Friday, September 24, 2010

Longest. Week. Ever.

What was it about this week that made it seem never-ending? And now that it's Friday it doesn't really feel like Friday? Was it that the novelty of school has worn off? Was it the oppressive heat returning for a last Hurrah? Ack. Bring on the weekend.

I'm not a fan of evening activities during the school week, but I far prefer them to having scheduled items on the weekends. This weekend, nothing is scheduled. Katherine has an appointment Saturday morning at 9 and we have church Sunday morning, but the rest of the time is free and clear. The weather should be awesome again, so I'd like to just spend the time outside. Tennis anyone?
Last weekend we did a bit of gardening. Jonathon and I moved the little shepherd hook bird-feeder pole, hung the feeders from the tree instead with an unused jumprope, built a little fence around the overgrown tomatoes and mums using a couple pants hangers, then Nicholas and I pulled all the wildflower plants from the front and just left a couple of the bigger plants to survive the winter. I have no green thumb, I basically plant things and let nature take its course. Jonathon managed to mow half the lawn in ragged strips, but he tried. We cleaned out the dead leaves and branches from around the front bushes, and avoided bagging a snake with all the refuse. Seriously, I didn't see it when I was pulling the leaves out on the lawn and it was only when Nicholas was shoving the leaves in a bag that there was an awfully thick shoestring coiled among them. Then the shoestring uncoiled into a roughly 8-inch snake and slithered its way back into the bushes. It was probably just a garter snake.
Yet this week went on and on. Monday, Katherine had her sports physical to do swimming on the Gar-Field team over the winter. It was an interesting (not in the good way) visit, beginning with the fact that she was punching a wall earlier in the day and had an ugly bruise on a center knuckle. The doctor made sure nothing was broken or fractured. After the normal talk about smoking, wearing seat belts, immunizations, etc., I stepped out while the doc did the exam. Once a kid is 13 they are given their rights to privacy. It makes sense for the exam room, but not so much for access to records or making appointments on-line. The other three kids are under my login, while Katherine has her own (which I manage anyway). Because, really, our fourteen year old is going to make her own health decisions? Get herself to the ER? Fill her prescriptions? Pay the medical bills? Didn't think so. Oh, I'm sure there are plenty of teens out there who are completely self-sufficient and on top of their appointment schedules, but my kids aren't those kids. We're still the parents, we still have a say in their health care no matter what the HMO might say.
Mini rant over.
At the end of the visit the doc remembered she hadn't checked Katherine's spine. A quick touch to the toes and the doc asked if Katherine was done growing. Am I supposed to know that? Then she asked if Katherine had grown at all in the past year. How about 3-4 inches. Down to X-ray to have her spine checked. Since we haven't heard anything back yet I'm going to assume all is well and we'll get a notice when she needs to have a follow-up X-ray in a few months. The fun never ceases with this kid.
Tuesday, Katherine had band until 4:30, then both girls were off to Religious Ed from 7-8:30. Katherine is in the second portion of Confirmation Prep, and Rebecca just started her Confirmation Prep.
Wednesday, I stopped by the bowling alley to express interest in a 4-week learn to bowl program for Jonathon and Rebecca. I'm glad I printed the email about it, but even that didn't help the generally blank stares I received nor the "Uh, well, we're not sure we're going to run that program." I have my fingers crossed, but I'll stop by the alley again tomorrow, perhaps the manager will be around.
Wednesday still, Katherine was pulled from her History class along with a bunch of other pre-IBDP kids to attend a gifted education seminar. Now this was interesting. Eight times a year the pre-IBDP kids attend what appears to be an open forum seminar. A subject is raised, this time the topic was "Language" and the kids are basically told to discuss it. What does language mean, what does it entail, how many forms are there, and on and on. Then a game of "what color dot is on my forehead" grouped kids together by color, only no one could speak or use hand gestures. She came home elated, thrilled to be with kids that not only were smart but were willing to share their brains. She felt she could speak freely and not feel out of place for having ideas. I emailed the director of the GE program to find out more and received this back: "All pre-IBDP and IB students at Gar-Field (regardless of gifted status) participate in the enrichment seminars as a prerequisite for a 12th grade IB course called Theory of Knowledge (TOK)." Very cool. The email then followed up with "If you are interested in Katherine being formally identified as gifted, please let me know." That would take some convincing for Katherine. She's already doubting she wants to take on swimming with it's 5 a.m. practice on Monday mornings. Even I think that's cruel.
Wednesday continued - Katherine had band until 4:30, then both boys were off to the Altar Server meeting at church from 7:15-8:15. The boys were not at all curious about this endeavor, until they were taken to the back rooms, the rooms no one gets to normally see. Now, they're interested. Their homework the next few weeks is to watch the altar servers at each Mass, and study the parts of the Mass. I think this will be a learning experience for me too. Both boys already received albs.
Thursday, Nicholas had his first strings meeting at school, no instruments yet, just an overview of expectations. First off, strings is a class. I didn't know that. Last year I thought it was an extra-curricular but instead, twice a week the kids miss their first period class and they get grades. Did I mention he's going to learn the cello? We figured, we have one, why not start him on it. Of course ours is full-sized and he's renting a 3/4 from the school for the year, but if he likes it (and he grows at some point) he'll have a cello of his own. He's excited, I'm excited, it's all good. He already knows his fingers will hurt from his foray into strings with the guitar class last year, and he's still OK with it.
Katherine had a swim team interest meeting until 3, then bailed from marching band practice. I didn't blame her, it was the third 90F+ day in a row and she was beat and needed an afternoon off.
Because today, Friday, she doesn't get home until after 10 p.m. Another football game means more marching band. I am glad that Friday football games and Saturday competitions are not scheduled on the same weekends. I already have a headache, so it's time to take some Motrin, feed the family then head to the football field to see Katherine play. I think it's just me tonight so I'll probably bring a book. High school football is kind of lame.

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