Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Seasons In Southeast Queensland

There are two seasons in southeast Queensland.

I discovered this in two ways; teaching the kids in Ryan's class about the calendar and signing Andrew up for sports.

Why you'd pick an American (or a German, for that matter) to teach the seasons to kids in the southern hemisphere is a mystery to me. I'd blame it on Australian quirkiness - they DO have a sense of humour! - but Ryan's teacher is from Canada.

Maybe it's that old North American rivalry. She had the OTHER American teaching kilograms.

So now you have a group of Aussie kids who know that the REST of the world starts THEIR seasons on the 21st of the month, corresponding to those solstices we really don't have here. And weighing sand in pounds.

Glad we could help out!

I came home, proudly told Andrew I'd successfully switched the seasons - summer on December 21 instead of winter and winter on June 21 instead of summer, only to learn, from my 9 year old son, that Australia is the ONLY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD TO BEGIN THEIR SEASONS ON THE FIRST OF THE MONTH.


So that summer is NOT December 21 to March 21 but December 1 to April 1.

The next week, the next group taught me that there are 365 days in a year. After I'd made Ryan and Andrew do their homework using 356.


"At home, when my Mum gets something wrong we just like to blame it on my Dad." said one of the kids. (I am NOT kidding about that Aussie sense of humour - I LOVE it!)

Uh yeah. I'd like to do that. But he's not the one in front of the whiteboard right now!

We then discussed WHY I'd made that error with the solstices, going into the fact that the further away from the equator you go, the more you get changes in daylight hours.

"Yeah, once I was in Victoria and it was light until 8 PM!" said a kid. Ah, the wonders of that strange world outside of Queensland. (Fun world to visit, but you're lucky you live right here, kid!)

Honestly, the Mums I told this to were pretty amazed as well. Changing daylight hours. Hmmm.

So that then I got into the seasons as well. As in, it snows in winter, flowers bloom in spring, it gets hots in summer and the trees lose their leaves in autumn.

Folks are so sheltered here!

It's fairly warm part of the year, warms up and gets hot, cools off to warm and then gets hot again.

I have honestly had no idea what month I'm in - really FELT and KNOWN it - since I moved here! (And I'm not whinging about it either.)

The only way you can really determine a season is by the sports going on around you.

You play soccer and rugby - the running sports - during the part of the year it isn't too too hot, the autumn and winter, sometime late February through mid- August. (It is actually 'you-could-roast-a-turkey-in-your-living-room' hot and humid here until mid March but you gotta start the season somewhere, I guess!)

We call this rugby season.

And then you play cricket and baseball - the sports where you can stand around in the field most of the time - when the weather is too hot for anything else, generally beginning in September through the summer holidays in January.

We call this cricket season.

During which MY boys play soccer and baseball. Listen, baseball is boring enough to sit through as a spectator, there is no need to get used to a game that is even SLOWER! That plus we have found that the foreigners who play baseball are generally an exceptionally fun bunch. Yes, even in Germany! (Best coach Andrew ever had was his baseball coach in Germany, Harry.)

Of course, now that I've got the seasons down, Andrew's teacher is having me (allowing me to?!)work on writing skills with some kids in his class.

Where I had to ask them how to spell gray/grey.

Maybe it IS a conspiracy.

Waste of time, mates.....this American was upside-down before she moved down under!

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