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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The parent teacher conferances that weren't

Thursday (last) was Parent teacher conferences and payday... YAY PAYDAY!
Unfortunately, My Love and I had not been seeing eye to eye this day so we weren't on the same page. :(
Due to not being on the same page he did not cash his check before coming home so we had to pile in the Fox and cash it on the way to the conferences. On the way there, I commented I could still smell anti freeze, he didn't believe me...I should give him the benefit of the doubt, perhaps he didn't hear me... I was mumbling in my irritation after all.
Got to the bank, I didn't want to wait in the car so we all piled out and went in... then back in the car... yeah I like pain, why do you ask?

The kids were getting all excited. Payday means we get to eat out! Once a month we get to eat out, it's usually Papa Murphy's or Don Gilberto's and this month we ALL wanted Don Gilberto's. So the kids were hoping, since we were close, that we could go now!
Which means they were excited kids...
and excited = loud,
and loud + excited + rushed = mom is not happy.
The Monster was about to jump out of her skin in her excitement/anticipation. She really wanted to get to her parent teacher conference and go out to eat, but she didn't know which she wanted more, as she loudly explained to us all, while making wild gestures to accentuate her intense feelings. I couldn't get them to calm down.
So I tried to ignore them.
Yeah, that worked.

As we pulled out I smelled anti freeze a lot stronger. As I said earlier, My Love and I were very much not on the same page that day, to the point that he was going to The Eldest's conference and I was going to the other 2's in my mind. So when the smell of antifreeze was finally enough even he could smell it and I pointed out the plumes of smoke coming from under the hood of the car he drove past the younger ones school and across town to the Eldest's school! I had no idea what he was doing, so how can I give support?

car smells funny + car is smoking + car acting odd+ excited kids = Hyper-crazy-excited-you-wouldn't-wish-on-your-worse-enemy kids!
Yeah, that was fun.

I'm not exactly sure if he parked or the car died, I do know we were at Eldest's school and the car would not start again. My Love raised the hood and we all got to stand on the sidewalk while the plumes of vapor roiled out.

My Love did stuff with the car...yes, stuff. It's not that I don't know what he was doing, I did, I just wasn't giving him all my attention. My inside clock said if we left now we could walk to the other school, have the meetings that were scheduled, and walk back and have the Eldest's meeting. So I was getting the kids to get their stuff so we could go. I told My Love my plan and told him he could stay with the car if he wanted and see if he could get it fixed. The look on his face changed my plans. It was a look that said, "Don't go! I need you!" So even though I had been miserable all day because of our misunderstanding my heart melted and I stayed.

He added coolant, found a crack in the radiator in the top and the Thunderous one found that the gas tank was leaking! I pulled them all reluctantly from the car and herded them to the school.

Upon entering the doors we were met with a line that crossed the cafeteria and stretched almost to the doors! It did stretch to the door as soon as we took our place in it. My Love accuses me all the time of being unrealistically optimistic (I call him all kinds of names too) but I laughed because he was the one holding onto the hope that we could get thru the line talk to the science teacher, get the car going, and get to the Monster's conference in the next 30 mins!
Okay I admit, I was hoping that as well.
We got though the line in 10 mins, I had to sign for her report card, they wont send it home, a parent must come to the school and sign for it. Then we rushed back to her classes... they don't let you have one on one conferences with the teachers, an irate parent about 13 years ago saw to that. So we had to hunt down the classroom that her teachers had gathered in. I didn't really like that, I want to see the classrooms, get a feel for the teacher that way, find where your kid sits so you can see the room from their perspective. Nope. Go into this room, get handed a file folder, "Have your child discuss the contents with you and if you have questions let us know." Here's a question, "Who are you?" oh never mind, as I talk to the back of your head.

Because it is a room, with other people in it, My Love and the Thunderous One will not enter it. *sigh* I tell myself it's okay... maybe he will track down some coworkers and get help on the car, it is an unfamiliar environment (well for the Thunderous one, My Love works here) with uncontrolled human interaction after all. I know they are close because every kid that walks by says Hi to My Love. It's hard being a town hero :)

Eldest's body language says she is unhappy. She has A's and B's and one glaring F. Resigned that I must at least try to follow the format they want us to, I go thru the folder with her page by page... she is defensive and responding with answers that don't fit what I'm commenting on...perhaps she thought I was torturing her as I started with her best subjects to review first, saving the F for last?

I keep looking at the teachers huddled together at the front of the class, hoping that they will read my mind and GET OVER HERE! No such luck. I know I wasn't trying all that hard, as I felt the pressure of the car and time pushing on me. Finally a teacher comes in with what look like smoothies for the rest of the huddled teachers, this seems to revive them and soon they are scattered through the room helping and talking to parents. As much as I tried to like the one who came over to us (I was never clear on what classes she taught my child) She drove me crazy in that she felt she had to explain everything to me again that I had just read.
YES, it is a great personal pet peeve of mine that many teachers discount my years of homeschooling and the fact that I understand how a grade rubric works and it's purpose and why they use it, because by golly I've used it too! And then they go on and on and when you say you understand that but have a question about this over here, they just start over! SO don't interrupt! Smile and nod! That way everyone feels sooo good that you were listening... Okay I feel better.

She wasn't too bad, but she wasn't the science teacher, which is who I needed to talk to. I did notice some thing... as she talked, being sure to include Eldest in the conversation, the Eldest got even more defensive.
The teacher asked her to go find her science notebook from the pile on a desk. My Love saw her and came in. Eldest could not find her notebook. I'm not sure who found it but Monster, My Love, and the teacher all were looking as well.

I got to look thru it...
I can't tell you how obvious it is to me that something is up. This book follows them through 3 grades. Her writing from last year was neat and complete, the art very beautiful and colored so well, her artistic side shining through! This years work... oh my. It really doesn't look like the same child. The hand writing is chaotic and words are missing, not one complete thought in the pages! The illustrations are unrecognizable and no color! You can not see her AT ALL in this work!
But I don't comment, I exchange a meaningful glace with My Love, and let the teacher just talk.
And watch Eldest.
Her body language changed, shoulders pulling forward, slipping down more in the seat, hair falling forward, eyes... oh I know that look... she pulled a lock down and the teacher had no idea! She just kept talking! I applaud their effort to find a way to pin point and solve the problem... but how come they didn't see when they had lost her? In fact watching the teacher's body language I really don't think she ever notice. She and I spoke a little and she went and told the science teacher that as soon as he was done with the parents he was with we wanted to see him.
We had to get her out of lock down, and find out what time it was, the clock in the room proudly said it was 12:43...maybe I need to ask for watch for Christmas? So I asked her to show me the Personal Shield that she had made in Lang Arts. My Love had already seen it, it hangs by his office, and it made him worry...
So we went to the hall, she unlocked (thank goodness) but was still very unhappy. I got to look at her shield and was very surprised... it really was barely a shadow of what she could do, I wont rip it apart here, but it added to my growing concerns. She told me about it and then we glanced at the other ones and went back to see if the science teacher was available, My Love and Thunderous one left to see if they could get the car running, if not they would come back. I don't think they could handle a room of people again.
We walked back in and the science teacher was waiting. He is taller then My Love! and almost perky... how annoying LOL! No, he was okay, I liked him. He basically explained to us the EXACT same things the other teach had...cuz well we are parents and we don't ever understand anything the first time. But At least when I had a question he didn't start over, he actually answered it!
Unfortunately Eldest locked down right away this time.

Needless to say I came away from the parent teacher conferences rather dissatisfied.

WE rushed out, Eldest was unhappy about that as well. She wanted us to talk to her other teachers... I think she was hoping I would tell the choir teacher a few things... like maybe the kids should be allowed to sing louder and how Queen is NOT Heavy Metal. Every seen the Pacifier? Well, her choir teacher is very like the Drama director in that one :)

The car was working, thank you duct tape!
We jumped in and prayed the car would get us home. Monster was crying because we had missed her conference, Thunderous wanted FOOOD, and Eldest was ready to strike out at anything for any reason. We got home and the fox was parked and hasn't moved since. The horse needed feed so My Love had to find a ride to the feed store before they closed and we did something we never do... WE ordered Pizza for dinner. The kids went nuts! We saw spaceships while waiting for the pizza to come. That must be why the driver got lost so it was late and the kids had it devoured before I had a piece. Darn spaceships.

My Love and I stayed up very late that night talking about Eldest, funny not so much about the car, that was shelved. We both see something... we think they are warning signs, but warning signs of what? What do we do? Will it be like last year? Will it be worse? Last year... was bad.

mixed together Got to say... I can't put his puzzle together. It feels like I have the pieces to two or three puzzlesin front of me, some pieces missing, and no idea which one of the puzzles I'm putting together, what it looks like.

1 comment:

Jessica G. said...

I really don't know what I can add here that I haven't already said on the phone...just know that we love ya!