Thursday, September 18, 2008

Playing Catch-up

Ronnie and Linda got married a year ago this past Monday and I was happy to be a part of that wedding party, and had one of the funnest weekends of my life. I can't believe it's been a year since our German exchange student was here, because it seems so fresh in memory. Tempus, it fugits. Well -- happy anniversary L&R... I love you guys and wish you many more to come.

In my summations of the recent R&J tour, I missed a show. I'm adding it to the beginning of the last entry, so you get show number 8 on the Baseball Field at Palmer Cove... if you're interested, go back and read. Later... because I want to finish this entry.

Now back to your normal life updates and ponderings from your humble narrator.

School started and has been going well (thus far) for both kids, but we got off to a bumpy start with Jess. She had to miss the first two days because her school started before Labor Day, and she was on the R&J tour. She didn't need to be at the shows until 11:30 each day, so I made her make appearances both days.

Good thing I did.

The first day, she got her schedule and noticed that they had dropped her from her honors physics class. She was devastated. Straight to the guidance office she marched with her best "WTF?" face on, and they told her that too many kids registered for the class so she was dropped. But ... they didn't let her know over the summer. We got no letter or phone call or email or anything saying "oh, by the way... yeah. You're dropped."

So she started to flip out. Like I have never seen. Since she was in sixth grade, she has looked forward to this class. It was the only class she wanted to take (I didn't know this until I picked her up on the first day and she was crying and angry and frustrated...). When she was in 8th grade, they placed her on a lower level math track going into 9th grade that would prevent her from taking this class, and she knew it. She worked exceptionally hard through 9th and 10th grades to bring up her math scores. She started last year, if you recall, with a really horrible situation where they put her in Algebra II with no Algebra I. But she overcame that, got an A in the class, and basically saved the day. At the end of last year she had to petition the school math department to get into honors pre-calc in order to qualify for honors physics.

To show up for the first day and find that yeah, she was in honors pre-calc but was dropped from the honors physics, put her into a tail spin.

"Why bother! I should just drop the pre-calc and take stupid kid math! All that work for nothing!!! I worked so hard to qualify! I can't believe this is happening! Why did they do this to me...!?"

Yeah, indeed... why? That was my question. I could understand if her grades weren't up to par. I could understand if seniors qualified for the class and she is a junior and she couldn't take it because seniors get placed first. But we had no idea why. Nothing.

Her guidance counselor told her that "her hands were tied" and there was nothing she could do about it except to petition the principal's office.

Which immediately sounded like a bunch of school politics and a horse shite.

So I contacted the principal. Three phone calls and a nastygram email. I think I phrased everything in polite but angry and stern terms. My best political sounding "WTF?" format. He and I went back and forth a bit and finally on that Friday she was in the class.

I'm not sure exactly how one just puts a kid in a class that is allegedly too full. He (the principal) informed me that he told the teacher that he had to take her in the class and that the teacher didn't want to, but he did.

My sneaking suspicion is that this is a total "teacher union/too many kids and I'm not teaching them/you just try and make me" kind of move on the teacher's part. Which I understand... if there are too many kids that's a problem. But when there is only one teacher for this subject, and ONE SESSION of this class per school year, that's not our fault or problem.

Fix the system. Don't punish the kid.

And I told Jess that after my pitching a fit she had better get an A in this class, so help me. Or I won't go to bat for her again. End of conversation.

More on Jess -- she had her wisdom teeth out last week which went pretty well. She was supposed to audition for the play at school (Midsummer) on the Tuesday, but all after school activities were cancelled due to the weather.

Auditioning for the role of Nick Bottom after oral surgery isn't easy, and she was really angry about the situation but couldn't change anything. She went in on Friday afternoon to finally audition, using minimal drugs so that she wasn't loopy.

After all, not everyone can be like Dr. House when he's on vicodin.

She didn't get Bottom but was cast as Quince, which disappointed her... but she is one of three students who will be assistant directing and that made her feel better. I think her experience with Rebel will totally help out her vision. She's in charge of the fairies and their scenes... so hopefully she'll make it rock.

Yesterday Jess went and had her stitches removed and the wisdom teeth phase of life is now behind her. Horray.

Geoff started football practice at the end of August and so far it's going pretty well. He has had two games, a tie and a win. So we're already off to a better start than last year. He totally freaked out after the first game and was upset because they didn't win. Last year he pulled this crap and I thought he finally understood that yeah, you win -- you lose -- you learn. It's a game.

I didn't think for a minute this year that we'd have to go through this crap again with him.

Perhaps he never will get it. Jebus. He drives me nuts.

So far this academic year he's right on track. Home from school, homework, football, dinner, shower, study, bed. I love the routine, I love that he's totally on track and task. I wish football lasted all dang year.

Anywho... I guess that's about it. I need to shower and get ready for work. We've got a busy evening. Football practice and straight to Boy Scouts, which Geoff hasn't had the chance to participate in yet since the school year started. Football was going until 8 or 7:30, and Boy Scouts starts at 7. Tonight practice goes to 6:30, so he'll have time to get cleaned up and over to the meeting for the first time since the academic year started.

Right then. More later!

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