Saturday, October 24, 2009

Leif & Peter A. - First Day of School - September 1978 - Sachsen Bei Ansbach, Germany - Age 3 1/2

When we moved from Fuerth to Sachsen bei Ansbach, Germany in the summer of 1978, we decided to send the boys to the local German schools. Their school schedule is very different from the American one, and Peter A. actually went to the last few weeks of third grade there, even though he had finished third grade at the American school in Fuerth.

In the fall, Leif started going to the Kindergarten, which I've already written about, and Peter A. started fourth grade.

This photo was taken hastily the morning of their first day, as they were heading out the front door of our house at Am Roemer 9. You can see that in early September it was already chilly in the morning, and unfortunately, the sun was right in their eyes so they are squinting and aren't particularly happy with me for making them stand there for a photo. I wish I had a better one but at this point, I'm just glad I have one at all.

Both boys have their "Rucksacks" on their backs. Backpacks for kid this young had not yet caught on in American schools, but German students needed to bring things to and from school every day and a Rucksack was a necessity. The style of their school backpacks and pencil cases was also different from the American ones.

They had to take a snack with them each day, and that was one of the things that went into the Rucksack, along with books and "Hefte" (composition books) for Peter Anthony, who also had his pencil case and items such as a drawing compass.

Peter knew where he was going since he had already spent a few weeks at his school, the Rusam Volkschule, and we had taken Leif to see the Kindergarten when we enrolled him and had a tour. He had been in a Montessori preschool in Fuerth, so it wasn't his first school experience, but it was the first time he would be immersed all alone in a German-speaking environment where he would be the only American, English-speaking child. I wonder what he thought about that first day.

Peter Anthony was almost ten years old and Leif was three, going on four in four months.

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