So we are embarking on the fifth week of boat school. We have finally adjusted to the schedule. While hanging out in one place for six weeks isn’t the typical cruiser lifestyle, Mel highly recommends starting out like that to any cruisers with kids. Staying in one place has given us all some time to adjust to living on a floating microhome and to establish new routines. Like, “Wake up well after 7 a.m., work out, commute to the saloon by walking up 4 stairs, take over teaching from spouse for two hours, feed the children, take a nap.” That sort of thing. With that said, we are probably going to head off to Santa Marta next week. It’s getting time to redecorate our view.
Overall boat school is going well. Mel is happy with the curriculum she has chosen for the most part, although Science Fusion, which must have been designed by someone whose desk was in constant disarray, is hard to homeschool and is almost unusable when one has poor internet access. Oh well, it’s just science, she tells herself. All being good at science or medicine gets you is a stagnant upper middle-class job working for someone else with a business degree with more upward mobility and a nicer retirement portfolio.
Oh, I’m sorry! That last part was written by bitter, burned-out Mel. Mel thought that part of her was completely squashed and transformed into happy, optimistic Mel. Guess it will take longer than two months…
Anyway, here are some things one might hear on a typical school day that demonstrate that boat school is like any other school:
“Open your book to pg. 38.”
“I want you to write out the definition of each vocabulary word.”
“Five minute break before the next class.”
And here are some things said that hopefully don’t occur in a typical school:
“We can’t do the experiment with the recommended materials because we don’t have clay, pipe cleaners, or kitchen magnets. So we will use aluminum foil, sticks, and wax instead. Oh, it’s hard to get it to work, is it? Shut up and do it anyway.”
“Stop throwing your pencils around the room – they might clog up the bilge.”
“Sit down and get the ice out of your mouth or I will strangle you.”
One thing is for sure, the goal of, “Get to know my kids better,” has been satisfied by this experience. But as a teacher friend once said, “When you first meet your class, all of the kids are cute. Then as you start teaching them, one by one they stop being cute.” This tragedy has befallen Mel’s kids, which is hard on them, as previously both of them were good at getting by on charm. This is not a great tragedy, however. On the particularly un-cute days, Mel can always toss her kids into the ocean. The consternation on their faces when they come up for air? That’s cute.