It is now school holidays in Turkey which means that Daughter has survived her first term in the Turkish village school. She has survived classes where no one speaks her language. She has navigated the social minefields of school life and made friends with kids and teachers alike. She has gotten in trouble for talking in class, picked a fight to protect a friend and even got called into the principal’s office on one occasion. She has also received her first Ilkogretim Orgenci Karnesi. Her Elementary Student Report Card.
How did Daughter do?
You have probably already guessed that I am not only of those mother’s who brag about how wonderful and talented and amazing their child is. I would rather call a spade a spade. I will merely say that for a kid who four months ago was coasting along in a suburban school in Sydney she did pretty well. She got a Certificate for passing the term (which is a good thing apparently). She received 4’s and 5’s for most subjects (highest is a 5). She got a 4 in Turkce which is pretty good considering it is not her first language. The only subject she got a “2” in is Din Kulturu ve anlak bilgisi also known as “Religion”.
Long ago I made the decision to allow Daughter to choose her own religion when she was old enough to make an informed determination. It is not to me as the parent to force something as important as spirituality on my child. I always gave her the information when requested. I took her to Sunday school classes at our local church, arranged for her to meet other Muslim families in our area and even enrolled her in Buddhism classes at Bondi. We often attended the Hari Krishna Centre at North Sydney (best vegetarian samosa’s around) and I even explained the religion of Jedism (alright so perhaps I made her watch Star Wars with me). I gave her the tools to learn about spirituality in her own way – and she has. This is why a double lesson of Din must send her closer to the edge and also explains why she hates her Friday’s so much.
I have, however, made one suggestion to her –
“Please do not argue with the Din Ogretmeni (Religion Teacher) again about Islam as this causes him to go red in the face and gesticulate in a manner that made your father laugh and made me flinch. It also means that we do not need to make another trip up to the Principal’s Office on your behalf. Thank you.”