Sunday, August 31, 2008

 

September already?


August's weather was such a disappointment. We reluctantly had to accept the fact that we'd see no summer this year. And September is starting off much the same way... cold, cloudy, drizzles (no such thing as "indian summer" here). As someone who only tolerates our long winters because of the usually wonderful summers that come in between, I have been having a hard time coping. Well, at least we don't have to worry about hurricanes...

So, not much else has been going on around here. I'm still practicing my cello for 2 hours each day, but I don't really feel as if I'm getting anywhere. I wonder if maybe I'm trying to work on too much at once, even though only one piece, the Breval Sonata, is really out front; the rest are workouts in Mooney's books to fine tune shifting, etc. The biggest challenge is trying to get a decent sound out of those double-stops. I seem to run out of time (and energy) before I get through everything I want to do each day.

Our oldest son, A, turns 32 tomorrow... Wow, that sure reminds us of time's passing.

School started last week. Z wasn't able to get into the power technology science class he wanted because of scheduling conflicts, so he ended up in an earth science course instead. This can be a fascinating and challenging topic, but it takes some creative effort by the teacher. [I know; I taught this course in a previous life, 35 years ago in Jamaica.] Sadly, at parent's night this past week (where less than 20% of the junior class parents showed up, compared to 30% of sophomore parents, and maybe 40% of freshmen) Z's earth science teacher announced that all a student had to do to make an A in his class was to show up, stay awake, and do the assignments. Great motivation, there...

Also they've rearranged the class schedules to incorporate a 45-minute "advisory period" three days a week [study hall]. Each teacher is assigned a group of 25 students that they'll "work with" throughout their HS careers, advising them with college applications, scholarships, career choices, etc. Z's "advisor" is the shop teacher... We are fortunate that Z is self-motivated and eager to learn in spite of our rapidly diminishing school system.

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