Thursday, March 30, 2017

Different Smugs - R2BC

Already dreaming of my matza brie
Pesach and Spring Cleaning
Today we broke up for the Pesach holidays. Obviously Pesach cleaning takes over from teaching but the beauty of it is that you can start at 9 am and not have to leave the house at all instead of getting up at 6.45 and running out the door at 7.30 am.

I've said it before but in case you weren't listening or have forgotten. Pesach is the festival of Passover in which we celebrate the exodus from Egypt. Part of the ritual is spring cleaning which is elevated to a religious level by requiring one's home be spotlessly clean as we enter the eight-day festival. This is a good thing as you want to spring clean anyway so making it a requirement ensures that you get it done and then you feel smug.

At school the children all helped to clean the building. Have you seen those Japanese videos of schoolchildren cleaning? Well it was like that. The school lunches that are delivered daily were sandwiches and we all ate outside.

We saw where babies come from.
During the mass picnic, someone suddenly cried, "Look up!" We all did and saw a whole flock of storks doing a fly past. Israel is on the main flight path for many migrating birds as they fly from Europe to Africa in the autumn and back again in the spring. It was an amazing sight. I am not a twitcher by any means. To me bird watching is about as interesting as watching other people play golf, but you could see their long necks and wide wingspans as they carried all the little babies in bundles tied around their beaks.

National Assessment Tests....done.
Yesterday we had the Grade 5 Meitsav in English. It's like the SATS, a national assessment test that everyone hates. Thankfully this year we we're not on the external examination list, unlike last year, so we could give the exam ourselves and mark it ourselves. The marking is quite complicated with points for relevance, verb conjugation, word order, use of pronouns, spelling, capital letters and full stops, etc... And try doing this for 30 questions times the number of students. Anyway, I stayed up late last night and got all my meitsav papers marked and all the record pages filled in. Smug was not the word when I waltzed into school this morning.

So if I can just get this place cleaned I'll be smugged to the hilt (and ready for a fall?). I'm joining the Linky over at Mummy from the Heart for the final hosting of Reasons 2B Cheerful for March.


  1. I've been doing bits and pieces of Spring Cleaning but it's still grey and gloomy and we had some snow flurries this afternoon so it doesn't feel much like Spring as yet.

    Easter is a bit later this year so most of my cleaning should be done by then - I like to bring out some lighter colours in cushion covers and throws and a few bits of decor and this year it will be pink! I had some knee surgery last week and one set of friends sent pink tulips and another pink roses so I certainly picked the right accent colour for this year - now if it would just warm up a bit!

    Seeing the cranes must have been amazing - I've never seen cranes fly over but of course we do get the Canada Geese and occasionally a number of swans (I'm near the lake).

    How long do you get for your holiday? Hope you have a few fun things planned - or are you just looking forward to relaxing once all the cleaning is done?

  2. We're off for almost three weeks so it's a nice long break. As for your spring cleaning, it's much easier if you can wait until you can throw open the windows and let the spring air in. I wish your knee a good recovery - shouldn't you be resting it this week? And pink sounds perfect.

  3. Ohh I love the idea of all the kids coming together to clean the school. That must give them a good respect for it and hopefully they treat it better. Mich x

    1. It's only once a year so I'm not sure we get the full benefit that the Japanese children get from it. I saw one reasonably clean window end up all smeared with soap and hand prints after some 3rd grade girls had 'cleaned' it. LOL. They're better at doing the small things - all the tables and chairs were wiped down and all the lockers and drawers were cleaned out and tidied. It was good in the end, after all the chaos.

  4. Maybe you can help me understand what the internal meitzavim are all about? If they're not being marked externally to rate the schools, then what are they for?

    1. Every fourth year you get external examiners coming to supervise the exam and take the papers away to be graded. O the other three years you do the exam and grade it internally but then send in the results. There are various lists of rankings - the external list, the internal list, and all the schools together. Also you can see your own school's results against the previous years. I suppose that if you suddenly had a big jump in results when you did it internally, they would come and check it out. Mostly the results are steady or gradually improving or decreasing.

  5. I love the idea of being smugged to the hilt, it sounds like a great feeling! Enjoy xxx

  6. Yeah, well, I didn't get as much cleaning done as I'd ambitiously planned. :)