Friday, 18 November 2016

A extraordinary education… the greatest gift


It's been a big week in our house as University is out, roll on Summer! Our kids have had a privileged, global education. For this we will be forever grateful. It is put in context through my work with refugees and people seeking asylum with no work or study rights. Education is truly a gift.

We weren't sure Daughter Number Two would ever make it through school, let alone graduate with two degrees. You see she was expelled from her first school after only ten days. This week she graduates from the University of Melbourne with a Masters degree.


Melbourne University - Open Day.
She's been to a few schools, way more than you can count on two hands, her education has been conducted on six continents. In her first twenty years of life, she had the opportunity to learn French at schools in Belgium and France, pick up Chinese in Hong Kong and to even get a smattering of Spanish in South America.

She chose the International Baccalaureate at school in Australia and went to Tanzania with World Challenge. At University she studied on exchange at New York University and completed an internship in Chile. As a Post Graduate she worked as an intern in Amsterdam. She was due to go out for dirty martinis with her fellow students yesterday but she finished the final exam with an hour and a half spare, so she came home to pack.

Yes you're right, she's not going to spend the summer hanging around in Australia when there is still much of the world to explore. Of course her Mother made sure she had a head start in life. Given that she moved to Belgium at ten days old and that there is free schooling from the age of two and a half years, I of course ensured that we had her name down to start school the day she was eligible. Even though that was only two weeks before the break up for the long summer holiday. We wanted her to settle in, before her brother was born in August.

It was all going well, or so I thought. I was just getting the hang of putting my make-up on before the school drop off - oh those French Mums, they were so elegant even at 8.15 am! Of course we threw her into the same French Ecole Maternelle de Stockel as her Sister. Sure, it was a bit of a struggle linguistically for her Mother, but we were coping.

Until the day I was called into the Principal's office, along with my French dictionary. Remember this was waaaaay before Google translate. I still remember it well, the shame, embarrassment, the confusion - was she being kicked out or what? The word termine sounded familiar!

I appears, that we started her early. You see maths was never my strong point, which is why we are super pleased to have two daughters who have graduated. Bless! She was only two years and five months. Termine. Come back in September.

Oopsie, I hope she realises how lucky she's been to have extraordinary education. They do after all say the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra!








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