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Thursday, April 27, 2006

I Missed Half a Day

I decided to rest my eyes for a little while this afternoon and woke up six hours later, just in time for Law and Order (rerun).

That means I saw the girls for a few minutes in the morning and a short time in the afternoon. Ray was feeling okay today, their mom was around, so everything was covered. Still, I didn't intend to do that.

This is just me checking in to let you know all is okay her.

I received several comments about the $25 for the field trip (class party is closer to the definition). We seem to be unanimous. I don't know if there's a solution as it seems to be widespread. I'm already dreading proms (for 3) to come.

Many of you wrote about the cost of school supplies. Our elementary schools here provide supplies but I send the girls well equipped as well. We occasionally receive an SOS from a teacher who is paying for additional supplies out of pocket and I always help. It's usually pencils and tissues. I've been guilty of forgetting the tissues in the backpacks so I look for a sale and send a few boxes.

I've read where some schools are brand specific on supplies. Nuts. They may want Dixon pencils and Elmer's paste but they'll have to settle for what I can afford or buy it themselves.

When I was in school, we had a high school band (no, we never made it to the Rose Bowl but we were adequate for the local football games and rallies). The school had a supply of musical instruments for loan. I didn't get the trumpet I wanted (it wasn't feminine enough but that's a rant for another time). I got to choose between the French horn and the bassoon because they're both difficult and I could read music. The French horn was easier to carry back and forth from home. I've never done much with it but I wasn't any worse than the worst of them.

I digress again. These days, families have to purchase the instruments. Rather like buying a pig in a poke with not knowing how much interest their child will have once the novelty wears off. Fortunately we can rent and turn the instrument in without it gathering dust or being sold at a yard sale. Good thing - Elcie's interest in the clarinet didn't last long. The other two are learning a little piano and note reading from me and the bell choir director. They sing at school but there's no organized choir. I think the High Schools do a little better but the parents incur a lot of expense.

Music and art have all but disappeared from many schools and it makes me sad. I'm no artist but I appreciate it and teach the girls what I can here. I am a musician of sorts and I know how closely music and math are tied in. I don't know if it's a problem of time, money, or lack of teachers but it needs to come back.

This started out as a short note just to say don't worry - we're fine. I should know better.

Good night

P. S. Almost forgot the sports wrapup - Giants bit the dust again. Lots of hitting - no pitching. BB hit two home runs to no avail. No game tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Drew will be starting Kindergarten in the fall. When I turned in his registration papers, I got the 'classroom supply list'--things I need to purchase for him or for his classroom by the time school starts. It's a single column, but it's more than a page long! Good thing I have lots of hand-me-down clothes for next fall, because all my $$ will be for school supplies.

I bet you feel better after your nap. Sometimes your body just makes choices for you.

Beth said...

I'm glad you got a break, some sleep. I'm sure you needed it.

I missed class on Tuesday. Got busy reading and completely forgot to go.

"But isn't she the teacher?"

Yep. I'm the prof and I forgot to go to class. Think the students will forgive me?

Alice said...

At least while you sleep you have the chance of dreaming about something nice, eh? And leaving everything, worries and all, behind for just a while.

I ranted about school trip charging and health costs on your other post (read at your own peril :-P), and got most of my steam out there.

To start with in Middle School we could 'hire' at no charge instruments (although every now and again there would be "highly encouraged" - translation: exceptionally highly pressured - raffles and so forth to pay for their upkeep) which enabled parents who couldn't afford to buy instruments AND pay for lessons let their child(ren) have an opportunity to learn, but by the time I left this practice was gone and you had to pay to borrow them, which over time would mean you were paying more than if you just brought one. You could borrow instruments in High School briefly (VERY briefly) on occasion, but they weren't of a good standard and most were broken (I mentioned in my rant about education that most of our funding HAD to be spent on sports or be revoked) so they weren't much use.

As I keep saying, I am extremely lucky, and was even luckier then, my mum, with scrimping and saving and juggling and budgeting could afford to pay for me to learn an instrument and go on at least SOME of the school trips.

There are hundreds if not thousands of children that weren't and aren't so lucky, even the ones with loving, caring parents that would like nothing better than to give their child the things they simply cannot afford.

Art IS important. Music, literature, sculpture, painting...They are all special and important in differing ways, and the fact that so many people are denied (for whatever reason) being able to properly experience them breaks my heart.

I'll stop now (really. Honest. I said I was stopping last time, but now I really will stop clogging up your comments section) and simply say that I'm glad you're one of the people that cares about both your girls and other children in the world.

But at the same time I'm saddened and sorry, that as such you have to battle so hard.

Why must EVERYTHING be a battle?

Sheri said...

Just stopping by to say hi and I hope all is okay-reading some of your posts, it seems like a lot has been happening lately!

Ava said...

Hi there! Glad that you got some rest!! I'm sure it was a shock, however, to wake up ans realize how much time had passed! That's happened to me before.

I agree that music and the arts are so important. Budget cuts are trimming our music programs. There's just not enough money to go around.

When I was in school, the school provided our instruments all the way through graduation. I learned to play the cello in the 5th grade and played through 12th grade. I got a cello for a graduatiion present. That was the first time I had owned one.

There was a time when only the rich were able to afford to learn music and art. I hope that we are not headed there again. Music and art is for everyone and everyone loses when it is lost.


Ava said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gina said...

Sounds like your body was trying to tell you something!

My sister being a teacher, was just telling me the other day how she has to buy her own tissue for her classroom. I had had no idea.

Granny said...

Just so you know, the comment I deleted was the comment box equivalent of a "wrong number" One of our friends had sent her comment to the wrong person. We've fixed it.

Gawdessness said...

that happens to me sometimes!
I think it is our bodies way of saying "Whoa there!".

Hope you feel energised and relaxed.

Jo said...

Oh heavens there are few things as delicious as a good nap! Good on ya granny, and don't feel guilty, you deserved that.

Ava said...

I'm ready for a nap myself!!

Instead ... house cleaning.


pissed off patricia said...

Looks like my own school days were really the good old days after all. My niece is a teacher and she must buy much of what her class needs.

oshee said...

Hi Granny!
I have read your comments on a couple of the blogs I read and I decided it was about time I visited you.
I get those notes from my kid's teachers too. I always send what I can. With the end of the school year approaching (just four weeks to go here), I would bet the teachers are all running low again. I think I might just have to send some pencils in or something. Thanks for the reminder.
Anyway, I've enjoyed reading your past posts. I have the sense you would be a ton of fun to meet up for lunch on occassion. We could debate baseball, with your Giants and my Diamondbacks about to square off it would be a ton of fun!
I look forward to visiting you again soon.

Lavender Dawn said...

Luckily the last couple of schools my kids went to had backpacks donated to them full of school supplies for every grade. And when tessa started mid year we had no extra money and the teacher said it was fine, she had supplies for her. Thank goodness.

Austin just started music (they are finally letting him go for 4 hours a day now- because he asked to) and they are just learning the recorder. They were 2 bucks, but we already have some I bought when they were homeschooling. So at least he will get some music experience. When I was in elem, they started teaching it to 2nd graders when I was in 3rd. They didn't teach any older students so i never learned to read music. And I was even in choir later on!

Anyway, don't get me started on the public school system. That is one soapbox i could go on and on about.

Sarah Elaine said...

Hi Granny,

I'm just reading a book now on the marketization of education... and all its evils!

Glad to hear you got a nap in... and woke up in time to see Law and Order, too. Sweet!

Ava said...

I'm a Law and Order watcher too!!


Janice said...

Hi Ann,

I'm glad all is well with you and your family. And the nap is probably just what you need, as you have been under a lot of stress with Ray in and out of the hospital so much.

I agree things so too expensive at the school, and the teachers are doing the best they can. Some we have here at my daughters school have bought their students supplies our of pocket. I have helped out as much as I can everytime I was asked, and I even valinteered to help in the class room, or running copies, or grading papers.

I am glad when the kids get a field trip, because not only are they educational but it breaks up the memotany of being in the class room. But now there are fund raisers, or the parents have to foot the bill because the money just isn't there anymore for the field trips.


Missy said...

As someone who benefited profoundly from my early music education (I'm extraordinarily whole-brained, I think), I think it's a shame that music and arts are being weeded out. That, and physical education. Kids need to run around and play some music just as much as they need to learn the big guns like math and reading.

Sothis said...

Amazing. When I was a kid, we just went to school with a pencil, an eraser, and a notebook. My high school even had a computer lab open after school, nights and weekends (so if your teacher said a report had to be typed, you had no excuse--that was in the'80s!). How things have changed.

Here in Belgium, you just send your kid to school with lunch (if you can't afford to bring your own, a hot one is provided). Books have to be purchased, but folks under a certain income are exempt. Even university is virtually free (and even then the minimal fees for tuition, room, and board are waived if your family is low income!) If you have the brains, you can study anything here (all the way through your doctorate). Educatation and health care are the reasons we moved here. The U.S. was getting too scary.

JBlue said...

I think we can rent instruments here.

I played trumpet in high school, too.

I think it's a shame to lose music and art education, too. Our school may cut back to state minimums next year (budget). I hope they find another way. Didn't we all learn from Mr. Holland's Opus that music (or art) might be the one thing that saves a child from falling through the cracks? Not to mention that these programs are essential to brain development.