This is an update that relates to the post Not Enough Learning.
- lifted from http://interacc.typepad.com/synthesis/2009/06/standards-schmandards.html
I dont know if I should feel pride or feel shame. Is it Pride that my son is a satirist in the making or am I ashamed that I have exposed my kids to my distain for the school’s singular focus on tests? Have I poisioned my kids and undermined the schools administrators?
We are in the middle of testing lock down. All the kids are taking Connecticut’s Mastery tests this and next week. The testing schedule has totally wreaked havoc with my mornings. I am up at 6:15 to get Georgie out of bed and Cal doesnt leave the house until 9:30. Thats 3 hours and 15 minutes to get the kids off to school, a task that normally takes an hour and a half…Makes for a long morning.
Well the above is neither here or there, back to my child’s creative writing. Earlier this week I asked Owen after school how the testing had going. He had had a prompted writing test. He was laughing to himself as he told me the prompt was something to this paraphrased effect: “Write a letter to your principal and tell her who (fictional or real-life.)should be invited to your school to make it even a better school”. So my son creates a character named Lucas Cantakeatest. Lucas has superhuman powers when it comes to influencing average test scores and he can singlehandedly improve a school’s ranking to the point of guaranteeing the continued status of ”American’s Blue Ribbon School”. Good one O.
Ashamed but laughing.
Owen caught this beautiful rainbow fatty on a beetle from the Laguna. GM figures 4-5 lbs.
Henry Turned 15 the beginning of December. He had a chocolate cake to the extreme. No photo this year but pretty much this again. He is like a real teenager now, not a wannabe one. Full on, talking about college, girls and driving a car. Frightening!!!! Here is pretty much what you get when trying to photograph him these days. You will just have to believe me when I say he is a doll.
This weekend, after several months of rehearsals, Cal performed in the classic musical theater, Sound of Music. This production was a middle school version. Last night the whole family went to support Cal as he played various parts in the chorus. Good Job Cal!
While I applauded enthusiastically as Maria and Captain Von Trapp took their curtain calls, they were no Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer in the romance department. (the braces didn’t help) I love middle school versions of musicals because even if its a Disney classic, the 12 and 13 years old can never pull off the romance. It makes me giggle when the leads struggle with flirty banter or embrace in an awkward hug. (there was no kissing, thankfully) And last night was no different. But even weirder in this production was seeing my son and his other 12 year old friends dressed up as Nazis, with swastikas and guns. It just wasn’t right.
Henry just turned 14. Hopefully, his only addiction in life will be his obsessive love of chocolate. I don’t usually enable him but, its was his birthday. Above are all the chocolate elements that made up his birthday cake. It was good but you needed a tall glass of cold milk to choke it down.
Now, I would like to write a little something about Henry, like about how smart and kind he is although his brothers and sister would dispute that. But for his age he really has a lot of compassion and empathy for people who are on the short end of social justice. I am proud. But I wont go on and wont write his birth story here. He is 14 and doesn’t really like a lot of attention from me and my uncoolness. I wont dwell on him anymore. But as he must know, I love him.
Thursday was Cal’s 12th birthday. Today he is having 4 buddies over for a sleepover. He is outside making water balloons as we speak. He is a cutie and will always be a needy, cuddly but wonderfully funny and ironic teddy bear. I think Cal enjoys his birthday as much as anyone. Loves being the center of attention in a sweet self-conscious kind of way. And yes, in the last photo, those are almost industrial grade fireworks being shot off the cake, inside the house. It very much de rigueur for birthday cakes in Argentina.
I think Owen's zeal has more to do with the Yanks being on the brink of a World Series than Cal's Birthday, and clearly the dog is not impressed by either.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day in Argentina. Several years ago I wrote about the Argentine version in this post. It was also GM’s birthday so while it was Mother’s Day, I couldn’t expect GM to cook his own birthday dinner and make his own birthday cake. Although I spent quite a bit of yesterday in the kitchen, I was not forgotten. Georgie brought GM and I some really bad coffee in the morning, GM cut me flowers from the garden, GM’s mom brought me some goodies from Vermont and I was surprised with a beautiful new lens for my SLR. Yeah!
I also received my favorite hand made cards for Mother’s Day. These days George and Owen are the only senders. Cal and Henry are entirely too cool and self involved to take the time to acknowledge their mom on Mother’s Day. Or Henry’s case, he just really cant stand me. So enjoy these sweet tokens of their love while they last, it wont be forever.
First up is Georgie’s Photo/Poem Gift
She made the frame with cardboard and flowers from clay and sprayed the whole thing gold
Found on the back is a sweet declaration of her love for me in Castellano
Owen in the other hand….
Once you unfolded it from its accordion pleats, you find a funny little man wishing me a Happy Mother's Day
Scatch that, the funny little man is apparently me!
I think the odds of anymore Mother’s Day cards from Owen are pretty small:(
My name is Callum O’Connell. I make stop-motion animations with Legos. I made my first one when I was in 4th Grade with my friend Sherlock. We made it about a dancing Bionicle but it was only like 5 seconds. My second one was with my friend Marco and it was about Star Wars. I actually made 2 with him. My 4th was with my dad that was around 1 minute and was about a guy who wants to find the holy pizza. Then all the ones after that are on my you tube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/callvim
I went to my friend’s house and stayed for a sleepover. His name is Francisco and he loves Legos. So when I went to his house I made a animation with him that took like 3 hours to make and its around 3 minutes. It is probably my best one and has a sequel. I hope you enjoy it and please visit my youtube.com channel. Or tell your kids if Lego videos are not your thing.
But actually not here in Argentina. We get to celebrate it in October again. But as my husband likes to say, “Everyday is Mothers Day in Argentina….” How the fuck would he know? He is in Patagonia flying around on someones private jet and fishing at someones private fishing lodge as we speak.
This morning I was greeted by my five year old daughter Georgie and a plastic plate with a cup of juice (actually served in a baby bottle without the top) and a yogurt, in its original plastic container, without a spoon. Reminiscent of breakfast room service at the Four Seasons. Nothing says I love you like breakfast served in bed and I did get some cute heartfelt cards from the three youngest.
The oldest who is 12, presented me with nothing, zero, zilch. Just a handful of attitude which he doles out everyday of the year, not just holidays. I didn’t take it personally as he is suppose to hate me at this point in his life. It just makes me a little sad. Those days of cuddling and sweet talk are over. And what an ingrate..he was by far the most difficult birth, 5 hours of back labor and no drugs. Served him right that he came out with a cone head. This morning when I explained that he owed me at least a kiss or hug for all the pain and hard work on his behalf he balked and seemed disgusted by me and the suggestion. It just gets easier and easier to humiliate and shame him…Never knew being a mom could be so much sinister fun. Cant wait until he brings home a girlfriend!
|(May 11 in 2008)
||Anguilla, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, People’s Republic of, China, Republic of (Taiwan), Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Curaçao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Honduras, Iceland, India, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Latvia*, Malta, Malaysia, Myanmar, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Slovakia, South Africa, St. Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, Suriname, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zimbabwe
Its been a month now..sad to say in two weeks I will be returning to Buenos Aires with two of the kids that want to go back and start school with their friends. Funny, that is not one of my childhood memories, wanting to cut vacation short and go back to school.Its been great. We have had a lot of guests, great weather and the kids are happy here. I have been doing a lot of cooking for the family. Kids suck to cook for. All my kids eat, but they eat entirely different things. So I am basically a short order cook. Its not very fun or satisfying being a short order cook. However, I do like cooking for grownups. They tend to be less picky, have better table manners and are always gracious with the chef..with kids I am a cook and with the adults I am a chef. Continue reading
Here are photos from yesterday. MIA is Henry, who is almost 12 year old and recently has become a non-cooperative photo subject. He was a New York Yankee..His hair is a bit long to play for the Boss’s club but you will just have to trust me he is a cute ballplayer. His younger brothers and sister embraced Halloween in a big way and were happy to have the day documented.
Georgie IS Tinkerbell, spunky, cute, and sometimes naughty. One difference is Georgie is most definitely not mute.
Callum was quite proud of this costume and was very comfortable wearing it and playing the part. What was the part? Well, despite being alternatively confused for Peter Pan or a Lord of the Rings character, he was Link, of Zelda. It’s a video game, Duh!
Owen was “Roy”. When he told me he wanted to be “Roy” from Mario Smash Brothers (another Nintendo video game), I thought he said Thor. Which would make sense given “Roy’s” appearance. But no, this swordsman’s Mommy named him “Roy”. Anywhoo, Owen was also very happy with his handmade costume and when we went out Trick or Treating he was armed with a serious looking sword. You just have to believe me, Owen was “Roy”.
Henry was chosen to represent his school at a friendship sports tournament in Uruguay. He will be playing volleyball with his classmates from BA against schools from Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru and Chile. How cool is that? Its very cool for him. What’s could be better than public transportation and a hotel with school buddies and on top of that (not literally, they are only 11, 12 and 13), lots of quality time with girls. And not to mention, I am proud of him. The fact he was invited on this trip means he is mature, a good citizen and an important part of the team. Go Henry!!
My enthusiasm has come to a grinding halt because of these parental instructions:
Drop off school gate: Friday 5:00 AM (although dark, morning, normally asleep)
Pick up at school gate Sunday 1:00 AM (middle of night, either in bed or in food and/or alcohol coma))
WTF..is this payback for them chaperoning the kids for the weekend?