Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ukrainian School

Talk about a ten ton boulder. My desire for my children to speak another language, read it, write it, and take pride in their heritage is the biggest pain in the ass I have to deal with in my life. No joke. In my childhood, Ukie school was tough. The teachers were mean and boring, the building itself was a pretty lousy facility, and we had copious amounts of homework. Nowadays, it really isn't THAT bad.
And yet, getting my two to do their work is a nightmare. One has to memorize a little ditty every week (among other stuff), which is great for the brain, but not for me. The other one has to read pages of miniscule print about arcane and irrelevant topics and then answer questions. I know that the teacher reads with them in class, but when dealing with a foreign language, you have to read it yourself, obviously. We all have screaming matches, arguments, attitude, all of it, whenever I want them to do the work. And this doesn't even begin to cover the frustration of getting them to speak it in the home. When my older one was a toddler, his Ukrainian was beautiful! He spoke so maturely, so correctly, it made me so proud. Now, if I ask him to repeat what he said in English to me in Ukrainian, I get sighs, eye rolls, a reluctant repetition murmured under the breath. Sometimes, I get a "Never mind," which drives me INSANE, or I get a repetition in English with a snarky tone. Nice, huh? But the most disappointing of all, is that I married someone who is Ukrainian, like me, and spoke the language, but since the separation, has stopped speaking Ukrainian to his two children and it just kills me. Absolutely kills me. I think that he never expected me to use the language in the home with the intensity I wanted. So now that he is free, he doesn't have to partake in the continuation of the heritage. Glad he has a kozak tattoo.

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