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Saturday, October 02, 2004

Last Friday, Sophs thought it would be cool to document her day. The original idea was that she'd take all the pictures, but, since she wanted to be in the pictures, her siblings and I took several of them for her. We finally got around to uploading the pics to Shutterfly today. When the prints arrive, she's going to write captions for each one and arrange them in a mini-album.

You can see the pictures online at Shutterfly.

Today was pretty similar to last Friday, except that Soph also had to help raise and lower the flag at the elementary school - it's the brownie troop's turn for flag duty this week. The troop leader was in a real tizzy about it; apparently last year when they did this, the flag accidentally brushed the ground at some stage, which is Very Bad. I don't quite get the hysteria myself; the flag's an important symbol, yes, but it is a symbol, not the spirit of America magically transubstantiated into red white and blue, which is what you'd think to hear her speak. Anyway, it all went very smoothly with our girls, no breaches of decorum, and Soph enjoyed the whole process.

It was quite interesting to see how hyped up and jittery the other kids were by the end of the school day, when we did the flag-lowering. Sophie was so calm by contrast. I'm sure it's because she gets ample opportunity to exercise during the day, whereas the other kids are pretty much sedentary till they get out of school. Elementary schools here get, at most, fifteen minutes of recess after lunch. And in some schools, they've actually done away with even that, because they claim that they need the time so that they can do more preparation for the FCAT (Florida's standardised test). So, on days where they don't have PE (which is only 30 minutes twice a week anyway) the kids have absolutely no opportunity to burn off steam. And they wonder why they can't concentrate towards the end of the day? Of course, good teachers work round such stupidity : Emily's fifth grade teacher, for instance, took her class onto the playground twice a day, and made sure that they had recess after lunch as well. But, sadly, I think that teachers like her are the exception rather than the norm.

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