The holidays are over and many of the international
schools have reopened for another year of hard studying. At the Christian
German School Chiang Mai (CDSC) most students went right back into their
routine. Not so the first graders, 13 children who started their first day
in school with lots of excitement, anticipation, curiosity and maybe some
butterflies in their stomach.
whole 1st grade with the new teacher.
In case anybody has ever wondered how much time we all
spend in school, the principal of the CDSC, Mr. Fred Hartman had the answer.
We go through approximately 55,000 hours of school during a ten year period.
Maybe better that this figure didn’t mean much to the first graders.
The first day of school was celebrated at the CDSC last
Monday in a very German tradition. Each First Grade student came with a
“school cone”. School cones are usually made out of strong paper or
carton and decorated with colorful drawings, pictures and ribbons on the
outside. The content of the cones are a mixture of sweets, school supplies
and other surprises which the children get to open during their first school
This tradition dates back to Germany in 1810, when
parents filled the cones with sweets in order to give the children an easier
start into the tough school life. It took over 100 years until this
tradition spread around Germany and went from the cities to all the smaller
villages around the country. And nowadays, even the CDSC in Chiang Mai is
holding on to those traditions.
Out of curiosity I went to visit the first graders after
the first few days of school to find out how they enjoy the school, now that
most of the sweets are already eaten. Here are some of the comments when
asked what they think about school:
Deborah, 6 years: “I like it here. And I really like to
use the water colors.”
Lala, 6 years: “Me too.”
Simon, 6 years: “I like sports and I like my
Ruth, 6 years: “I like it here, but I still miss some
of my friends in Kindergarten.”
Timmy, 7 years: “Math is great and very easy.”
Hadassa, 6 years: “My home works are fun.”
Dacey, 5 years: “The break is nice.”
Lisa, 6 years: (a bit skeptical) “School is nice.”
Christian, 6 years: “Math and sports are OK.”
Hopefully there will still be so much enthusiasm at the
end of the school year.