Friday, January 29, 2010

The Down Sides of Literacy

Dear First grade team, if my kids puke in your class they are not sick they are simply high on organic sugar cereal. Do not under any circumstances send them home. On Wednesday morning Rebecca woke up in an even crankier space than usual. She would not look at me and clearly displayed all the signs of teenage rage. I should say that Monday and Wednesday mornings are not my best times either—despite teaching music 101 for ten years now I have just enough performance anxiety to be a bit on edge on lecture mornings. So after about 15 minutes Rebecca rage I convinced myself that we were headed down the road of decades of mother daughter misery, that she was made because my focus on lecture and on getting some edits out the door turned me into a distracted mother in the morning etc….. Manuel meanwhile very sensibly told her she could write me a note or tell him if she didn’t want to tell me. I finally received a missive from my daughter informing me that mornings are bad because “you do not respect my right to choose my own breakfast cereal” I started a lecture about benevolent dictatorships in the home but stopped before i got too far in to it as if fell on deaf ears. Thus ensued the family trip to Integral Yoga where one can purchase for ten bucks a box organic cereal of all kinds. I fortunately was safely installed in a yoga class for this venture. Each child picked out their own box of Enviro Kids organic cereal. We have in our possession now expensive politically correct versions of frosted flakes, coco crisps and some panda peanut butter flavor. Thursday morning did indeed get off to a smoother start with Rebecca and Jonathan running to the cabinet to get out their individual boxes of cereal. They poured their own bowls and set about reading the boxes where I learned things like “did you know that 50% of the money that Daddy spent on this cereal goes to help the environment.” “Best of all this is organic” “Even Bester is that it doesn’t have any corn syrup in it” Did you know that if we go to the save he koala web site we can foster a baby koala bear maybe it can come live in Eli’s room” ‘

Meanwhile Eli, freshly tuned up from his two month late three year old tune up slept through the whole thing. Eli for the most part refused treatment including having his height measured which he considered a grave violation of personal space. However if we’re correct about the height he’s in the 75% which among our kids qualifies him for the NBA and explains why lately he’s spent a not insignificant amount of time in time out for beating up his older brother. His language skills checked out fine. When the doctor asked him his sister’s name the response was “my sista is called Wabecca Lewdauu but I wusually call her stupid butt” this was followed by a full rendition of the plot of Clone wars after which he invited the doctor to come watch with us. Eli has developed an incredibly elaborate star wars lexicon which he deploys at key moments like when I'm running late to meet the yellow bus and he wants to walk "Clone war soldiers don't ride in strollers" My mature response was "Clone war soldiers don't wear diaper"!"

In other news the kids got their report cards and it turns out first grade grading is as subjective and ridiculous as any other kind. Both did fine of course. Our favorite comment ”Jonathan is reading above grade level with fluency, accuracy, and comprehension. He has excellent background knowledge which he shares during discussion. However, some of the information he accepts as facts are incorrect. We are encouraging him to participate more in projects and activities and to accept challenges.” A male academic in the making…..

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