Sunday, May 7, 2017

News and Updates

1. The first week of May is always a madhouse around here.  The semester is coming to an end, various projects and tasks are ramping up, and people always think it is a good time to schedule events because it’s far enough from the end of the school year(s) that they think folks can still focus but deep enough into those same school years that people have had time to prepare.  And then they are surprised when these events all pile up.  It’s a pattern, folks!

2. I took my daughter to work a couple Fridays ago.  Actually I took her whole class.  At the last parent/teacher night down at Mighty Clever Guy Middle School a couple months ago I got to talking with Lauren’s history teacher, and the upshot of it was that her whole TAG class came to Home Campus and sat in on my US2 course.  All my regular students are two hundred miles away and connecting in by compressed video, which means I have plenty of seating.  And it was nice to let Lauren's class see how a college class was similar or different from what they are used to.  We gave them a tour of the campus, and my colleagues spoke to them on things like advising and financial aid (i.e. you can do this, and we can help).  I also had a couple of students talk to them about college from their perspective.  It seemed to go well.  And by the time Lauren showed up she had relaxed a bit on the “do not let them know you’re my dad” thing – I’m guessing that cat got let out of the bag pretty early, to be honest.  One of the weirder things about the whole process was having to sign a permission slip so my daughter could go on a field trip to see … me.

3. Tabitha was inducted today into the French Honor Society, which has an actual name in French that I will not even begin to attempt here because medieval French scribes were paid by the letter and to type this out in French would use up all the pixels on the internet.  But it was a nice ceremony down at Local Businessman High School.  They had any number of awards, medals, pins, and flowers, and it was a lovely thing.  Congratulations, Tabitha!

4. Yesterday was the 4H Drama Festival, and when I have all my pictures sorted out I will dedicate an entire post to it.  I’m always proud of the kids and the job they do, but I’m always glad when it’s over.

5. Kim and I went to an event in honor of the political activism of a couple of friends of ours tonight.  It was packed, as you would expect when people have been active for half a century and are also very nice people to begin with.  It was a good time, though union halls are not known for their acoustics and I can never hear anyone talk at those things.  The main speaker was a lot of fun.  Some people can just work a crowd.

6. It’s been warm enough that we have been letting the turkeys out into their run in the morning.  They love, love, love being outside.  You open up the little door on the side of the barn and they come boiling out, making those inquisitive little squawks that they make.  At night when you come back they’re all just sitting there enjoying the breeze.  It’s always kind of a shame to shoo them back in.

7. Lauren’s track meets are a lot of fun to go to.  She does well in her events, and I enjoy all the running and jumping.  Those meets are always an exercise in barely controlled chaos, which is good preparation for life I suppose.

8. When it comes to the lawn, I am That Neighbor.  I don’t care about the lawn.  I categorize dandelions as spring flowers and look forward to Creeping Charlie since it’s low ground cover and has nice purple flowers.  I think the grass looks good long.  But this is all rather a minority view in modern America, so today I dragged out the lawn mower and set it to work for the first time all year.  It will only have to be done again, you know.

9. It is not fun to be far away from people who need you to be not far away.  It is good that there are people who can be there.

10.  It's AP time, folks!  And you know what that means!  Yes, you can actually hear the buzzing of the stressed out high school students in your area!  Isn't that grand?  Tabitha has completed one of her three exams, and the other two happen this week.  The nice thing about exams, though, is that they start and then … they end.  They’re not like papers, which can always be revised.  It’s good to have definitive end points.  Win, lose, or draw, you’re done.

11. We knew this past week would be something of a lost cause, between 4H Drama rehearsals, track meets, Tabitha’s tech week for the LBHS play, and everything else that had to be done (Kim spent all weekend at Home Campus running chemistry labs for students, for example, and that isn’t something you can just wing at the time, which is why my high school chemistry grade was what it was), so last Sunday I whomped up a giant batch of chili and another of gravy (spaghetti sauce to you midwesterners).  These are good, but I’m looking forward to eating something else now.

12.  EDIT: You know it's been a long week when an entire concert gets lost in the shuffle.  But Tabitha had her Local Youth Orchestra concert on Thursday, and they were lovely to hear.  They performed half a dozen interesting pieces - and when you get most of the woodwinds to play percussion, interesting things do happen - and we all left happy.  

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