When we enrolled Casey at a near-by preschool, we were pretty particular. We chose it, in large part, because of the "mom and pop" ownership, because of their sense of pride in their school, becuase of the enriching programs. It was purchased by Discovery Isle last year. Even though the directors are the same, and we've been really lucky to have consistency with the teaching staff for Casey and then Marcie, the school just isn't the same.
But they have managed to keep some traditions. One of them is the annual Make Believe Trip. When it was first developed, the goal was to take the kids to a new country each year. The classes all studied various elements of the country they were going to visit. Things to do once they arrived. Local cuisine. A few words and phrases in the native tongue. You know, the kinds of things you'd expect preschoolers to study about a place.
They would build the airplane out of large cardboard and sheets of butcher paper, line up seats in the back for the 2 and 3 year olds to play the role of passengers. The 4 and 5 year olds would act as flight attendants and the pilots. They would serve food to the passengers, and give messages about take off and landing and weather. It was a true exercise in the world of make-believe. And it was a way for kids to "practice" air plane travel.
I had to laugh when I saw where they were visiting this year.
I even gave a teacher a hard time about it.
"Since when is HAWAII a foreign country?" I asked.
But this is the problem- I've been around the school longer than half of them. So they don't all have the history that I do.
The teacher stared back at me blankly. Then she shrugged, "We all voted on it."
I'm still not sure how that explains it. What does an election have to do with the fact that Hawaii is a state and not a country?
Sigh. At least Hawaii has a native culture to it. But still. It's America.
At dinner, I asked Marcie what she was learning about Hawaii. I expected her to make up some nonsense. But she surprised me:
"They have volcanoes and when they shake and blow up, the lava runs out," she told me. She told me some other things, as well- though they escape me at the moment.