"They 've infiltrated our school Poppi, this is terrible!" cried Sherri.
I was sitting on the coffee table studying my Chinese dictionary I stole from the library. I pushed my glasses back up, looked at Sherri and said "Who's they?"
"The feminists, they snuck a new rule into our school. Girls no longer have to wear skirts or dresses."
"That's nice, I've always wanted to go to school in my underwear!"
"It's true Poppi! The feminists have done away with skirts and dresses at our school. We have to wear trousers now. We'll look like boys, who wants to look like a boy? Didn't you read the notice they sent home"
"Joan of Arc? Those pirate ladies in the Carribean? It could be worse, we could have to wear uniforms, Sherri. I read the note and threw it away. My mother would have misinterpreted that note to mean that I am 'up to no good' then she would call the school and find out that I haven't spoken a word of English since my arrival. That would invalidate my experiment. " I replied in a serious tone.
"Wait, you haven't said one word in English? for three whole months. What experiment? You're seven, you can't do experiments!"
"Well maybe not experiments with explosives or radioactive things. This is an anthropological experiment. I've been taking notes. here read this" I handed her my composition book. "I have many of these books filled with notes and observations"
'THE INHUMANE TREATMENT OF NON ENGLISH SPEAKING STUDENTS IN THE AMERICAN SCHOOL SYSTEM-A FIRST PERSON ACCOUNT' by Draumsoley Robertsdottir age 7 (no PHD because I'm only seven)" Sherri read the title aloud, then began flipping through the pages. "Poppi, this entire notebook is filled with insults and not very nice comments about you."
"I know, if it doesn't make for a good dissertation, I can use it to get out of school completely, because I've been traumatized by the American School System."
"But you have to go to school, it's a law." insisted Sherri.
"DUH! I know that. Besides, I am up to date with my homework from my old school. See, that idiot principal has no clue she put me in the wrong class. They're only doing addition and subtraction here. I was up to algebra back home. If it wasn't for Miss Gunnarsdottir sending me home work, my brain would be melting into goo. She's a good teacher. You'd like her, she has lots of skirts she sews them herself This is the work that counts. My time here is only temporary. I plan to make best use of it."
Later at supper, Daddy asked how school was.
"It's great, we are still reading the same book. Doing the same maths."
"This must be a very big book you are reading to take three months of classtime."
"Big, huge book, Daddy. Like 'The Iliad'" I replied.
"Go get the book, I want to see what this book is."
"Okay" I said as my stomach turned. I'm going to get in so much trouble.
I handed him the book and he began to laugh. My mother wanted to know what was so funny about a school book. He gave it to her.
"See spot, see spot run" read my mother aloud. "This is not funny joke, Draumsoley. Now put your sister's book away and show your father your work."
"That's not my book," said Bebe. "It's Poppi's book for school!"
"Poppi, what is going on at that school?" asked Dad very sternly.
"Not a whole hell of a lot of anything, baby stuff. Bebe should be in my class."
"Then what do you do all day?"
" I go along with the teacher in reading, I add things and then I do my real homework, from Miss Gunnarsdottir."
"I thought those were letters from your classmates back home. She is sending you school work? Thank God, you won't be far behind when we go home. See spot run? Nonsense."
"Are you going to yell at the teacher? I feel bad for her Daddy, she doesn't seem to know what to do in class. It's only temporary here."
"No, Poppi, I am too tired to start a debate over education when there are only three months left. Call Miss Gunnarsdottir, tell her to send your lessons the fastest way possible. I will reimburse her the expenses. There is no point in waiting for them to come on the slow boat from China."
I laughed so hard, my water came out of my nose.
"Draumsoley, that is not very ladylike" scolded mom. "Just like that note from school, no more skirts and dresses for the girls. I refuse to buy anymore clothes."
"It's just a funny saying, I couldn't help laughing" I said wiping my face."slow boat from China!!"
If they only knew.