Friday, January 11, 2013

Varying Levels of Mastery

Just now, Hank came home from Kindergarten and announced that he had his report card. I looked over it and noted that he had high marks in each area of assessment, except he had just a 3 out of 4 in "Language and Vocabulary Acquisition." This is the child who, as he handed me the report card, said, "Prepare to be dazzled."

Somehow I feel that he will make himself understood in this world. Or that is my hope.

He is branching out all over. On Wednesday, he went to his first after-school meeting of the Lego Club. When I picked him up, he said, "I learned a lot about the history of Legos." I told him I was very interested to hear it. He told me that Legos were first invented in 1289. I allowed as how that seemed rather early to me, and he said, "Well, they were made of wood back then."

Yes, I suppose they would have been. Or carved out of bone by Vikings.

Lego Viking Series 7 with a twist

And speaking of wood.

At Laura's middle school, the kids rotate through a series of elective classes every nine weeks. Or "elective" isn't really the word, because they don't choose them, actually. Laura got to choose a year-long chorus class, and then the other classes could be PE or health or something else. I like this system, because I don't think kids really know what they like, necessarily, and they should just be made to try things.

So Monday she came home, having started a new quarter, and announced that she was enrolled in Woodshop. Y'all, the look on her face when she told me how the floor was covered ("just abolutely covered") with wood shavings. It made me think of the time we paid her to eat a pickle.  Anyway, back to woodshop, I was a bit mystified, because her schedule says "Engineering and Technology," and I figured this would be a computer lab. She said that the teacher presides over a computer lab and the woodshop, and told them that they would be spending most of their time in the shop. This will be interesting and new.


Her exposure to new areas of craft may have left her feeling extra venturesome. Yesterday I went to work out with Pretty Neighbor in the afternoon, and accidentally left the house locked up. I didn't know it was locked; I figured Laura would get off the bus, let herself in, and be waiting for me there.

When Hank and I arrived back home, sure enough, she was waiting inside. She said, "Where WERE YOU?" I was like, where am I ever? What's wrong? She goes, "You have to hear MY STORY." I was all, okay! What!

She told us that she'd come home, found the front door, back door, and basement door locked. I was like, "Yet here you stand, in the house, how did you get in?" She had gone down to a basement window, removed the window air-conditioning unit, and climbed right in.

That's how I found out that our house could be broken into by a preteen girl. Or really by anyone. I praised her resourcefulness, but wondered aloud why she didn't use her phone to call me. Or to come look for me at the only one or two places I could be. And that A/C unit is heavy! But okay.

Later she said, "I'm kind of glad that I got locked out. When I put my leg up over the windowsill and hopped in, I felt..." and then she trailed off and just made a kind of finger-waggling gesture, like, happy jazz hands.

A girl's first B&E is very special.

I hope your reentry to school and routine has opened some new vistas for you. xoxo


Lisa Lilienthal said...

Ooooo, I'm first commenter! This is all kinds of awesome -- I think I delight in your children almost as much as you do! And Laura's reaction to her ingenuity sounds a little like Annabelle earlier this week when I asked her to push the car out of the garage (we had a natural gas leak going on and I didn't want to crank it). First, she was all, mom I can't possibly PUSH the car and then she was texting everybody she knew a few moments later, saying, I PUSHED THE CAR OUT OF THE GARAGE!!

Becky said...

That is so awesome! Go Annabelle, girl power! And it totally takes me back. My first car was an old VW beetle, and I remember the first time I started it by getting it rolling and popping the clutch, all by myself. HEAR US ROAR.

Michele said...

Awwww...her first B&E. A kodak moment if ever there was one.

Kelly said...

I can totally imagine her doing the jazz hands. hahaha

Jane said...

I love the idea of a middle school woodshop. I always loved feeling capable of stuff as a kid (still do, in fact). And woodworking is one of those useful skills that used to be represented in most households, but just Isn't anymore. I'd love a home Ec class for the same reason.

Elizabeth said...

I don't want to use the word, but your kids are just fu#$@ing awesome, Becky!

I'm sitting here wondering what's going to happen when all those neurons start permanently connecting and her executive functioning is even more advanced. Wowza! Today, B&E, tomorrow some kind of cat burglary.

Anonymous said...

Oh, why didn't she call you? It's like all the times I'm sitting thirty feet away with my back to someone doing something wtf & I say wtf, why didn't you ask me?

One of these days, to the moon.

Fille's greatest wish is to spend a night in lockup, on an adventure. "Not for anything criminal, but just for a harmless misunderstanding, like Dusty & Left [had on one epi of "Lives of the Cowboys"]"

I have to point out that if you can just leave your door unlocked, it prob really doesn't matter if anyone can break in, does it?

Nina said...

Your neighbourhood must be reasonably pleasant if nobody else has discovered that entrance to your house yet! Or Laura is warming up to be the next Professor Moriarty.

They keep coming up with new names for the lesson with the sawdust on the floor, don't they? When I started secondary school it was called CDT (Craft, Design, & Technology), but three years later it was suddenly the 'Construction' element in the 'Graphics & Construction' GCSE I was forced to take. I seem to remember friends at another school knowing it as 'Resistant Materials'.

Becky said...

Resistant Materials! That could describe so many things! Or like, all of life.

I guess I do have a rather haphazard approach to door locking.

I probed further and L said she didn't have her phone. Which, I'm like, why am I paying for this phone for moments JUST SUCH AS THESE?

delaine said...

I love those two creative little people! Hank is in his glory in a Lego club. And I'm still having trouble picturing Laura in a classroom with wood shavings on the floor. I laughed out loud at the mental picture of her removing the ac! That is just wild! One of these days it might be time to hid a key outside someplace where the kiddos can get it. Just suggesting...

Veronica said...

I love all of this.

Sierra said...

I fondly remember my first B&E. When I was younger, the local high school began building a house next door to us. I thought it was the perfect place to play house because it required less taxation of the imagination. I was great at getting in and out without leaving any evidence and decided that this must surely be an okay thing to do. When another was being built in the neighborhood, I got into it the same way I did with the high shcool house. Turns out, it isn't really acceptable to break into private residences. Who knew!

Kate said...

My daughter's phone is proving to be very scarce at precisely the moments when I need it to be functional. Annoying!!!

Anonymous said...

I love that she was mesmerized by the B&E. Yes, the first time is always special. :) Props for the resourcefulness!