Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I'm gonna be BOMBASTIC!

I've never been one to brag. Blog, obviously.  Share too much information, occasionally.  But out and out brag?  Probably not going to hear it.  Some folks drop their accomplishments in to conversations so smoothly, no fanfare or boasting, but letting people know all the same.  How do they do it?

Blue tested in to a public magnate program in Spokane for especially gifted students.  Not only did she pass, she scored the highest possible points on the tests.  I am so proud and happy for her, and also for myself, because this means I don't have to home school, which is something I think parents should only undertake with heart-felt passion, not because they have to in order to keep their child engaged and breathing.

I teared up when they told me she was in.  She'll live.  She'll survive.  She may even get a chance to thrive.

I am also proud of myself for noticing Blue's teacher was a totally unengaged dip-stick who is, of course, retiring after this year and who just wanted Blue to shut up and do another work sheet.   

I like to "loose" her work sheets, especially the ones where she's supposed to write down how much she reads every night for a prize.  These people who invent this crap have never read the studies on motivation, apparently.  And I can't imagine they actually enjoy reading themselves.  Prizes are fine for quick, bland tasks.  But for life long things like reading they do more harm than good.  So I toss them in the trash and sign notes verifying that they are lost.

As a person who doesn't like to brag or demand special treatment, it's been quite a journey, and I'm sure it's not over, to learn how to advocate for my children in a system, a world, that demands them to shut up and sit down.  

Myself, I feared the testing procedure.  How we would deal if she didn't make it in?  The school might not be a good fit, I pre-cushioned possible failure.  If she didn't make it in, she was still extremely smart.  And even if she wasn't smart, I would still love her.  And, of course, being smart is not the most important thing to be.  Loving is.  Because smart people made and dropped atomic bombs.  And basically lots of smart people can and do make this world a living hell, not to turn all Pol Pot on academia.  But still, they might try teaching things like ethics along with chemistry and physics and law.  Smart is nice, but love is best.

I signed her in late for school.
What for?
The gifted magnet program in Spokane.  She passed, so she'll go one day a week next year until she the full time program is available.
Oh, we had a girl who went there this year.  But she was fourth grade.  SHE skipped third grade and she was INVITED to the Odyssey program, FULL TIME, her FIRST year.

Well... lahtty dah!  And anyway, you have to test in, by law. And full time doesn't start until 5th grade.  But gosh, if it means that much to the secretary that someone else was smarter than Blue, and I'm sure there are plenty of kids who are, then she can just keep that little treasure in her pocket and I won't take it away from her.

I sure wish Blue could've skipped third grade; she didn't learn shit the whole damn year. She's learning Egyptian Hieroglyphs at home so she can be motivated just to stay alive.  I've taken her to college lectures on her favorite subject, black history, so she can have a reason to get out of bed.  Huck's been taking her to college science competitions so she knows that there's life after worksheets.  We don't push her, we just want her exposed to that bigger, brighter world that's available once she gets out of prison, er, school.

And now, lets chat about me.  When does a person who graduates ranked #5 from a college prep school feel like she's stupid?  When she's always been compared to her quiet, bookish siblings, that's when.  So, I read that thing on my college diploma, that thing I've been told I'm not allowed to talk about, I was shocked.  Shocked! And I didn't think I was even college material!  So, I told a few people, laughing, until one of my professors told me that wasn't really the thing to do.  None of my professors were surprised.  But a relative conjectured that UW must have a very lax program, or a weird grading system.  Which was kind of what I was thinking, but when you hear some one else say it, it's like: SHUT YER IGNORANT MOUTH!

And someone else said, "Oh you think that's something?  Well, your huband's relative graduated SUMO cum laude from BROWN!"  Well... you see... I wasn't competing with so-n-so.  I think she's super duper and smart to boot.  But the surprise here is that I didn't think I was smart...see.  So although I'm not as smart as she is, it's still an exciting discovery... not that I'm doing much with it.   But thanks for trying to take me down a notch or two, since I already perceive myself as being at the bottom, it's nice to go lower now and then.

What is up with this bubble bursting?  What the hell are people thinking?  All it means is that when I've got good news, they're the last one's gonna hear it, and it'll be through the grape vine, if at all.

And also, Huck runs 5 minute miles, several at a time, with a titanium knee. And he just played a fun show at the Knitting Factory.  He rocked the show with superstar energy and smooth bone playing.  We brought the thoroughly ear-plugged kids and I spent the evening trying to get Coyote up off the icky barfy dance floor where he was break dancing while I was simultaneously trying to prevent Blue from beaming out his eyes with her laser.

So, how did that work out?  I've just bragged about me and my daughter's smarts, and my husband.  Was that bombastic?  Too subtle?  Unnecessary?  (honestly? blogging, period, is unnecessary)  Do you know people who can brag much more smoothly than that?  I bet you know some guy who graduated from Harvard with a PHD by the age of 8 even though his brain was encased in a lead balloon.  He went on to be President of the free world by the time he was sixteen, and spent the rest of his life on Mars studying quantum imagineering statistics while simultaneously playing Mozart's life's work on an instrument he created using only the atmosphere, a little star dust, and half a booger, and he can humbly tell me all about it, WAY more humbly than I ever could.  Well, you can go shove him up your ass and leave me alone, happy and proud.

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