Does your kid ever amaze you? Our 10 year old did when she entered herself into her Mandarin Chinese HIgh School in Asia's English Elocution Competition and wrote an awesome speech for it on her own called "Our Green Planet" inspiring the kids to save our planet. ( They do elocution competitions in Mandarin, Bahasa Malay and English on succeeding Saturdays this month).
She is the youngest and tiniest in the school plus the only Caucasian, but when she saw the notice on the bulletin board she knew she wanted to enter and dreamed about winning first prize and a trophy. Some at 10 might be intimidated by speaking in front of 1000 high school kids, but not our Mozart, she thought it sounded like fun and a great opportunity. There was stiff competition but she was willing to do the work required to attain her goal.
School here goes for 6 days a week and she gets up at 5:30 or 6:00 AM in the dark and takes a bus/van an hour to school, but she still rehearsed every morning at school and skipped her lunch for more rehearsals this week....not to mention the practice she did at home ( added to daily violin, piano practice, swimming for fun with friends & Chinese tutor once a week).
She is the one who asks to get up the half hour earlier to study, always obsessively does homework immediately when returning home and is willing to go to bed earlier as she is very concientious about her school duties. This is her nature, not our discipline.
She was a bit nervous before she began and her legs felt weak as she walked to the podium to give her speech, but she was stunned and touched by the wild applause and rooting she got which she said made her feel "euphoric". Only a few trophies are given out and of course the first prize one is the prettiest so she was tickled pink when she won it!
We were very nervous when we placed our "baby" in this large Mandarin High School, giving her a two year grade skip, but it's worked out so well on so many levels. I think it is the best social fit she has had out of any school that she has attended. Her Mandarin is zooming ahead and she loves the extra curricular things, kids and competitions like this. She placed a very close second on their recent exams out of 26 kids in her class ( all older) so academically she is thriving too.
She adores being in the high school choir and has been picked to sing an acapella solo for a performance in two weeks for earth day celebrations. Most of the songs are in Mandarin, but she is also learning some in Malay and sometimes in English.
We didn't get to see her do this, but it's a lovely speech, so we plan to record it and put it on Youtube soon to share it with you too. She is very playful, so when she called me from her bus home today, she first told me that she was one who didn't win anything. I assured her she was a winner just for doing it, but it is icing on the cake that she got the first place trophy she coveted too.
We're doing the happy dance here this weekend and swam and watched a dvd family movie together. She is off with her Spanish speaking friend from Mexico tomorrow to see "Hop". I'm working on getting healthier and preparing for upcoming travel to Singapore, India, Bhutan and Jordan that we start on May 1st on our way to Europe for the summer. How about you?