doing well in school academically but some of the lessons their learning I would just as soon not have them learn, especially Mustafa. He's been in lots of fights and been picked on in large because he is bigger than anyone else in his class, believes in following the rules and has stepped in to stop a few fights so other kids try to prove themselves against him or retaliate for things he's done. During the course of the year his teacher has hit him at least once and his vice principle has twisted his ear at least a few times but we don't know exactly how many because he's a very reluctant talker. After the incident with his teacher early on, dh and I talked about pulling him out and homeschooling him like we did in the
US but he felt we should wait a bit longer. Over the course of the year, he's seen that yes, we really can teach our kids as much or more and better than what they learn at school so that option is on the table for next year. I've also been frustrated with the amount and pointlessness of the busy work that his teacher assigns. For the first half of the year, ds had to draw and color a picture at the end of each night's homework. It did not have to be anything related to what they had learn but it had to be colored. Mustafa hated coloring and his teacher tried to suggest there was something wrong with him since he wouldn't color his pictures. Now she has them doing math workbook pages but then exactly copying the pages they've done into their homework notebooks and rewriting them without any kind of correction. How pointless is that! Dd has faired a bit better in kindergarten but she's had her share of annoying behavior from other kids such as pinching, hair pulling and knocking her snacks on the floor. Also, the tend to pop movies in for the kids to watch while they are playing with playdough and on more than one occasion she's told me they watched movies I would never let them watch like "Spiderman". When dh asked his teacher about the movies, she showed him a room were they have the movies and said that was all the showed but dd told me that kids also bring in movies. Grrr! Now don't get me wrong, I let my kids watch movies and they've even seen most of "The Lord of the Rings" but I don't think 5 years should be watching whatever happens to be on hand in the 4 hours they're at school.

I was told that I'd have no problem finding students to teach English to but except for 1 woman I tutored for 2 weeks, I've only had a class of three students this year, all of whom are Safiya's classmates. So, I've only made about $500 in the last 7 months. Definately NOT what I expected.
On the upside, the kids only have a week and half of school left and both have done very well considering they barely spoke any Farsi when we arrived one month before school started. And as far as teaching goes, at least I’m getting experience for handling future classes.


Cathi said...


It is so interesting to read about your life in Iran. A cousin of mine is also Muslim and was married to a man and living in Oman. Unfortunately, their relationship has ended, but the courts have awarded her custody of their three children and she will remain a practicing Muslim American in Oman. Such a different way of life!

On a quilty note, I think it is great that your son has taken an interest!

Patty said...

We homeschooled 17 years ! So I am with you on that part of it. We had our girls go right into university from homeschool and both graduated from great schools with honors. You really can control so much of what they learn and maintain a deep enthusiasm for learning.
Hope things look brighter soon on the apartment side of things.

Jeanne said...

Hi Shellie,
I was thinking about you yesterday. Read an article in our newspaper about changing dress styles there -- shorter coats, hair not completely covered -- and it reminded me of what you described to us about clothes.

La Tea Dah said...

Hi Shellie, I enjoy reading your blog and 'found it' on Patty's Morning Ramble blog. I really related to your post about education today. And I totally relate to so much of what you wrote! I'm a homeschool mom of two sons (now in college; we home educated through grade 12). Both my boys hated busy work, and especially coloring! I'm sure there must be value in it somewhere, but we haven't discovered it yet! Hang in there. . .you'll find the pathway best for your kiddos. From one mom to another, I wish you success and a smooth journey.