Diary Of An Iranian Teacher
دوشنبه 8 فروردین‌ماه سال 1384
David Letter
Hello. How are you? Today is Saturday, and I just got home from work. It was a very long evening. I worked  from 2:30pm until 11:00pm.  Tomorrow is my last evening, then I'm off for a few days. Now, I will answer some of your questions regarding the educational system here, and about the student's holiday schedule.
In America, as you know, we're a multicultural society. Therefore, there are a number of government recognized holidays. These holidays fall into two categories, one being major holidays, and the second being minor holidays. Holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving would be considered major holidays. Students would be officially off from school, anywhere from a few days to an entire week. Some of the minor holidays such as Independence Day, Memorial Day, Presidents' Day, etc., would be considered minor holidays. Students would get just a day or two off from school.  During the summer months, students are off from June 22nd until September 9th. Many families take this time off and go on vacation with their children. Regarding the class schedule, students are in class for about eight hours daily. Monday through Friday. If a student fails to pass his grade at the end of the school year, he must take summer classes to pass onto the next level with the rest of his class. Some of the courses offered to children in school are foreign language classes, music classes, art classes, auto shop, wood shop, etc. The most popular foreign language course is Spanish. Since we have a large Spanish speaking population, it's more used than others. American schools are coed. This means that both boys and girls are taught together in the same classroom. There are however, private and religious schools, that are all girls, or all boys. The public school system is coed. In public schools there is no uniform policy. Students can wear what they like, within reason. In private schools a uniform is the rule. Classes tend to be large in public schools. Thirty to forty pupils is not uncommon. Private schools have a better student to teacher ratio  than their counterpart. Students attend school for twelve years before earning their diploma. Then they go onto college etc. With today's technological industries, education is extremely important. A student's education will determine his future earning potential. The government provides free schooling for students who are financially disadvantaged and cannot afford to attend college. Unfortunately, there are still many who fall in the cracks and can't afford to attend, and receive no assistance from the government. A college education can be very costly. Some simply don't even try to attend due to that fact. Teacher's here are unionized. This means for the most part, they are well paid and represented by a union that fights for their rights and best interests. Teachers are off all summer long and are paid for it. Am I talking your ears off already? I thought you might find some of this interesting to know. Do you know that California has the largest Iranian population in America? They have their own stores, newspapers, etc. They keep their Iranian culture, and language alive. You can find all nationalities living together in America. People from all over the world live here. What else do you want to know?  I don't know what else to tell you about life here, that might interest you. How was your day away? Did you enjoy yourself? You said that you had a four hour drive there. It's about an hour and a half drive to Canada from here. Toronto is about four hours by
car. It's a nice beautiful city. Many Americans visit our neighbor to the North. You asked about what we eat on the holidays.... Well, it can vary from one family to another, but on Thanksgiving it's customary to roast a turkey in the oven. Thanksgiving is a holiday that commemorates the first pilgrims to this country having survived their first winter here. They thanked God for their survival and blessings. It's celebrated in November. On Christmas, people usually cook a ham. On Easter, a lamb is often cooked. This can vary from family to family, and from nationality to nationality.  Did I bore you to tears? I hope not. I better say good-bye for now my friend. Take care, and best wishes.
                                          Your friend,

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