Redbeard's Journal

Seriously. I have red hair and a beard. What did you expect?

Entries by tag: school

School Days, School Days
ghost of redbeard
Tomorrow the kids go back to school.

Today, there was a small fire in one of the rooms at the middle school.


In all seriousness, I'm glad nobody was hurt, and that the fire isn't going to delay the start of the school year. 

It'll be good for the kids to go back and get into the swing of things.  I'm not sure what I'll do with all of the peace and quiet, but I'm sure I'll cope.

1 Down, 179 to go
ghost of redbeard
Well, the first day of school went by.

The result?  I'd say it went pretty well for a first day.

The Good
  • The kids settled into their routines without much complaint.  I was kind of expecting some general sleepiness in having to get up at 6 (oldest) and 6:50 (younger two) --not the first day, but definitely the second-- but that hasn't been the case.  I wouldn't say they were raring to go this morning, but I didn't have to drag them out of bed either.
  • The bus stop crowd is still friendly.  Our subdivision is dominated by kids who go to the local Catholic school, which is standard operating procedure on the West Side of town.*  Since there are very few public school kids in our immediate area, you get to know the other families fairly well.  We've been lucky so far in that we don't get any of the obnoxious families sending their kids with ours, and that streak has continued this year.
  • Our oldest seems to have settled into middle school life okay so far.  For the most part, the kids in elementary school who caused trouble aren't in her classes, and she's made several new friends.  I'm sure there will be time for drama later, but one day at a time.
  • The youngest hasn't pitched a fit about being called her older sister's name in school.  Her teacher mentioned to us that she acted enough like her older sister in class that the teacher accidentally called her by her sister's name.  The youngest, however, just kind of shrugged it off.  For someone who is well known in our household for telling us with hands on hips "It's not funny!  And it's not cute, either!" this was a nice development.
  • Our middle kid wasn't grossed out by the biology pictures in his classroom.  He's kind of funny that way; where he'd ask questions about some illness or something, and when we start answering he starts doing the "eww!  Gross!  I don't want to hear that!" routine.  (Imagine what The Talk is going to be like.)  Well, the boss thought that he'd have a fit over the age appropriate pictures of things such as the Digestive System, but he didn't bat an eyelash.
  • My wife got a call from one of the second grade teachers, asking her if she'd want to help out with copying materials like what my wife did for the first graders last year.  Since my wife really enjoys helping out at the elementary school, she was hoping that she'd get asked.
  • Oh, and the school district replaced the rickety old buses with new ones.  Still no A/C though, because it increases the maintenance costs by a lot.

The Bad
  • The school supplies for our oldest still hadn't made it to the middle school.  In our school district, there's an option to purchase school supplies from a local office supply company in a box set.  It's not the absolute cheapest thing out there, but when you factor in your time and gas spent in tracking down all of the school supplies if you did it yourself, this is a great option.  We've used it for years in the elementary school.  However, this first attempt to use it in middle school has turned into a frustrating experience.  First, the check that was submitted for the supplies back at the end of the school year last year vanished off the face of the earth.  Nobody seems to know where it went, and we didn't take too kindly to the suggestion by the people involved with the program that it was left in one of our kids' backpacks.  (It wasn't, and believe me, I checked several times.  Finding things is my job in this household.)  Then, we submitted a second request last week when we were told to do so, but as of the first day of school it still hadn't arrived.  The Boss called the office supply store and they said it should arrive today.  So we'll see.
  • We're told by the busing program to get out to the stop 10 minutes early the first day.  Middle school bus came right on time, no fuss, no muss.  Elementary school bus, however, ran 15 minutes late.  We're out there for almost a half an hour waiting.  And our bus stop is one of the first on the elementary school bus' route, so you can imagine how much fun it was farther down the line.  Egad.

On the whole, I'd take it as a decent start to the school year.  Watch this space for drama later.

*And that's in spite of the fact that the kids' public high school is the second largest in the state, so you can imagine how big it would be if even half of these Catholic kids would go there.
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Chip(s) off the old Block
ghost of redbeard
The kids' elementary school held its annual Science Festival today.  My wife helped out with the various stations around the gym (which, she informed me, were really cool) but the big event was the Egg Drop competition.  This was a two stage event:  a competition in each grade indoors, and the devices that worked indoors were sent outside for a drop off the two story school building with the entire elementary school in attendance.

Our oldest (she's in 4th Grade) and our middle kid (he's in 2nd Grade) decided to enter the competition this year.  My daughter wanted to do the entire thing herself, so she went off and came up with a design that included a tissue box and packing peanuts.  My son's design was similar, but he wanted styrofoam walls instead.  (He also originally wanted a cloth interior, but I'm grateful he changed his mind.)  I helped out my son a bit, particularly in the knife wielding and the usage of Gorilla Glue (it works great, but man is it a pain to get off of your hands), but the design was his. 

We were able to test our daughter's design from 10 feet, and it worked at that distance.  My son's, well...  The glue wasn't dry yet, so we just kind of hoped it would work.  This morning, their stuff got packed up and shipped off to school, and I sat down to work.

The entire gang (minus the Kindergartner, who arrived off the bus at lunchtime) returned about an hour ago with the news:  our daughter's design didn't survive the inside drop (which turned out to be close to 20 feet rather than the 10 feet we tested), but our son's not only survived the inside drop but also the outside drop (which was over 30 feet).

To their father, a physics grad, it was one of those moments that set a silly grin on my face.  I now know how my wife (a geology grad) feels when we're on a hike and one of them comes running up, holding a rock and saying, "Mom!  Mom!  Look!  A brachiopod!"
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