Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Don't Quit Your Day Job

School has started, with the attendant joys of back-to-school shopping (love me some school supplies) and French onion soup (this year's requested menu by the student in question).

I can't believe The Child is a junior. No, really. She almost wasn't. The end of last year required no small amount of hard, hard work to keep her from flunking out. She pulled that off and went to summer school besides. Only, it turns out, not as much summer school as she needed. That was, on one level, my fault. With all the stuff surrounding Suzanne's death I confused some registration dates. But, as I mentioned to The Child when she attempted to ream me out for this lapse, if she hadn't flunked Algebra we wouldn't be in this mess to begin with. There were meetings and emails and no small amount of worry before she got the go ahead to register. She's making up Algebra in an extra class.

Here's the thing about The Child. She's smart. Plenty smart. She's just not an academician. She really could care less about things, unless she cares about them. (Civil War? Shakespeare? Bring it. Math? Not so much). And her strategy last year, the one that got her into trouble, was to work really hard on big projects and ignore all the little ones. What's 5 points here and there when you get 60 out of 50 on a 10 page paper, right? Wrong. Zeros, she's learned, add up.

She's also come to understand that while she may have every intention of being an actor, she's still going to have to graduate high school, go to college and have some options in life other than "Do you want fries with that?"

Last night, in a rather impressive display of intention, she sat down with me to review every single one of the syllabuses (syllabi?) for her classes. And then she talked about how excited she was about the subject matter ahead and her strategy for staying on top of her work and not letting things slide like she did last year. It was almost as if she finally got it.

Proof will be in the pudding, of course. Let's see what her attitude is like once the work actually begins. But at least she has the right attitude going into this, the sense that she can do this and that good grades are actually something of which she is capable.

Wish us luck. Meanwhile, I'm meeting Chouchou tonight for Bloody Mary dinner, our since-Rainey-went-back-to-work compromise on the traditional Bloody Mary Monday.

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Blogger Willym opined...

Sounds like we've got a maturing young lady on our hands!

August 31, 2010 8:16 AM  
Blogger Shrinky opined...

Sounds as if she has her head on straight, sometimes it takes a little set-back to get focused. BTW, my 18yr old son sliced the top of his finger off making French onion soup (no joke, I actually posted about it)!

August 31, 2010 9:07 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Does seem that way, doesn't it Wills?

Shrinky, I'm pretty sure that when, one day before registration her counselor told her the Principal would have to make the final call on her returning, it put the fear o' God into her like no amount of lecturing or anything else could do. Tragic finger story. Would put one off French onion soup for ever.

August 31, 2010 9:45 AM  
Blogger Mom opined...

There are so many lessons to be learned growing up. I have confidence that her junior year will be all around wonderful.

August 31, 2010 11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

I blame Sue Sylvester for all of these. She doesn't like the drama club either.

August 31, 2010 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

** "this" not "these." Back to school for me.

August 31, 2010 2:36 PM  
Blogger Doralong opined...

It's gratifying when they have the big "Ah HA!" moment. When Miss Thing picked up her Freshman schedule she finally realized why precisely we forced her to take AP and Dual Enrollment classes that we knew she was capable of passing...

Cake.Walk.College.Freshman.Schedule of the entire universe. Core Freshman year crap is pretty much all done with walking through the door.

August 31, 2010 3:18 PM  
Blogger rosemary opined...

she is a junior? didn't i just read the post where she was contemplating school 1 or 2???? she has her mother's smarts that's for sure and perhaps her father's "eye" for acting.

August 31, 2010 4:43 PM  
Blogger Anne opined...

my kid too
the new work ethic part
not the finger part or the kicked out part

September 02, 2010 12:41 PM  
Blogger Edy opined...

Sorry, the voice of "This was so me!" when I was a teenager, must speak out and say "I'm still that way at 49". In spite of a stellar ability to plot a course, if there isn't weekly accountability, my money says she'll have the same results. Just a realistic heads up from someone who lives it.

September 02, 2010 5:01 PM  
Blogger Sling opined...

Holy cats!..A junior?
I agree with Rosie,it just seems like it was only a sort time ago she was weighing the pros and cons of her choices.
Plus!..I think it's great that that,in spite of her advancing years,you haven't gotten a day older!

September 05, 2010 10:54 AM  

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