Transforming Birthdays, Part 1

Douglas Adams would be pleased at the amount of absurdist bureaucracy and sheer Britishness that characterized my 42nd birthday. We were staying in an airbnb near Old Street Station in London; usually X woke us up promptly at 7am, but this morning S let me sleep in while she and X got breakfast at a…

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Transforming Kindergarten, Part 3

When school gets out, X invariably greets his parents by showing off his newest work of art. We receive these projects half-heartedly because we know that most of them are not commissioned works, but rather the side projects of a creative child who hasn’t yet learned to work with the group. But the teachers reassure…

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Transforming Kindergarten, Part 2

The case of The French Primary Education System v. X continues, but the litigation has become convoluted, testimonies contradict one another, and eyewitnesses are scarce. As I am inclined to project every little thing onto the macrocosm of cultural differences, it’s easy for me to lose track of the fact that all that’s really happening…

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Transforming Kindergarten

X’s first two weeks of maternelle, or French kindergarten, were as good as could be expected. In the mornings, he would trot into the room cheerfully enough and start fiddling with some toy or project, and he’d be happy in the afternoons, chattering and eager to show us whatever he’d drawn that day. He even…

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Transforming Stranger Danger

Trigger Warning: This piece contains a lot of vague fretting about dead children. In Grade 10 English class, I learned the three types of conflict found in literature. With apologies for the sexist language, they were: man vs. man, man vs. nature, and man vs. self. Although my subsequent playwriting career would largely be an…

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