March 8, 2006

The Trees are Dancing!

That's what Laura says when it's windy. I admit that I think it's
pretty cute. (While I try to be clear-eyed about it, I will confess
that I'm as enraptured by my children as the next parent. I try to
remind myself of that when I'm telling her something for the 12th
["Stop that! It hurts her! You're going to have to leave the room if
you do it again!!] time.) Anyway, the trees have been dancing a lot
today.

I'm very happy to have nothing much exciting to report. In reading
others' blogs, excitement really sucks, usually!

I did get tomato seeds in their pots yesterday evening; that should
give me enough time for a back-up round of planting should anything
happen to these. I think there are seven? different varieties, plus
four pots of ground cherries; we've discovered we're addicted to them,
and I've absolutely never seen them in stores. A pity, since they have
good natural storage qualities. They've probably done focus groups and
figure people don't want anything that's been on the ground unless they
can scour it. Sissies. They come in their own little paper case,
right off the bush! What could be cleaner?

I keep meaning to report on Matt's latest activity, which involves
mandatory after-school tutoring. Apparently they've been doing this
for freshman already; if a kid is failing, they are assigned to after
school tutoring to have a supervised time to get help and/or get caught
up on missing work. It's been a pretty big success, so they decided to
expand it to English at the other levels this semester. They needed a
point person to do all the administrivia, so.....Matt has one period a
day now that he does that instead of teaching English. He spends a lot
of time tracking down parents by phone--they need parent permission to
keep a kid after school, and if there's a transportation issue, there
are a few opportunities to do the time at lunch. He also calls kids in
to deliver the news. For some, that conversation is enough to take
care of the problems, while others are more...interesting! [this
commentary censored--ask Matt :-) ]

Anyway, I think it's been a mostly positive experience for Matt (and
hopefully, the rest of the department). It's a good feeling to know
that the kids who "slip through the cracks" are being caught and given
a lifeline (or a push!). And the parents there are overwhelmingly
supportive of the process.

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