June 21, 2012

Intense Odds and Ends (or maybe not so intense)

Bones is performing in a dance skit tomorrow. He is dressing as a nerd that grows up to be the big man owning a business.

His outfit is a riot. He put it together. He's doing the throw the hips forward, knees bent, shaped a bit like a C walk with the arms away from the body. It's frickin' hysterical. He said to me today, "You know, I think it's funny they picked me for this part. I have the most swag of everyone and I'm the nerd?" to which I replied, "Well, you get to show off your acting abilities.."

So this should be interesting.


My former boss from the early 90s is a co-worker of mine now. His daughter runs in similar circles as I do now, although we've never run into each other.

The other day he was with his daughter who was with a friend of mine, and they realized they both knew me.

He told me today that she described me as 'intense'. I've known her for... 12 years. I've laughed so much with her. She always says, "You make me laugh!' But when she described me she said to him, "I know Bou. She is very intense. And she knows everything. And if she doesn't know it, she'll find out for you..." and his reply evidently was, "Yup. She hasn't changed."

I'm at a complete and total loss. If I were going to describe myself to someone, 'intense' wouldn't even be on the list.

Don't get me wrong. I'd not put 'carefree' on the list either, but not intense.

Kind of funny how other people perceive you...


We got report cards and FCAT scores today. Bones got a solid D in math and the highest 1 you can get in math on the FCAT that you can receive.

Nothing is unexpected... still you always kind of hope. One more question right and he'd have had a 2.

Which makes me believe that if he stays with tutoring this summer, he can be in the 2 zone, maybe close to a 3.

So they are going to tell me he needs to take remedial math and this is where I struggle.

I'm paying for tutoring and will keep doing so if he doesn't do remedial math. He'll have a tutor to help him with his homework every week and to continue reviewing old math all year long. If he does remedial math, which I suspect will be substandard with a teacher who doesn't want to be there, and kids with behavoral issues (he no longer has behavoral issues in school), I will not continue tutoring because that's too much math for a kid who hates it. That's torturous.

He has ADHD. I think one of the most important things for him to do is take PE. He burns off the energy. This year he had PE right before Language Arts and teetered on an A a good portion of the year. I want him to take PE again to burn off the energy, preferably before Math.

So that's where I am. In a perfect world, we'll pay for tutoring through the year to catch him up and keep him on pace, while he takes PE to burn off excess energy before an important class.

10:1 says it will not be a perfect world...


We know I can't teach Bones. We know that it's not possible. I can't teach him because he needs a REAL teacher who understands what he needs to learn, a teacher that can pull tools out of her toolbox and shine light in the dark corners for him.

I'm not the person that can do that.

After eight years of working with him, I'm burned out. I don't relate and I'm a hindrance, not a help. And it's not that his thinking is wrong, but we're just so different, that he needs someone who hears that same beat he hears.

I'm deaf to it.

I'm willing to work extra hours, go in on weekends, to pay for tutoring for him, if that's what it will take to give him confidence and get him through high school.

I just know... I'm not it for him. And I'm OK with it.

My Pre-Calc student went from an F to a C. If I'd had more time I think we could have gotten her to a B.

Her grades were not completely her fault. Actually, she should have had an A, but a teacher fired for ineptitude after the first quarter, bringing in a teacher who had never taught in mid 2nd quarter, and then having to play catch up to cover the entire book with 2.5 months lost... was more than her brain could take.

I think at some point, 80% of the class was probably failing. The whole situation pissed me off.

And I know you're probably thinking, 'You only brought her to a C...', but that's not what I'm proud of. Don't get me wrong, we're all doing the happy dance. We are.

But what I'm proud of is after a couple weeks, I had her laughing and she loved math. She loved coming over. There were times that she'd pop by a couple times a week just to make sure she got it.

She cared. When she had the F, she'd given up, hated math, and didn't care.

At the end, she was enjoying it and wanted that B if she could dig herself out of the hole.

I am so proud of that kid.

And I loved when she left that last day that I was able to say to her, 'I know you don't love math the way I do. I get that you don't want to major in it or have anything to do with the sciences, but you need to truly understand, that is a personal choice. It's not because you CANNOT do it, but because you are choosing not to."

And she believed me.

Because it was true and she knew it.

I cannot get that with Bones and that is not my goal for him. Every student I meet with, internally, my goals are different for each and I'm so thrilled when they attain the goals THEY set for themselves. I will bend the world for them to get what they want. Sometimes I think I am more excited than they are.

But I think that's because... they are our future and they give me hope.

Bones too. I can't guide him on his math path, but I can cheer from the side. I think that might be my role in his life...

Posted by Boudicca at June 21, 2012 09:50 PM

Do NOT let them put bones in remedial math. Bribe, cajole or threaten, but don't let it happen.
Your fears about that are right on the money.
I had one (ONE) bad testing experience in middle school, got put in remedial math and never recovered. I have struggled with it ever since. I was in gifted and talented in every class... Except math... after one bad score on a CAT.
Chemistry: I did great... Except for the math. Killed my grade.
Physics, same story. I understand all the principles, but the math holds me back.
Fight for this, Bones will thank you... Eventually.

Posted by: K-nine at June 21, 2012 10:04 PM

Yeah, we're going to fight it... for this year. Our problem is if he keeps doing poorly, they'll insist on it or he can't graduate from HS. He can't pass the State Algebra test.

He has some serious test anxiety and we need to work on that. He made a B+ in English and a low 2 on the FCAT. He should have made a 4 according to his teachers.

I said something to a guidance counselor and she said, "He's on our list for more time." I said, "More time? Time has never been his issue. He'll Christmas tree at test... He'll just pick an answer." Good grief.

Posted by: Bou at June 21, 2012 10:12 PM

Your last sentence makes me happy. Made my morning actually.

Posted by: Web at June 22, 2012 06:23 AM

You know Bou, when were sitting by the fire in Eric's back yard when it was freezing-ass cold...all I remember is a good conversation. Heck, it was 18 degrees that night, and I slept in it.

That was a heck of a night. Anytime you lay down when the birds are chipping, you're pissing with the big dogs. If I recall, you left way early...smart girl. I would have left early, but there was no where to go, except the tent, and it was COLD in the tent.

Anyway, fond and funny memories.

Posted by: Yabu at June 22, 2012 07:40 AM

Fight remedial math with all your might.

I know it was a long time ago, but they put me in remedial math... It was a joke, useless. I vividly remember the teacher explaining how to fill in a *check*, fer goodness sakes.

Posted by: pam at June 22, 2012 09:07 AM

See if you can't make a con-tract with the school. Tell them no remedial math for him and you will be paying for a tutor all year for math.

Or give him a semester for improvement with the tutor and then re-judge if he needs to be in remedial math.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at June 22, 2012 10:19 AM