Monthly Archives: April 2010

>Turning a Blind Eye…Or Not.

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I’ve always been pretty laid back and liberal in my parenting. I’m sure many would feel that I’m too casual or too straightforward. I certainly have times where I realized that things have slipped from my lips that I probably should’ve held back. I try not to beat myself up too much about this stuff, and just try to focus on controlling my loud, Italian mouth.

Granted, the first time I ever saw Jack use a piece of train track as a gun (I believe he was two) I was horrified. I spent hours trying to figure out where he would’ve learned that. We didn’t really watch TV, we didn’t have video games, and if we were watching movies, they were basically art films, and certainly nothing violent. I just couldn’t understand and I was so upset. Years later I asked a friend (who’s son and Jack used to play together) if they had the same issue when their boy was little. Thankfully she said they had a similar situation and were equally confused and upset by it. I felt a lot better about the whole thing then.

Since then I’ve come to terms with the fact that Jack loves to pretend everything is a light saber and he wants to be a bounty hunter. He comes to roller derby with us, he’s seen movies like Iron Man and others that certainly have elements to them I’m sure most parents would wince at. However, I know my child and know his heart and attitude towards real violence and aggression, and I don’t worry about him watching these things. Granted, I still have limits, but they are a bit further out than a lot of parents I’ve encountered.

Ok, so now I will try to get to my point….I feel weird suddenly voicing my opinion and seeming “conservative” about something, especially when others may see otherwise. I’m referring to things at Jack’s school. Overall, I like the people I know there. They are friendly, caring, genuinely care about the kids, and are supportive. I’m fortunate enough to even know the Superintendent, and he’s a great guy. The problem is more the system, than the people working within it.

There are just things that come up that are “normal” but they really bother me. For instance, they have these buckets that they get to put little sticks in if they are good. And if they aren’t good, they have to remove sticks. At the beginning of the year, I thought this was so clever. Now, I’m not above bribing, I’ll admit to that, but what happens with kids who just grow to not care about those buckets (cough, cough, Jack, cough)? I think he just realizes it isn’t that important to get lots of sticks and to then trade those sticks for small, cheap prizes. I will also admit that if I had this system in Kindergarten, I would’ve been all over it, because I’m a chronic teacher’s pet.

Plus, he “meets” his standards but he’s also going to a different teacher for a few minutes each day for extra reading help. I was fine with that, especially since he’s been doing well with reading stuff now at home. We also hadn’t heard anything from the school to lead us to believe that he was struggling with that too, in fact we were under the impression that it was going well. Then, on this separate “report card” it said he was doing average. I truly don’t have a problem with “average” but it’s weird that we were informed he still struggles with some letters and with his sight words. What gets me is the fact that at home, he doesn’t have these problems. He does have the occasional “brain fart” (don’t we all?) but overall, he can shout them out super fast. I mean, if the “special” reading class isn’t even helping, why bother shuffling him around each day? Plus, right now the kids don’t realize why certain kids are going to different rooms during the day, but certainly they will in a few years, and then he’ll be labeled as “slow” or “stupid.”

Ugghhh…ok I’m rambling. What I’m trying to say is that I hate to be the “whiny” parent, but I don’t want to compromise what I believe in for the sake of “well that’s just the way it is.” I used to want to change the system as a teacher “on the inside” until I realized that it’s really just not possible. Not that there aren’t great teachers, but they are still great teachers within a system.

I’ll just end with the lyrics to one of my most favorite songs, “Knowledge” by Op Ivy:

I know that things are getting tougher
When you can’t get the top off from the bottom of the barrel.
Wide open road of my future now… It’s looking fucking narrow.
All I know is that I don’t know
All I know is that I don’t know nothing
We get told to decide
Just like as if I’m not gonna change my mind.
All I know is that I don’t know
All I know is that I don’t know nothing
Whatcha gonna do with yourself,
Boy better make up your mind.
Whatcha gonna do with yourself boy,
You’re running out of time.
This time I got it all figured out
All I know is that I don’t know
All I know is that I don’t know nothing
And that’s fine

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>Good to be Writing Again

>I wrote more articles for this week’s paper than I have all the previous weeks combined. The best part is that I was writing about stuff that I really enjoy. It’s really nice to finally use my college degree for something productive. The last time I had a job that I needed my degree for, was when I was teaching. That was 8 years ago.

Even better is the fact that it appears like I will get to continue this pace from here on out. Probably not so many each week, but at least one or two. I was also asked by the publisher to help out with another publication that comes out once a month in our town.

I’m so glad to be able to do this because it pushes me to do it. I can become a slacker sometimes with things that I enjoy (weird right?) so when I need to do it, I just get it done. It keeps me in good practice and gives me hope that one day I’ll actually finish my book. In due time!

>Lots and lots of shoveling

>Today the farmer that we get our raw milk from delivered 2 cubic yards of compost. Chris and I spent 2 hours shoveling it over to where our garden will be. I’m pretty sure I’ve never done that much shoveling in my life.

It was worth it though. The area looks amazing. Now we just need to put some sulphur down and Chris is going to get a rototiller from MWR and mix it all up. Our little seedlings are growing like crazy, I sense they are just itching to get into the soil.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we don’t get too much rain this summer like last summer. I’m going to jump for joy when I can actually eat all of this stuff.

>still here

>I’m still here, been over a week since i’ve posted…i know. busy busy. good busy, but busy. well, maybe this weekend.

Idle hands are the devil’s playthings right? that’s what they say. guess I have some pretty busy and holy hands right? hmmmmm yep.

I’ll keep you posted, in due time.

>Vacation Detox

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Our vacation was awesome but we were eating like we were going to start hibernating. It was intense. I simply had to hit up all the necessary places while there, plus we went to a few good ones that I’d never been to.

The past 3 days we’ve been eating about 80% raw fruit and veg. Today I went to the gym. I weighed myself in the locker room. They have one of those old doctor scales and I just kept scooting that little weight further and further to the right! Not good at all.

I’m going to stick to the fruit and veg as much as possible going forward. It kills me at work where I’m surrounded by bagels and cream cheese because I just love them so much. Plus with derby, gardening, walking the dog, biking to work, hiking and canoeing…I’m pretty sure I’ll be burning some calories. I don’t even need to be svelte, I just need to not be mistaken for 3 months pregnant.

Really though, I knew this was coming. Winter was just full of too many home-baked goods and lavish brunches to not leave its sinister markings on my body.

>I GOT IT!!!

>I made the team! Thanks for all of the support.

I won’t start practicing until the first week of May. I’m extremely excited. I ordered all of my gear (not cheap btw!) and I’m really hoping it gets here by the weekend. Chris will be gone both days and I want to skate around and practice.

>God I Hope I Get It!

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Last night I went to recruitment…for roller derby. Let me just say, I’ve wanted to do this for years, but haven’t have been able to until now. Before I wanted to join the Jet City Rollergirls in Everett, WA but I was super busy at work, Chris was deployed and it was a lot of money that we really didn’t need to be spending on stuff like this.

Now, things a little less hectic and I can afford the gear and I’m ready for the challenge. I go the day after we get back from vacation to officially try out. I basically need to be able to skate in a mediocre way, which I am pretty sure I can pull off.

I feel confident that I can do this. I’m not even worried about getting hurt. I know it’ll happen, but I’ve made my peace with it. If I could hold my own in punk rock pits while in high school, I can certainly take a beating now without being a wuss.

This will also force me to exercise. This is a very good thing. I can waste waaaaay too much time online, which does nothing for my physically.

The funny thing is, I’ve always hated sports. I was always picked next to last in gym (the only other kids who were picked after me were the top level freaks, whereas I was a much lower level freak). I’ve never wanted anything to do with sports, although I am very competitive. The thing I love about derby is that it doesn’t seem like a sport to me, in the sense that it seems more like fun and an excuse to be crazy rather than something you are trying to get a trophy for. Plus, the girls look like real girls, not super trim athletes.

Well, fingers crossed. I guess I’ll know in a little over a week if I can do this.