tonight was the monologue and song competition for secondary students at the kids’ school. both boys participated. s13 performed a monologue and chan was part of a skit directed by one of his friends. i am so proud of both boys. the courage and confidence they show is worlds beyond what i had at their age – or even now for that matter.
chan’s skit. or parts of it. very small parts of it.
report cards came out yesterday. and this quarter – for the first time in many, many quarters – all three kids earned pretty good reports. the school requires that each and every teacher write a comment about each and every student. the teachers put a good deal of thought into these comments and they – for the most part – seem to be pretty personalized. they also made me a very proud momma. who wouldn’t like to read that their 11 year old is “very intelligent” and “a voracious reader!” and that “he should do well in 6th grade”. or that their 13 year old is “friendly and responsible” and “works well with others” and “she’s a pleasant member of our class” and my absolute favorite “she has a quiet, quick sense of humor.” (no joking, that really is my very favorite comment about her, because her wit is awesome.) and it seems that teachers fall firmly in the what’s not to love camp when it comes to my 16 year old. they said things like “especially appreciated his meaningful contributions to classroom discussions” and “he has a natural ability to perform” and then there was this… c16 “is a born philosopher. he has a genuine aptitude for philosophical discussion, understanding many advanced philosophical concepts and, moreover, seeing the weaknesses in arguments… he ought to be congratulated for his progress thus far.”
i know it was meant as high praise and that i should be able to take it as such, but it goes so against my personal belief system that it really just scares me. c16 is really a good kid, except for this one thing. he likes to debate. a lot. and by a lot i just mean a lot more than i do – which would be not at all. my belief when it comes to working out disagreements sort of aligns much more with the mom’s always right school of thinking. and i have no problem admitting that it would make me very happy if everyone living under my roof felt the same. but they don’t. especially c16. which i’m sure is pretty normal. he’s spreading his wings, asserting his independence, and all that stuff. whatever. doesn’t make me like it any more. and knowing that there is someone out there actually encouraging him to see the weakness in arguments just seems wrong. (especially when he’s determined that “because i said so” is the weakest argument ever.) it almost feels like that comment was meant as a personal attack against me. and if you’re wondering how i connected the dots between seeing the weakness in arguments and me being judged for my obvious poor parenting – i used one of those advanced philisophical concepts. i’m pretty sure it’s too advanced for c16 and his teacher combined.
we’ve got no internet, again. which is even less fun than it sounds. they’ve upgraded our neighborhood to a faster speed internet, but apparently that means something different for our house than our neighbors. i’ve finally broken down and gone to an internet cafe. the computer i’m using is speaking hebrew, except when i click on what i think might be instructions for possible ways to get it to quit speaking hebrew. the instructions are in thai - i can read just enough thai to get to my email and to write this post. good enough.
the kids started school today. i love the first day of school and i loved it when i was in school – except for the one year a mean girl made fun of me for wearing a sweater to school on the first day of school. august plus texas don’t necessarily add up to sweater weather. but it was a way cool sweater that had been purchased with the rest of my back to school clothes and i desperately needed to wear it immediately. i hate mean girls.
michael’s leg might be doing better. it still looks the same, but it doesn’t hurt as much and it’s not as hot to the touch. i’m calling that improvement.
there are three and one-half days of school left. but, as we all know, they are fake days. days that have to happen because the school year has to end, but grades have already been turned in so any work that’s done isn’t gonna be graded. which drives me bonkers. i hate busy work. hate it. with a passion.
it is actually all over for c16. he had his last final today and only needs to return to school to retrieve his final report card. a13 is left with only field trips. 3 days of field trips and one half day of p.a.r.t.y. and it’s nice to see that their teachers are not propagating the the-last-week-of-school-is-a-real-week-of-school lie. but for s10, the lie lives. he’s got a regular ol’ week coming up. with “maybe a few quizzes” (so he says). but, i’m starting to think that maybe s10 has it all figured out.
seems they were only looking for some kindlin’ to start a good marshmallow roasting fire.
good cover story, don’t ya think?
i know not long ago i posted about my general friend making suckiness, but i’ve taken steps – or maybe it’s better worded to say others have taken steps – to help me make progress in friend making endeavors. and it’s good. and i’m in a much better place. but you know how it goes, for every two steps forward you take one step back. over the next few weeks it’s gonna begin to feel like i live in a ghost town. and we’re part of the skeleton crew that’s to be left behind. (which could possibly mean that friend making will go easier. options are limited and my hand waving high in the air while i squeal “pick me, pick me” won’t be so easy to ignore.)
school break is upon us and it’s time for furloughs and home visits. and then the summer will drag. 3 of s10′s closest friends are going to be going. one for good, one for 6 months and one for 8 weeks. a13′s closest friend will be gone for 8 weeks. i haven’t heard what’s going on with c16′s friends, but seeing as how many of his friends are thai, it’s possible he’ll have a few more options. the thai schools just started their term, so there are no summer activities to be had. no camps. no summer movie spectaculars. not even vacation bible school this year.
midway through the break c16 and michael will head to the states for a month. which is good and bad. good because it means we can stock up on a few necessities – like shoes to replace the shoes that one of the dogs has eaten. and bad because there will be the jealous feelings of those of us who aren’t headed to the states.
but for now, we’ve just got to get through the next 7 1/2 days of school. (there’s a holiday thrown in there, because there’s no way we could make it to the end without some kind of break.) actually, it’s only 7 1/2 school days for s10. for a13 it’s 4 days of school and 3 days of field trips. and for c16 it’s 4 days of testing and then he’s done.
opening night of the kids’ school production of a christmas carol was tuesday.
he was very convincing.
if there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers.
~ Edgar W. Howe
the great thing about a little jet lag is everyone’s up early with no prompting from mom.
kids made it to school on time. barely – i’d forgotten that driving takes much longer than walking. and there was no time for first day of school pictures. but i have high hopes for end of the first day pictures. s9 got the teacher i hoped he’d get. a12 is in the same section as most of her friends, but i won’t know her teachers until she gets home – she’s a big high middle schooler this year. and c15 has made the jump to real high school.
there’s whole new bell schedule for middle school and high school. last year they had a 7-day, 7-period tumbling block schedule. which i never figured out and all i really knew about it was that if i needed c15 during the day i wasn’t gonna have much luck finding him. now they are on a 5-day, 6-period tumbling block schedule. which is supposed to be much less confusing. and i’m optimistic enough to believe it will be.
but most importantly – today i had coffee with a friend. aahhh… coffee.
the past few posts haven’t even mentioned our oldest. and there’s very good reason for that. he’s been away. and i’m sort of an out of sight out of mind the blog kind of girl. the entire 8th grade went on a two night – three day field trip to doi inthanon. they returned today. i’ve heard very little – other than it was fun. and that they hit all the hot spots we missed when we went. but thank God for facebook, because i did manage to steal a pic from one of his friend’s pages.
i find it incredibly funny that all but one of these kids – the one with the arrow pointing at her head – is swimming fully clothed. wonder if they took their shoes off? c15 is in the green shirt with his name on the back of it.
attend elementary school play can now be ticked off the to-do list.
lovely play today. short (that alone makes it almost perfect) and sweet. a12 had a starring role. with lots of lines. and she got to wear a head mic. (which is really quite amazing seeing as how just a few (3?) short years ago she had such horrid stage fright she cried for several hours after the performance. even though she was at the very back of the stage and in the chorus and you had to sort of strain to see her.) and s9 had a supporting role. with a speaking part. he’ll tell you it was just one line, but i say, there are no small parts…
the play was about an unhappy king leo and his two subjects/friends who set out to discover the key to happiness and bring it back for the king. they talk to many singing and dancing animals groups (packs? herds?) the hyenas being the best group. and not just because s9 was one.
in the end the key to happiness was discovered. it’s not partying with the party animals or playing video games with the monkeys or even laughting with the hyenas. it’s friends and taking time to smell the flowers. i have no idea what smart animals knew this, but they were obviously the sensitive type, and they had red paw prints on their cheeks.
that’s me. or rather it’s my upper thigh and lower torso. what isn’t totally obvious in this picture is that i’m wet. soaking wet – from the chin down. and i’m fully dressed, but that is a little more obvious than the wet part. how does one manage to get soaking wet when chaperoning a field trip? it’s really pretty easy.
today, the 6th graders – that’s a12′s grade – went to tweechol botanical gardens. it’s a beautiful park. a real tropical paradise. see…
*if you’ve been hanging around here very long it might look a little familiar*
this park has it all. a pool, bikes, paddle boats, swings and slides… there was no shortage of things to do. and the kids were free to do what they wanted, when they wanted. none of us adult types where gonna tell them when to eat, or that it was time for this or time for that. today’s chaperoning task was to make sure they all made it to the park and back to the school in one piece. easy peasy.
the paddle boats proved to be very popular early in the day. and once a few kids went out, the rest followed suit.
i suppose it’s possible that maybe we should have taken note when the first two out ended up in this situation. but we put it off to a tiny bit of naughtiness and were glad they’d gotten that out of their system. silly us.
you’re probably thinking, “there’s really only one thing this level of craziness can lead to.” sure wish we’d had the foresight to think that.
and this is how i ended up soaking wet. in the end, the paddle boat was uprighted, paddled back to the dock and the water bailed out.
did i mention we were only about 2 hours into a 6 hour field trip at this point? and that i hadn’t brought a change of clothes?
the rest of the day was quite lovely. swimming and lunch. more bike riding and flower looking. and then back to the school with only 2 1/2 days before summer vacation.