Friday, June 29, 2018

Another school year done and gone

WTF.  I mean serious, what in the actual f*ck.

Logan's 13 and will be going into grade 8 and Zach's 14 and going into grade 10.

Those are years of school that I truly remember.  I remember snippets of elementary school and much to the chagrin of academics, most memories surround my school crush Andy Mandziuk.  Everyone had a crush on him.  Although I do remember one incident where I left my jacket at the playground and got in supreme sh*t from my parents for doing so because when I went back to get it, it was gone.  The next day the kids found is buried in the pebbles on the structure, but it had been set on fire.  Creepy even by today's standards.

But junior high and high school that when things got real. That's when boyfriends started and the shaking of the sheets started. I cannot imagine Zach dating right now.  He has a girl that he has been texting off and on for a year.  I keep asking him if he's going to ask her out, but his reply was he wants to take things slow.  Well mission accomplished kiddo.

Logan wants to grow up so fast.  One of his friends has a job working at Tim Hortons.  Can you believe that?  14 years old and working.  I think I was in grade 11 when I got my first job.  Ah, such fond memories of Perkins and the ludicrous amounts of shoes I went through.

No joke.  Oil breaks down rubber. So gross.  There was tons of grease around.  How is got on the floor is sort of a mystery, but I think it came from the cooks shoes or if someone spilled salad dressing and mopped it up.  The mops were never cleaned or replaced and so we were constantly spreading leftover grease on the floor.

We were all required to wear black runner/rubber soles and after awhile, the soles of your shoes would literally start to crumble.  It was amazing really. Encountered a similar situation in university when I had lofty goals of being a veterinarian, I was taking Cordate Zoology.  This course had us dissecting a mink over the course of the semester.

This was by far the gnarliest thing I have encountered.  You were given a mink on day one and required to put dog tags on it so that you would know which was yours.  Each class we would learn about one layer of the mink and slowly layer by layer, class after class work our way down to the skeleton.  After each class you would wrap your mink in paper towels, secure the dog tag and place it in this giant vat of formaldehyde until the next class when we would all bob for minks prior to the professor beginning his lecture.

Now, you would have absolutely no reason to know this, but minks are fatty AF and they stink to high heaven. G*d forbid you got any of the mink sauce on you as you would carry that sh*t with you all day.  We would wear MULTIPLE layers of latex gloves, especially when we got to the fat layer.  You would be working away and then twang one the gloves would just split off.

Good Lord, that was a bizarre tangent wasn't it...

Let's circle back.  Now this year has been a rough one academic wise.    Zach struggled in his first year of high school. 
It was such a shock for him.  I am 100% in agreement that Zach needs to take responsibility for his assignment and exams.  However, I feel he was wildly unprepared for it.  Elementary, which now runs from K-8 does not have exams.  They RARELY have homework.  Then they get to high school and they have homework every day and full on end of semester exams.  Semester one Zach had science and math.  He grasped the concepts, but the workload was a challenge.  For the exam we began studying 3 weeks in advance.

I guess it's my background though, I hear exams and instantly I am in full organizational mode.  We came up with a daily study schedule, found copies of old exams to work through you name it.  That kid was PREPARED and it paid off, he got A's on both of the exams.

Second semester was a whole other ball of wax.  It was social studies and english.  Zach hates writing.  At first it was a fine motor skill thing, but then it started to morph into the fact that his thoughts came faster than he could write them and his work would look haphazard.   I can't really blame the kid for getting off topic though.  He comes by that honestly.  Case in point, scroll back up for the mink story.

Now he had to write essays and poetry process papers.  It was a nightmare.  He sqeaked by, but it was a pretty big wake up call for him.  When we were talking to him about it he admitted that he liked science and math because there was a clear answer;  X=5 rather than X's feeling toward 5 were like a warm breeze on a hot summer day.

But despite the roller coaster he made it through and learned some hard lessons.  Hopefully he takes it to heart.

Logan's teacher was different did have tests and assignments.  Logan is a bit of an enigma.  He is very conscientious and would tell us when he had anything up at school.  However getting him to study for them was like trying to photograph a unicorn.  If he didn't get the concept immediately he would get frustrated, freak out and completely shut down.

He would say things like "Help me study mum, why aren't you helping me?".  The thing was, I was trying to help.  I would sit with him and go through the work with him.  However, if he didn't understand, it was immediately my fault.  I think it is because my learning style is different from his, I am a solitary written learner and so is Zach.  So Zach and I worked well together that way.

Logan isn't a written learner and it's hard to tell what kind of learner he is actually.  We tried visual where I would show him how to work through the problems. When that didn't work, I tried verbal, just talking about the concepts, but that didn't seem to work either.  I think he might be a kinesthetic, social learner, but that is going to make learning algebra a bit of a b*tch.

Logan is hard to nail down for any great length of time.  He wants to be outside, riding his bike, playing with the dog, hanging out with his friends.  The idea of having to stay inside for lengths of time snout deep in a book makes him act like a sloth on ambien.

Also, while some teachers and school staff are full on amazing, others are simply sea witches in disguise.  Do not sing into their shell I'm telling you.  For some reason Logan came to be at loggerheads with one particular lunch monitor.  To be fair, I think Logan likely started it with viscous little tongue.  One particular day, she let the boys throw a football in their classroom over the lunch hour as it was raining outside.  Gees, what could possibly go wrong?  Logan's friend threw the football at him, just as another friend called Logan's name and he looked away.  Bam!  Right into a computer monitor.  What followed was a minor civil war.  Logan was given the choice to pay for it or
work it off.  I still laugh thinking back to the conversation with him where he actually thought we would pay for it.

Today is the last day of school and I am happy it's summer.  Partly because fighting with your kids to do their homework gets old really fast and I hate making lunches.

I know it's supposed to be this lovely maternal thing where you cut sandwiches into hearts and include sweet little notes along with perfectly portioned packages (alliteration win!) of baby carrots into their lunch bag before sending them off each morning.

Not sure why, but for me I cannot stand making lunches.  Irritates the living h*ll out of me.  First they are picky AF and total opposites.  Everything Logan likes, Zach hates and vice versa.    So unless I want my groceries to go on a field trip every day, I have to make something that they will actually eat.

So after 180 days of making these lunches, I'm ready to poke my eyes out with hat pins.

But it's done for the year.  The boys and I are heading out to the cabin this weekend.  Brad is staying with the menagerie as we are pet sitting my friends rabbit while they are in Europe.

Zach will be staying at the cabin for the better part of the summer at his own request.  He's going to be working as a farm hand with my Dad around the cabin and earning a little cash in the process.  Better than having him sit at home playing video games all day every day.  Plus that would cost me a fortune in groceries.

Logan has a week at camp Cedarwood coming up in July but that's it for camps this year.  Zach opted out of Camp Arnes for the first time in a number of years.  He was reaching the oldest age for the camp and since they have the full range of ages, they sometimes o cater to the younger kids and Zach was finding it boring.

Cedarwood is different in that it's for junior/high kids only.  I think they only go up to Grade 11 actually.  I can't believe my kids are almost too old for summer camp!

There we have it.  On to Canada Day and the start of summer.  Wooot!


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