söndag 24 juni 2018

Schools out

I work as a science and chemistry teacher in High School. One thing that many don't know is that we teachers also have angst about grading. The end of term is very hectic, because national school rules says that teachers ought to help students as much as possible, to pass grades. Some students wake up only a few week left and starts to work. I have given encouraging chats, called students on their phone to get them to work, comforting crying students and giving hugs and pats on shoulders, but sadly, also negative responses.

My oldest son went out of High School last week. He studied house building at the same school I teach. He was a bit dismissive and avoiding the first year, it was tough. But it changed the last years. I teached many of his friends and he told me, he never heard anything negative about me as a teacher, on the contrary, only positive things. Maybe that changed his view of me.

Anyway, the graduation ritual is a serious thing in Sweden. It's almost like a second National Day. A week before, there is a ritual in putting on the Student cap (it's a Swedish thing). Falun has a local tradition, were you have to walk around the center block with one foot on the pavement and the other in the gutter. Then you jump on one foot towards a draining well, while mumbling a verse in latin. You throw a coin from the same year you were born in the well and gather around  the market square. After all this, you are allowed to put on the cap.
The day for the graduation is also special ritual for High School students. They receive their grades and maybe an award, having a dinner with their class teacher and then run out of school to their relatives.
I took my day off and welcomed Oskar out of school. We hold up a sign for him to find us in the crowd (its a tradition) and we hung silly gifts around his neck.

He looked very smart in a flower shirt, red bowtie and costume.
After this, a carnival like tour around town take place. Every class has hired a truck and decorated it with branches and banners.
These banners have different messages written.
Top photo: "Get drunk, get handsome". "I rather be eaten by an animal than study science". It is common to mock the Science classes like this.
Bottom left: An hommage to a colleague of mine, named Åke, he teach math.
Bottom right: A cropped banner but it is the students from the Science programme that writes "To hate us Science nerds is your favourite thing, but we get the best grades".
Oskar has boarded the truck. The sign says "We are better than Di Caprio, we have 5 Oscars". It means that there are 5 guys in the class named Oscar. I tried to call for my Oskar, but three other boys, not mine, looked over the wall. I had to yell Mårten (his nickname) for him to respond. Johan had to climb up in the flatbed to help the students with the sound system. Suddenly the truck drove away with him and the students. Not every adult is welcome on board.
The truck drives around for one hour or so, then the students march through town, making noice, singing, and sprinkles champagne before a fancy car picks every student up to bring them home to a student reception and a party.

I got my vacation a couple of days ago. It lasts until mid August. 
Happy summer holidays.

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