January 20, 2017

Homework stresses

Last night, C-man forgot to bring home an assignment of which I had a part. I never understand these things - didn't I pass 6th grade? Regardless, he's been missing assignments and turning them in late recently, and we've really been on him about being prepared and not procrastinating. So in the middle of some sobs because he was just sick that he was going to turn one more assignment in late, I suggested he text some friends and get them to send him photos of the assignment. So he did. And thankfully, a sweet girl Victoria (why are the girls always on top of these things?) responded with the photos. But then, later that night, came in a flurry of messages from other boys. They had all forgotten, too.

And isn't that sort of ridiculous? What is homework teaching these kids, except to be stressed out? Was my paragraph on what I'm seeing as his progress in reading class really that important? Was there any learning transfer that happened as a result of it?

I don't teach kids. I have a degree to teach adults because I don't want to teach kids. But there are some principles of learning that remain fairly constant regardless. And one of those things is if you cannot apply the learning, then it's not learning. Assignment after assignment comes home, and I just shake my head. It's got nothing to do with learning and everything to do with checking off how many pages of notes they took. Did he learn more about Hitler because he had to take 20 pages of notes than if he'd been assigned a discussion group with peers? Doubtful. But it sure was more stressful.

We have teachers conferences coming up again next month. And I'm really struggling with how to approach this topic, or if at all. I don't want to tell the teacher she's doing it all wrong. I mean, I know my kid has been procrastinating and making it more stressful than it should be. But she's doing it all wrong. How many times does the idea that completing homework for completion's sake have to be debunked before our teachers change their attitudes and policies toward it? And how many parents have to endure the tears before we all just come to our sense?

Until then, I'll be over here helping my kid complete his assignments. Because getting through 6th grade once just wasn't enough.

January 19, 2017

Get back to it


I stayed home from work yesterday because I felt like total garbage. I snuggled Beasley and binge watched This is Us. Which, by the way, is a great binge if you haven't been following along. And despite my screaming headache, we attended the middle school band concert. Some days, my life is more glamorous than others.

January 17, 2017

Sunny days ahead

I have a head cold. It's dumb. I hate being sick. It makes me grumpy. I'm going home to sleep it off. Stupid cold.

January 16, 2017

Winning Weekend

This weekend, we headed out to Hartford to wrestle. After last weekend's tournament, we did a lot of discussing where his frame of mind was going to be. And somehow, it must have worked, because the incredibly tough minded C-man showed up. 

His first match was against a 7th grader who also showed up. And despite not wrestling incredibly well in the first period, by the third period, C-man exploded. He managed to win it in the last 5 seconds with a reversal to put himself up 4-2. The other kid stormed off angrily. C-man was about as happy as I've ever seen him.

The second match was against another 7th grader. C-man worked through his moves, and ended up with a head throw and a pin. (Head throwing is not an encouraged move, but it was there, so C-man took it.) C-man was thrilled.

The last kid he wrestled was someone he'd wrestled in previous years. It was clear the difference a mindset can make. He went into it thinking he was going to win, and it was the worst he wrestled all day. Thankfully, he was skilled enough to out-muscle this kid and win 9-0. But again, it was a learning experience for him about the importance and difference his mental frame of mind can make.

And with three wins in a four-man bracket, it meant he was in first place. Ahhh, the sweet, sweet feeling of being a winner.

January 12, 2017


The boys are sick. The work week has sucked. But tomorrow is Friday. And that's all I've got to say about that.

January 10, 2017

Grateful day

Here are some things I'm grateful for in my life today:

  • My migraine broke. I'm not sure why I'm getting these damn things - if it's leftover from my concussion, because I'm 40 now, or back pain/arthritis. Geez, they suck. But that moment it dissipates is amazing.
  • Sherlock is back. I've always adored Sherlock Holmes, and the newest version, with its modern day upgrades while still giving consistent nods to past books, is nothing short of delightful. Plus, Benedict...
  • I've been pretty successfully avoiding the work candy dishes. We'll see how long this lasts, but I'm really grateful to be staying away from the vast majority of sugar every day.
  • The Green Bay Packers. Let's all take a moment and smile about them.
  • We're wrestling on Saturday, which means I have Sunday off. Well, to clean and stuff, but at least we're not racing back to work. That'll be nice.

January 9, 2017

Learning moments

After sweating it out, working out, limiting food, and dehydrating for 24 hours, C-man made weight for Sunday's tournament with a pound and a half to spare. I made it quite clear that we wouldn't be making weight like that on the regular, because just no. So now that he knows he has to be 110, we'll stay there appropriately because it's just too damned stressful on me.

But he was so proud of himself to ride the team bus and compete in the dual, so that was great. The setup was a team dual with 4 matches for each weight class. To get more kids experience, the coach split the matches between two kids. As the varsity kid, C-man got the two tough matches. That, combined with the fact that they were his first matches of the season, saw him at the bottom of two pins. After having worked to get to that weight class, he was not happy about that. At all. But, as all things are, it was a learning experience. And while he still isn't happy about it, I think it helped give him some perspective.

It was clear how stressful it all was, though, because he was falling asleep at dinner. And when we went home, he couldn't even stay awake for that awesome Packers game to finish up. So now, we plod ahead through the work week to next weekend's tournament. The one where you just weigh in what you weigh and we don't stress about it. Hallelujah.