Tag Archives: School

It’s been far too long…

It has been way way too long since I last posted. I think I’ve been saying that at the start of all my posts as of late…

I think about writing every day.. I really do… Then somehow my day escapes me.

Right now, I am sitting outside while the maniac destroys the back yard and torments the dog. Her new favorite thing is digging holes and “planting” seeds. We did make her a little garden. She started all the plants from seeds and they seem to actually be growing. With the exception of a couple things a certain canine has dug up.

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There is corn, a couple pumpkins, carrots, parsley, cosmos (a flower) and California poppies. She lives to water them. Oh, and her little fish “Swimmy” is also buried in the garden. She waters him every day too. (well, she thinks she does.. There is a very good chance the dog dug him up and ate him. Yuck.)

Speaking of little Swimmy, may he rest in peace… The poor little guy only lasted month, and the Maniac LOVED him! Now, We have a new fish that she named Marshall. ( She wanted to name him Marcia, but being a boy she changed it). He’s a cool guy. A Betta fish.. In the morning he comes up the the top and waits for you to feed him. It’s almost like the maniac gets to hand feed him.

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Oh, So my other excitement. I’m going to go file the permits & licenses make my etsy store a real honest tax paying business today. I know, I should have done it a while ago.. But better late than never right?

I’m kind of a little nervous about it.
And excited. But nervous.

Hopefully I will have time to get it all done. My friend can’t watch the maniac until 2. Keep your fingers crossed that the lines aren’t long! I have 3 offices to hit!

OH! Before I forget! I do want to send a shout out to the Accidental Stepmom, a fellow stepmom and blonde, (who’s blog I adore btw! You should read it!) who also didn’t know that Narwhals were real! And after she mentioned my post in her blog- it seems that we are not the only ones! YES! Hahaha!

There’s only a couple weeks of 8th grade for the Teen! Yikes! Then she’ll be in HIGH SCHOOL! Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!
It seems like just yesterday that she was starting first grade! Such a long time ago! This summer will mark 8 years that she’s lived with us. CRAZY!

I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself one in high school and one in preschool!

On a somewhat random note- I’m going to work on my summer reading list. I honestly don’t think I have read a book since last years list.. So I really need to get on that!

I’m going to leave you with this.. The maniac at the park a couple weeks ago, with ducks who walk on the sidewalk!
Have a great weekend!

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The Book Report… another adventure in procras-teen-ation

Oh the Book Report.

Thankfully it is done, and probably turned in by now.

In my quest for her to learn about procrastination “the hard way,” I swore to myself that I wasn’t going to bring it up or say a word about it until the Teen did. She has known about this assignment since the first week of school… in fact, she has the list of dates when all of the book reports are due until the end of the year. (I think there are 6 in total.)

On Monday she said something about it, which was my queue to start asking questions.  Even with all of the talk about waiting until the last-minute to do things last week with the science fair proposal, I never crossed her mind to do anything with the book report.

“We are going to start them in class tomorrow.”

START THEM??!?!?!?!

They are due on Friday!!Are you serious? Now the teacher is encouraging the procrastination.  So.unbelivably.frustrating. Despite the apparent “starting” of the reports in school the next day, I made her work on that night.

It’s a good thing I did.

Guess who wasn’t in class Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday to “start” them?

Her teacher.

Who thanked me for making her start the assignment on Monday?

The Teen.

Fancy that.

She had about 8 options she could pick from for the assignment. She chose to write an alternate ending to the book she read.  Which was “Ninth Grade Slays” by Heather Brewer. It’s some teenage vampire series that her BFF loves, so she started reading them. She’s into vampires right now.. she just finished reading the Twilight Saga.

I guess what she wrote was good. It made sense for what it was.. not having read the book.  She worked until after 10 last night to finish.  I guess it could have been worse…

I hope she gets the lesson I’ve been trying to teach her. Even if she just picks one day a week and works on it an hour or so… it’s going to be better than something she just scrawled something down on the paper at the last-minute. As much time as she spent rewriting her draft and editing it, I think that is totally the case.

She was trying to convince me that she can “write a good paper in two days.”  Which kind of showed me that she really thinks that this procrastination stuff is okay. I don’t think she’s a seasoned enough writer to pull off “good.” I think she could probably write an okay paper in two days.  

I’m really curious to see what she gets on this paper.  

I’m sure it won’t be an A.

Why won’t be an A you ask?

For starters- she didn’t put the title of the book or the author on it. If she read the assignment- it specifically said it would be lowered one letter grade if it was missing the title and author.  How do you write a BOOK report and NOT put the title or author on it? At one point, I made her find the paper to see if there was any specific format she had to use… and I caught that stipulation.

She apparently missed it. I asked her 4 times if there was anything else she needed to put on it.  Maybe it was wrong of me to not say anything… Maybe she’ll read the assignment next time.  I’m also not sure the format to use dialogue.  The way she typed it looked really strange to me. But, she swore that’s how her teacher said to do it.

Oh well…we shall see what happens.  I’m sure it will be a week or two before she gets it back. I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

Procrastina-Teen.

Here we go… School is in full swing so is the procrastination.

The Teen has had a few pretty good bouts with the procrastination already in the last couple years. The first time was a research paper that she had to do in 5th grade (why in the world they had 5th graders doing research papers still baffles me to this day). She had a month to do it, and she told me about the assignment about two weeks into the assignment. Those were two very long weeks… But somehow she managed to get 100% on the silly thing.

Last year she had a couple of book reports to do. She did okay on the first one…except for the part where she just scrawled down some stuff and was just going to turn it in as is until I reminded her that it was for ELA (which back in the day was just known as “English” and not “English language Arts.”) , and there should probably be some drafts and editing involved. She was mad, but thankful when she got an A on it. The second one she gave herself a week to do, but spent three days working on drafts for the pictures she was going to put in it instead of working on the content. Again, she lucked out and got a good grade.

I decided that this year I was going to let her learn the hard way. You snooze you lose. I think we’ve all had to learn this lesson that way. I know I have… for me it was a big fat D on a huge research project in 11th grade honors English that I waited until the last minute to do.

I got an email on September 1st from  the Teen’s science teacher letting me know she has two “major” projects due soon. The first one I knew about.. But the “proposal for a science fair project” I knew nothing about. Sounds like something that involves some thought and planning doesn’t it?

Every day since I got the email I asked “is that all the homework you have?”
Every day “yep. Just algebra.”
Okie dokie. If you say so.

This proposal was due  9/9.  So on the 8th when she got home I asked the same question… “Is that all the homework you have?”

“No, I have science too.”

Fancy that.

Then I got the “I forgot about it.” 

Then I read the assignment. She has to come up with a proposal for a science fair project that will have to be completed, and will end up being 25% of her science grade.  For the proposal, she had to have a question that her experiment would answer, 7 references she would use for her project, a budget and explain the purpose of the experiment. Sounds like I was right in thinking this was something that needed more than a few hours to do.

Then she says, “I’ve been thinking about what I want to do all day since the teacher reminded me.”

All day= since after lunch.

The only things she could come up with were:

1. Getting 3 plants. Watering 1 plant with water, Another plant with sugar-water and the other with artificial sweetener water.

2. Getting 4 plants. Watering 1 with water, one with soda, one with juice and one with something else.

3. Researching methods of dog training, and using 3 different methods, teaching the dog 3 different tricks of equal difficulty.

She opted for the dog training.  Which is something that she definitely can’t procrastinate when it comes to actually doing the project.. since it’s not something you can do the night before.  I thought it was pretty clear that the proposal was not well thought out, and it was obviously done at the last-minute. Her references were three websites she Googled,  2 documentaries she found of Netflix, some random book she has with something about dog training in it… and she supposedly went to the library that morning to look up a seventh one. 

Anyway… there was much talk about procrastinating. I told her straight up that I wasnt going to say a word about the assignment and I was going to let her go to school without doing it just to learn the lesson. 

 She swore she isn’t going to do it anymore.

Then came the essay she had to do last weekend. She wanted to get it done friday night… then we ate dinner.. then she sat on her butt all day saturday. Finally she decided to finish it on Sunday… not even knowing if we had any plans. She just assumed that she’d have all day to finish it.  Sheesh.

Next up… a book report for ELA…she has six of them due by the end of the year.  She’s known about this since  the first week of school. I’m pretty sure she’s read the book. I heard her tell my sister that she finished whatever it is. But here we are.. its due on Friday and she hasn’t started it. One would think that after all lectures and talks about putting things off.. that she’d think to start the silly thing.

So, here is the thing that totally frustrates, irritates, and just pisses me off.

I checked her science grades on-line yesterday afternoon.

That teacher gave her 100% on the proposal.

SERIOUSLY!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?

How is she going to learn the lesson I want her to learn, when she keeps getting great grades when she turns in less than great work?

This is supposed to be Honors Science. You’d think she’d expect more than something clearly thrown together at the last-minute. Grrrrr. Part of me wants to email her teacher and say WTH? Was it not clear that it didn’t have any thought behind it? Or was it just that she turned it in?

 Maybe her ELA teacher will be less forgiving when she scribbles something down at the last-minute.

I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed.

A very Trying Tuesday.

Well.. the weekend went by way too fast, and here it is Tuesday. and a trying Tuesday it has been.

I really wanted to get up and go to the gym, I didn’t hear any of my 3 alarms that I set to get up at 5.  I guess I needed to sleep.

I was rudely awakened by a Maniac pooptastrophy. UGH. I don’t know what she’s been eating… actually I think it’s probably the allergy medicine I’ve been giving her.. but the last couple days have been some of the foulest, nastiest smelling packages she has ever shared with me. Just what I wanted to deal with a 7am.  And it required a hose-down in the bath tub both times it happened this morning.  EWWWW. And you should consider yourself lucky i did not go into further detail of the situation.

In other excitement… the Teen decided to take Choir as her elective this year. I’m not really sure why exactly, being that she has never showed any interest in singing before and I’m not confident that she could carry a tune in a bucket. But whatever, that’s what she picked and she actually go it.  She has been in Choir for 5 minutes. Okay, today will be the 7th class she’s had. and they have a performance tonight at the “Back To school Night.” I am not sure how they could have even learned the words to a song in 7 hours.

I guess we shall see how that goes for her. I keep forgetting about back to school night. I would have been completely content not getting out of my PJ’s today. Then i realized at about 1pm that we have to go to it. I wouldnt mind so much if it wasnt for the incredibly crazy 3-year-old I have to drag along with me. I am not really a fan of taking her anywhere lately… this should be a super awesome good time. We have to follow the Teen’s schedule and go from class to class and listen to all of her teachers give a little talk about their classes this year.  last year it was not pretty. By the time we got to about 4th period, the Maniac was over it. I don’t think we even went to her last period class because of all the screaming. I may have to break out the big guns and let her play games on my phone or something if I have to.

And in even more exciting news… my wonderful Hubby will be home tomorrow afternoon for a few days. YAY! That is, Now that we got his flights fixed. The new girl who made his reservations didn’t know that he doesn’t fly into LAX…so she had him flying in there at 4:30 pm. Yea.. I’m not driving  the 1-1.5 hours it is with no traffic to LAX, let alone at rush hour. It would take me 2 hours to get there and 3 hours to get home. Especially when even with traffic, it takes about 20 minutes to get to his usual airport.  Luckily she was able to change it.

At least he will be home for a little while. Then he goes back to North Carolina for a week and hopefully will be back for a few days before they ship him off somewhere else. woo. yea, i can’t think about that yet. I’m just going to be thankful that I get to see him tomorrow!

Well.. that’s all the excitement for now. I need to go gather my Maniac entertainment supplies and figure out what to feed them for dinner!

 

 

“To a nice chic who is almost always in a bad mood.” ~ Remembering 8th Grade

In honor of my Teen embarking on her 8th grade journey today, I thought I’d take a walk down memory lane.

For me, 8th grade  was the 1986-1987 school year.   No, I just can’t say that was 25 years ago out loud. Crap, I just did.  I mean… man, that was a long time ago.

I can’t recall what I wore on the first day of school, but let me tell you about the ensemble I pulled together for my school picture.  It was either a sign of the times or a sign that I was definitely marching to the beat of my own drummer.

Picture it: Bright yellow blazer with bright blue shirt.. or maybe it was a bright blue blazer and a bright yellow shirt.  A lapel pin that was a lady’s head with a mohawk (I wish I still had that pin) and I’m pretty sure I was rockin’ the 4 in wide white belt with it. Oh yea… I thought I was awesomesauce. I wish I had a copy of the color picture… the black and white in my 8th grade yearbook doesn’t do it justice.  I won’t even go into my hair or the glasses. Man, they were big. The glasses, not my hair.

8th Grade memories:

1. One of the girls who made my life a living hell in 7th grade sat across from me in home room. She introduced me to my beloved Poison by lending me her tape.

2. My BFF was a girl named Kelly. She had a shit-zu named Bruno. She was obsessed with Tom Cruise.

3. My very first concert and the start of a huge part of my teenage life- Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet Tour March 27,1987. We had row M on the floor of the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Yes, back when they actually put chairs there.)  They filmed the “Wanted Dead or Alive” video there that night. We found ourselves in it once.

The Bon Jovi Shirt

the back... March 27-Pittsburgh, PA

Oh,  I can’t write this without mentioning THE Bon Jovi jean jacket. This was just not any Bon Jovi  jean jacket.. but one I made myself.  Well,  “made” in the sense of I put silver studs all over the back of my jacket spelling out BON JOVI.  Again, I thought I was awesomesauce. Sadly I don’t have a picture of this masterpiece. But I wore it A LOT.

4. We used to spend countless hours on the phone voting for the “Top 8 at 8” on B94 fm trying to get “Talk Dirty to Me” by Poison on the countdown.  One time the DJ (His name was John Cline)answered and asked us if we wanted to be on a commercial. .. well DUH! of course we did! So,one weekend back in 1987 you heard their commercial for a Bon Jovi tickets contest and some girls screaming “I WANT MY BON JOVI CONCERT TICKETS!!!!!” that was me and Kelly.

The Countdown Calendar! I pulled off a post it every day.. were post its even invented yet?

5. My Algebra teacher had the worst comb-over in the history of comb-overs.

6. I was the honorary ball girl at a Pittsburgh Spirit game in April of 1987. The Spirit was the professional soccer team that the Burgh had for a few years. We used to go to games a lot. I wrote a letter saying that being the ball girl would be “the highlight of my life.”  And I guess they thought I was cute because I got picked. I got to go down on the field and have my picture taken with my favorite player who was Godfrey Ingram. I don’t know why I remember that.  The team autographed ball (and Godfrey’s signature is the only one that is smudged) is still in my garage. I have the picture too.. but I’m not sure where that is at the moment.

7.  After looking back through my year book… it seems the theme was that everyone wrote “to a nice but weird girl” or a “sweet but strange girl.” I wonder why I was weird and strange.  I think my favorite thing someone wrote is: “To a nice chic who is almost always in a bad mood.” What is that about I wonder?

8. I went through my memory box to see what I could find of 8th grade. Not much really. I have far more from high school and college than middle school. I did find these though- the program and streamers from our “8th grade Farewell” dance.  I want to say I danced with a boy at that dance, but I’m not sure who that was.

8th Grade Farewell program & Streamers

9. I was in the school Chorus and the school’s fancy singing group called “Showcase.” I still have no idea how I made it in the group. But you got to audition at the end of 6th grade and then you were in for 7th & 8th.  I remember being horrified that for the Spring choral concerts we had to wear flannel shirts and sing John Denver’s “Thank God I’m a Country Boy.” Which is a fine song and all… but not when you have to sing it in front of your entire school.

10.  Our school had just finished being remodeled at the start of that year. We had a new gym floor and it was forbidden to have sneakers with black soles on them, in fear of them leaving marks on the brand new shiny floor. No worries, I had red high top Reeboks. Did I mention the marching to the beat of my own drummer thing? 😉

They looked something like this
What’s your favorite 8th grade memory?

It’s okay to lie… So says the Attendance Office at School

My Teen had not missed any school this year.

When we were planning on going to Vegas to visit my BFF and see my hubby I gave her the option to skip a day of school.   But it was totally up to her. If she wanted to keep her perfect attendance we would just go around her schedule.  She has straight A’s and works really hard, and I think everyone deserves a “mental health day” as my mom used to call them.  

 She had no problem missing school, so off to Vegas we went! As things turned out, we left Thursday evening and came back late Monday night. 

As per her school’s policy, I called the attendance line and left a message that she was absent because we were out-of-town and she would be back Tuesday.  Let me just say that we did the same thing last year. The one day of school she missed was because we went to Vegas and I told them we were out-of-town too.

It seems that I needed to leave a better message.

It seems that I needed to lie.

I believe whole heartedly in honesty.  Yes, I will tell an occasional “white lie” but 99.9% of the time I just tell it like it is. Which I why I told the school we were out-of-town.  I also believe that you lie and say you are sick, you had a family emergency, or a death in the family- that odds are something to that effect will happen. Hence my telling the truth.

My Teen came home from school Tuesday afternoon, with a notice that she was assigned 2 days of “Saturday School” (aka saturday detention) because my telling the school we were “out-of-town” was not an excusable reason for an absence. I was livid. 

It also seems that I didn’t  thoroughly read the attendance policy at the beginning of the school year, or I didn’t remember what I read.  Whatever, I was still mad.

I called the school and gave the attendance lady a piece of my mind. According to her, they follow the regulations set by the state of California. That’s all fine and dandy, but last year when we did the same thing and I told the school we were out-of-town nothing happened.

So after I calmed down, we had 3 options.

1. Just don’t go and have 2 unexcused absences on her record.

2. Just go to the detention and do her time to get the absences excused.

3. Write a note on the back of the paper they sent home LYING that she was actually sick, even though they have a recorded message that says otherwise.

Seriously people. What example are you setting for our kids here?

The attendance lady seriously waited for no one to be in earshot of her and told me to write the lying note, and said I needed to leave “a better message” next time.

Let’s just lie and get out of trouble! Woo! Yea! Great message people!

 WTF. I have enough trouble trying to figure out when she’s lying to me, and she’s only been a teenager for 2 months!  I don’t need the school district reinforcing it!

We decided to do the right thing. Despite the fact that this whole debacle is my fault for not knowing. But now I know.

She did her 4 hours saturday morning. In her words “It was horrible.”  And she’s got another 4 hours to go this coming Saturday.  If nothing else, she will have had lots of time to work on her book report.

Oh, and its come to light that she may not be able to go on her class field trip since she was assigned 2 Saturdays of detention. Which, again is a load of crap. especially, since it wasnt for a behavioral problem.

We shall cross that bridge when we come to it, and believe me, if that is the case  i am going to take that one up with the Principal.   And if after fighting the good fight, if I lose… maybe she’ll be sick that day. Humph.

The Mystery of the Heavy Backpack

Here’s my dilemma on this chilly Monday morning…

One of the great mysteries of my life is why my dear daughters backpack always looks so incredibly heavy.  It just looks like it weighs 50 pounds, let alone watch her lift it and you realize it just might weigh that much.

Here’s the thing though- she doesn’t have huge text books to carry back and forth every day. Her school checks out a copy of each text book that she needs for her to keep at home. Each classroom has one set that they keep in the room for the students to use while they are there. Oh, and they also don’t have lockers, so she has to lug her seemingly 50 pound back pack around with her all day long.

Why is the bag so heavy then? My curiosity got the best of me this morning. So I made the mistake of looking inside before she left.

Let me first preface this with, I havent actually looked inside this abyss since I followed the smell and found a rotting moldy sandwich in her lunchbox over Christmas break. My first mistake was not looking in it since then. 

Now that I’ve said that- OMG  and WTF.

In addition to an amazingly unorganized mass of paper sticking out of her binder every which way imaginable… random crumpled up papers. PE clothes- unfolded, library books, two notebooks… an empty water bottle, a half empty (reusable) water bottle.. and the best part… are you ready for this?

1 mostly brown and mushy almost rotting apple,  plastic bag #1 containing: a smashed maybe half eaten sandwich, an almost rotting apple and an unopened pudding cup, plastic bag #2 containing: a non rotting apple, a sandwich that consisted of 2 pieces of bread and 2 slices of cheese still covered in plastic and a pudding cup. and finally plastic bag #3 containing her lunch for today.

SERIOUSLY? WTF!!?!?!?!?

When I questioned her about it this morning her answer was

“Sometimes I’m not hungry for lunch.”

So you just don’t eat all day? She very seldom comes home from school and says anything about being hungry, or wanting a snack or anything. She doesn’t say a single word about food. Ever.  She doesn’t eat until I get around to making dinner. And it’s completely normal for us to not eat until 7:00.  So, some days apparently she doesnt eat for 12 hours.

When I asked about being hungry and not eating anything after school she says “I’m not allowed to.” Really? Since when? Considering I make the rules. that’s a new one on me. I know we’ve had at least one converstation about if you are hungry- EAT. I’m never going to not let you eat.

She has this thing, prbably some form of a defense machanism,  to try to get out of being in trouble, or when she’s confronted with something she doesnt know the answer to.  She will either make something up, or remember something that I said like 6 years ago, and take it out of context to suit her needs at that moment.

Anyway- I just don’t  know what to make of this. Part of me doesn’t believe this “I’m not hungry” thing.  My gut says that something doesn’t feel right.  But on the other hand, if she was really trying to hide something, wouldnt she throw away the evidence?

I dont’ know what to think.

Any thoughts?