Is It Groundhog Day?

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No one I know likes to do the same thing twice. How does that saying go, something about insanity is equivalent to repeating the same thing over and over and getting the same resul? I am insane. I have to be because I spend most of my days repeating what was already done.

Chase has a water rocket project due tomorrow. The instructions said the kids would have an opportunity each week to test their rockets. His has been done for over two weeks but guess what? The kids weren’t given the opportunity to finally test until today which I remind you is the day before it is due. So, his rocket flew like a superhero but didn’t survive the crash of a landing. So, rocket #2 was completed a few minutes ago but we have no idea how it will fly. Keep your fingers crossed because the bulk of his grade depends on how long it stays in the air and its ability to relaunch. 6 more days of school and Groundhog Day will soon be over. How do you feel about having to do the same thing twice? Is this a pattern in your life as well?

Gravity 

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What goes down, down, down must come up, up, up. 

Everything I needed to learn, I was taught in grade school. At least that’s what I thought back then. What goes up, must come down. We tested this theory by throwing a paper ball in the air. The result was the same every single time. It’s what they didn’t teach in any level of schooling that is most disappointing. Everything seemed so simple then. All these theories and laws convinced me to believe that everything made sense. If you thought about something long enough, it would be possible to figure it out. We learned about the Laws of Motion. What we didn’t learn was how to survive the unbalanced force that would cripple us because we had the misfortune of being pummeled as it crossed our path. Sometimes there is no force strong enough to get us moving again. Sometimes we become so stunned and injured that we are stuck in that place, stuck in our tracks. They say for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. I’ve got to believe what goes down, down, down must eventually come back up. I just wish there was a formula to tell us when.

What Goes Through Your Head at Midnight?

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I was up last night thinking ridiculous thoughts. This constant pressure of work, work and more work sits on top of me sometimes and weighs me down. I missed valuable hours of sleep picturing a giraffe with bunny ears. Maybe an elephant with a giraffe neck would be easier to make. Don’t worry, I haven’t lost my mind. We just got the instructions for another time consuming, useless school project. I won’t bore you explaining the details. I will let you see them for yourself. As if we don’t struggle with the work we already have to do. As if we don’t already sit at the table from four to nine every night to keep up with homework and studying.  Now this? At what point could they have decided the project was enough? Couldn’t we have done only one animal and proved the student understands the concept? Is it necessary to make a model a certain size and out of recycled materials? Let me know what you think. 

   
   

I’ll Fix Your Ass

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Be a nice person. I have been dealing with some who are not nice people lately. I noticed that sometimes when you ask someone to do something they don’t want to do, there is pushback. It’s like okay I Will give you what you want but you’re going to pay for it. It makes me sad.

There’s a weekly vocabulary test in science class. The kids are to look up definitions and be tested every Friday. Chase got a 70 on last weeks test. Not because he didn’t have word for word definitions from the dictionary, but because those particular definitions did not meet the teachers standards. The kid looked up the words, made note cards and studied, never having a chance to do well at all. How you could mark an answer wrong that comes directly from the dictionary is beyond me.

So, I sent an email asking the teacher to supply accurate definitions so he does not put in all that effort for nothing. School is hard enough. I reminded him Chases 504 reads: Chase will be provided Accurate notes BY THE TEACHER so he can complete assignments(including tests). That was last night and he never responded.

Today, I looked on the website and he changed the directions stating at the bottom, if students wanted to email definitions for ACCURACY before the test, he would take a look at them. We emailed him at 4:30 a list of definitions and he said he would look at them after school tomorrow and send me a separate email with definitions. I thought he meant tonight but since it is 8:45, he won’t have an opportunity to study tonight.That now leaves him with 2 days to study which is never enough for a kid with ADD. Now he has to look up definitions, email them to a teacher, wait until the teacher feels like responding, change the answers that were wrong, make notecards and finally study. He fixed me didn’t he?

Why?

Why Didn’t We Learn Energy This Way In Science?

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Have you ever been around someone who makes you feel wonderful? Is there a particular blog that you are drawn to because of the way the words make you feel? 

The energy you give off, the energy you send out will ultimately attract others or veer them away.

I feel energy so passionately that sometimes it’s difficult for me to be around certain people. I can actually start to feel happy, aggravated, anxious just by walking into a room. I remember when I first started putting two and two together. There were very specific people who could draw out something in me that was uncharacteristic of who I was. Bad energy, rage, anger, negativity would grab hold of me and it took some time to learn how to get away. I would completely change around a select few and I couldn’t understand what was happening to me.

I look at energy different now. It doesn’t determine if I will like or dislike someone, but it does help me understand someone in a different and deeper way. When I get a glimpse into someone’s heart, when I feel their pain or rage or sadness, it breaks my own heart. We carry so much. How is it that nobody knows? Sometimes it drains me to the point that I have to stay away from people altogether until I can find a way to shake it off and recharge.

What kind of energy do you give off? Do you even know? Still a skeptic? This is what Wikipedia has to say about it.

In the physical sciences, an energy transfer or ‘energy exchange’ from one system to another is said to occur when an amount of energy crosses the boundary between them, thus increasing the energy content of one system while decreasing the energy content of the other system by the same amount.

Believe me now?

The most dangerous untruths are truths moderately distorted. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

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Innocent until proven guilty. Not in school.

I received a surprising email from a teacher that Chase had made a mess under his chair in class and was called back to the room to clean it up. 

Everything is not always as it appears to be. Maybe in science it may work, but when it comes to real life, you need to use common sense and read between the lines.

Chases story. He was sitting at a square table with four other kids and was taking a test. One boy pulled out toothpicks and started throwing them across the table. Another boy threw them back. Chase became distracted while watching them do it and was redirected out loud by the teacher to focus on his test. This is how the email read. 

Today during testing Chase struggled in keeping to himself during our Science Test. I provided multiple reminders that he should focus on the test and not interact with others at his table. At one point during the test I witnessed Chase with a half-dozen or so colored tooth picks in his mouth. After class was over I discovered multiple colors toothpicks broken and un-broken under his chair and around his chair…

Chase did pick up a few toothpicks and put them in his mouth. Imagine a kid with ADD picking up something that was sitting on a table in front of him. Hard to believe, don’t you think(Small hint of sarcasm there). He watched the whole thing unfold and looked at his teacher to see if he noticed what was going on. So what exactly did the words struggles to keep to himself. How would you interpret that? He brushed toothpicks out of his way as he tried to finish his test in the midst of distraction. At the end of class the teacher said to to him in front of the class, “Chase, I am sending your parents an email to tell them about the mess you made.” The teacher claims he told him privately. Privately would have been after class, not saying it quietly from behind his desk while Chase was at his own desk. 

This is what came next. 

Another student was responsible for a portion of this mess. I had both students re-called from their class to return and pick up the mess left on the ground. Chase claimed he was not responsible for any of the mess but that contradicts my observations and student reports at his table.

The real truth. He asked one kid, the kid who happened to bring the toothpicks into class so who created the mess. He of course blamed Chase probably because the way the teacher feels about Chase is pretty clear from the tone of the email. Kids pick up on that and it’s unfortunate. So who better to blame? 

Chases name was called over the school loud speaker to report back to the class where he was told he was responsible for the mess and he was to clean it up. Why wouldn’t he just keep him after class to take care of it then? Was it necessary for him to be called back in front of the whole school? He was NEVER asked to give  his side of the story but offered it in his own defense while he cleaned the toothpicks off the floor. There was no other kid there helping clean up the mess. Why did the email say another kid helped? So based on my observation of the situation, I would say the email wasn’t exactly accurate.

A half truth is a whole lie. ~Yiddish Proverb

Lucky for me I had a conference with that teacher that night. This was our conversation.

“Did you see my son throw a toothpick?”

“I never insinuated he threw a toothpick. He broke up toothpicks and dropped them underneath his chair” (Because he’s really stupid enough to incriminate himself like that. Makes perfect sense)

Me, pointing my finger at his face and pretty pissed off by now. “Did you see my son break and drop a toothpick on the ground? ”

“I saw a several colored toothpicks in his mouth.”

“Imagine that. How surprising a kid with ADD would pick up a toothpick on a table in front of him and put it in his mouth. (Louder now and saying one word slowly and clearly showing my disgust? “Did you it did you not see Chase break up toothpicks and drop them underneath his chair?

“No, but other kids at the table observed him doing it.”

When I asked why he didn’t approach the the table while it was happening and didn’t seem to be concerned with WHO brought the toothpicks into class, he told me he didn’t want to disturb the rest of the class. The ONLY kid who said Chase did it was obviously the kid who brought them in the first place and he was the ONLY kid who was asked privately after class about the incident. Chase confirmed with the other kids at the table and they stated they were never asked. I then offered to have a meeting with the entire table to get to the bottom of this which he told me would be illegal. I asked, so it would be illegal to walk up to a table during an incident and question all the kids present about what had taken place? Isn’t that how you find the real truth or had you already decided you knew what transpired? His answer was still, I didn’t want to disturb the class.

The truth is he could have kept them all after class but he had made up his mind that Chase was guilty. And the kid that brought the toothpicks, he didn’t pick up a single one.

This is an example of why I try to bring into awareness the unacceptable things that are happening in our schools. Somehow, we usually end up on the receiving end and it doesn’t feel very good. Guess what Mr. Teacher, not complying with a 504 is against the law too but clearly behavior is important and education is not. I can’t help that I have a class of 30 kids, he says to which I respond, I can’t help that I have a kid with ADD.

It’s bad enough I have to be an advocate for his education, now I have to be one for his reputation and self esteem.

Like a Rock

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I’m starting to see the beauty and logic behind the infamous rock cycle. We can learn a great deal from those rocks and if we are lucky enough, learn to weather exactly the way they do. Life can sometimes be a process of breaking down and being stripped of our perception of who we are. Erosion comes in many forms. So many things can carry us away to a place that seems so far from where we want to be. Eventually we settle down. Our mind relaxes and through the timely process and stormy conditions, we begin again.When there is only the slightest remnant left of who we used to be, when we think our existence has shrunk to a level that doesn’t matter, the world conspires to make us a stronger, more confident version of who we used to be. There is no sense fighting what we cannot change. It is exhausting spending endless amounts of energy swimming upstream. So when we finally sit back and observe what is happening, that is when the transformation really takes place. That is when that voice that has been whispering “I can’t do this anymore” gets drown out by the voice that says, “yes you can, try again.” And that’s exactly what you decide to do. You go on and wait patiently as the cycle goes round and round. I believe we are given exactly what we need at the moment we need it most. We can find amazing strength inside that we never knew existed before. Time breaks us down and we rebuild and move on. We are constantly changing into who we need to be, secretly preparing for whatever comes next. Be like a rock-solid and strong yet forever changing. 

What I Learned From 6th Grade Science

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Good grief! Yes, on Monday mornings, I am usually quoting Charlie Brown but this particular Monday I feel like I have the zip back in my step. Maybe it has something to do with the house being quiet and the kids going back to school after 10 days at home or maybe, just maybe I am getting back to feeling more like myself. What is it that makes the difference in our attitude being good or bad? What influences whether we smile at the world or give it our best hateful look?

I guess what gets me through is reminding myself that the pendulum swings both ways. What gets down, must come up and in between we have to ride the ride. I was helping my son study for his Electricity test a few weeks back and for the first time ever, something really clicked. I never really looked at science to explain how the world and I react to one another. I’ve read the book The Secret but again, I never made the connection until now.

I was reading about how just about everything(including ourselves) has a neutral charge. Yes, we carry positive and negative energy but as long as they are in balance, we are calm and neutral. Then I laughed out loud when I read if the balance gets off and we collect more negative ions than positive, we can walk around the room and shock everyone we touch with our negative electrical charge. Hmmmmm……I have shocked so many lately I’ve actually lost count. So, yes, it all makes sense and our job is to make sure we don’t build up one way or another. I do believe an abundance of positive charge would do the world some good, but making sure we don’t swing too far on the negative side is not only good for ourselves but for the world too.

So, people, please stay balanced. One negative person can shock many people in a short amount of time, but it takes many positive people to have the same effect. Why you ask? I have no idea but we all know it to be true. So, pay attention to the energy you carry and see what effect it has on the world around you.