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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Seven minutes to the next shift 6:55 pdt

The Yahoo fake is still sending email and my Yahoo is still working fine in spite of my "suspended account".

Does anyone have an idea for a gender neutral singular pronoun? The English language is missing one. "It" sounds very odd, "he/she" is silly, and "you" sounds like I'm singling someone out. "One" sort of works but it sounds too much like tea at the Ritz.

Yesterday, in the midst of the Yahoo panic, Rebecca came home missing her reading log and Rochelle lost her spelling words. Elcie couldn't find her glasses. I think they're buried in her desk at school. Probably both pairs. First time ever for Rochelle, she's obsessive about getting everything right. Too obsessive, she cries sometimes when everything isn't perfect. Rebecca could use a little more of that and Rochelle could use a little less. I finally remembered I had stashed Rebecca's reading log because she was forging my name. Now I can't find it. More about reading logs in a minute - have to bounce kids out of bed.

Kids out the door. Laundry whirling and I'm goofing around until my friend comes back for our morning coffee. Rebecca is unhappy because I wouldn't let her redo her log. She will miss recess today. That happens a lot. Bad as my handwriting is, it's better than her forgery. She has to learn that actions have consequences and I won't cover for her with something like this. I will, however, be at the school in a heartbeat when she's right and the school is wrong. I need to schedule a conference with her teacher but I think I'll wait until report cards come out. I hate reading logs; they're easy to fake, so why bother. Kids should be free to read once they're at home without it turning into one more piece of homework. Elcie's teacher agrees; I initial date and duration but we don't have to keep up with page numbers or even titles. Rebecca needs to learn that cheating is wrong and that she has to obey the rules until she's old enough to work for change. I can already envision her in Union Square with a picket sign. She has written her campaign speech for class President (just a writing exercise). No homework, more recess, you get the idea. She tags along to some of my political action meetings and takes in every word. She's been a pint-size version of me from her very first word. Oh dear.

Rochelle found her "words", finished her homework, and left for school a happy child again. She has a slight learning disability (probably mild dyslexia) and has been in "special day" classes since second grade. Now she's in 5th, still not quite caught up but getting there. For her, special day was a miracle. I watched her go from beginning to shut down to blossoming. Let's hear it for good teachers and compassionate administrators. They're out there.

Today I get to push cooking off on the church ladies. The girls go to a once a week after school program which includes dinner and then bell choir. They usually take a couple of neighbor kids along so I never know how many I'm going to be trucking. The van holds seven legally. I have to remember to send canned food for our food distribution program. It's fairly new - we used to coordinate with one of the community agencies (which folded) so we're trying it on our own along with a clothes closet.

I must learn the art of a closing sentence. I guess this is it.


L. said...

My kids also have reading logs, which for us are a particular challenge because they`re boh way behind grade level in English, which is by far their weaker langauge. Filling them out is depressing -- I hope the teachers understand it really does take them 20 minutes to read half a page sometimes. Their spoken English is native, so I think the teachers are less forgiving that they`re so behind in reading and writing, than they would be of a kid behind in everything. My daughter`s reading tutor did a double take when she met me -- she assumed the mother of a little Japanese girl struggling with English was going to be Japanese.

It`s been only a month, and battle lines are drawn in our house, and Mama, the English Language Nazi, is definitely the enemy -- they thwart me in every way, and refuse to believe that I`m really on their side.
Yesterday was progress report day: C`s, D`s, incompletes, and "please schedule conference." Yikes.....

See, this is why I don`t have a blog -- the details of my life now are just so depressing. I know it will get better, but we still have a long road ahead.

Jenorama said...

L.-- how can you read my lamentations about Tommy and still think that your details are depressing? He gets low grades and he didn't even get to go to Japan to show for it :)

Ann, how did you come to be raising these great granddaughters anyway? Inquiring minds want to know...

Granny said...

With L. in our little party, we can exchange notes.

I have a little time between laundry loads. I'll try to explain about the girls then. It's all too common a story, I'm afraid.

Is it just me or do those verification code words all seem to spell obscenities in some strange language?

beth hoyt said...

So glad to see you got your own blog! I hope this doesn't mean you'll be commenting less on Blogging Baby though--you always add such thoughtful remarks or advice to the discussion.

I'll be reading!

L. said...

Jen, at least Tommy has an officially recognized problem -- my kids` problem is spelled E-V-I-L-W-O-R-K-I-N-G-M-O-T-H-E-R, who let them get stronger in their dominant language while we were living abroad.
Instead of coming home and tutoring them at the end of the day, I would say, hell, let`s go out for ice cream instead of fighting to get you kids to finish your worksheets!
Good thing I`m not homeschooling. I would be a walking argument against it -- fodder for the anti-homeschooling movement, an example of good intentions gone dramatically awry....

Anonymous said...

Ann, you`re right -- I think the verification code just made me type a Polish slang word for "vagina."

Emmelinie said...

i'm from Ireland and here we say " Your one" as in "Y'know your one up the road in number 7??" as a gender nonspecific and it usually works well as we always seem to know who "your one " is especially the dubliners!