Saturday, February 14, 2015

random ramblings

The imp had his first spelling test, last week.  He got every word right, including the extra "surprise" word at the end.  We are very, very pleased. Unfortunately, they somehow managed to run out of time, this week--it's not surprising, since they had Friday off for a teacher development day.  They'll have Monday off, too, as that is President's Day.

He finally got a purple day* and got his toys back.  Including the blocks that had been in the pixie's room.  We had to find a set of blocks for the pixie--a small set of small, painted shape blocks, something that won't get mixed up in the imp's blocks.  Unfortunately, the blocks are so small and light that they won't build up on carpet.  I managed to adapt something for her (a 1" x 12" x 14" rectangular board), but she got awfully frustrated, at first.

We met up with some friends, last night.  My six year old son is almost as tall as her nine year old son.  They were a bit shocked.  My daughter is almost a foot taller than their son, who's only about a year and a couple months younger than she is.  Hell, to be honest, was a bit shocked.  I didn't realize my kids were that tall.

Anyhow, they're homeschooling, and she complained about her youngest daughter's handwriting.  I offered the loan of the fountain pen I fixed yesterday--kids, especially, are forced to slow down and think about what they're doing until they're used to it, and even then, are often so pleased with having something special to write with that they take more care.  My kids desperately want a fountain pen each, for example.  I've promised that I'll get each of them their own pen once they learn to write with one.  And I sent my friend the link, because the fountain pen I found is designed for kids: the grip part is molded, and there's a smiley face engraved in the nib to teach them how to hold and use a fountain pen.

My kids had their Valentines Day party at school, last Wednesday.  The pixie brought home a paper heart that she'd glued decorative puff balls to...badly, since all of the balls came off.  The cats...the cats just love those things, and have been routinely stealing them to play with in the kitchen where they slide and roll around on the linoleum.  I'm not sure what about them has attracted the cats' attention so firmly, but both cats have been acting like kittens with them.  Which makes me wonder if I shouldn't get the cats some new toys.

I picked up paper 2 yesterday, and one of my students told me they had a friend in a different Comp II class that hadn't even written one paper, yet.  They also told me that they'd picked my class for convenience (my class is in the library, in the middle of campus, rather than way off away from everybody but the business majors), but were incredibly glad they did because of how much they were learning, and because of the laid back environment, and the way I let them choose the topics.  (I rarely have two papers over the same topic, and almost never from the same point of view--which makes things a damn sight more interesting as I grade papers.)  Pretty much everyone in the classroom agreed with that student.  And they're planning to have a lot  of fun with the evaluation essay--they can review a movie** or a book** or a video game** or music, or anything else they can think of.

Writing hasn't totally stalled, but I've had less time than I'd prefer--I'm still trying to catch up with the housework that I couldn't do for almost six full weeks.  I've gotten caught up with taking care of the cats, but I've still got laundry (and clean clothes to put away), the kitchen (although I've banned the use of real dishes until further notice), and the living room to deal with.  Not to mention the master bedroom.

And I'm still waiting on cover art...

*The imp's class has a behavior chart, graded by colors.  Pink is spectacular, purple is excellent, blue is good, green is "ready to learn" and is the minimum acceptable, and yellow, orange, and red are bad behavior.

**For the movie review, they have to watch something they haven't seen; however, since books and video games take a lot more time to get through, I don't require fresh eyes on that.  I don't want to hamper them with getting stuff done for other classes in doing homework for mine.


  1. Breyn, North Wales, UKFebruary 15, 2015 at 7:23 AM

    "Pink is spectacular, purple is excellent, blue is good, green is "ready to learn" and is the minimum acceptable, and yellow, orange, and red are bad behavior."

    Of some interest to me, as my wife & I had a short battle re. the colour coding with the primarily female staff and Board of Governors at my sons state-run primary school.
    Bearing in mind our location (North Wales, UK), a traditional experimental area for socialist educational theories, the colour coding was blatantly designed to hamper the boys.

    Red, orange, yellow = v.bad to bad
    Purple, Blue, Green, = acceptable to good
    Four "girly"pastels ending with Barbie pink = very good to outstanding.

    Anyone else see a pattern here.....?

    It took a while to get the evidence together, but it was eventually clear that the boys as a group were deliberately aiming for the mid-range colours, simply to avoid being tagged as "girly".
    I should add that while our educational "system" may be broken by socialism & PC, North Wales culture at home is quite encouraging of achievement based on individual merit, with no reference to gender.

    Because we had the evidence, the feminist brigade had to back down and re-code the pastels with bronze, silver & gold stars.

    Such a petty thing in many respects, but it did open my eyes regarding how devious the PC brigade are, and how biased their idea of equality is.

    1. Pink is really the only girly color. They basically do the rainbow backwards, and they needed something beyond purple to count for excellent, and most of the staff are women. The little private school the kids go to is very much NOT anti-boy--and my son is better behaved and more polite than most of the other students. He's just not seeing the point, yet, of trying to keep track of his things (pencils, scissors, crayons, homework, etc.).

  2. Bryn, North Wales, UKFebruary 15, 2015 at 8:25 AM

    Not quite sure how I managed that one, that signature should read "Bryn, North Wales, UK"..

  3. Glad things are getting better, and you're getting back on track!

    1. Thank you, my friend, and we're very thankful that things are starting to fall back into place.


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