Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Little Scholars

June 11, 2009

While Bree and I are toiling through finals, Nicholas and Danielle are all fun and games this last week of school (and much of last week, truth be told). Both of the littles earned the right to go on Monday's P.R. (Personal Responsibility) Trip to John's Incredible Pizza. P.R. trips reward students who exhibit good character and, well, responsibility, each quarter. John's is the heavenly combination of all-you-can-eat-pizza and video arcade games as far as the eye can see. It's a kid's Nirvana. When the kids were smaller I couldn't stand taking them there, not because of the cachophany and visual overload--I'm cool with all that--but because of the sheer size of the place. With a three-kid-to-one-parent ratio and ALL of us being shorter than every machine in the building, if one of the kids rounded a corner out of my sight, it was a nightmare to try to find him/her again. (Those little suckers can move fast when the siren's song of a video game beckons them.) Those days are behind us now, though, since they are old enough to be afforded a little autonomy in places like that. As an added bonus, the kids don't ask to go as often, since that tends to be a destination of choice for the P.R. trips.

On Tuesday Nicholas got to celebrate again at an off-campus outing. As part of the 6th grade farewell, the big kids all board busses and spend the day at Island Water Park. He ran around the slides and wave pools with his buddies and came home thoroughly wiped out. Not only that, but he came home red as a lobster. Poor kid. Despite warnings to the contrary, he thought a good slather of sunscreen at 7 a.m. would do the trick for the day. By the time he arrived home at 5 p.m., the sun had crisped my little boy, though he stubbornly refused to admit it. That kid slept GREAT that night.

Meanwhile, Danielle received two very important awards Tuesday morning. She received her Principal's Honor Roll, and then received the Principal's Medallion, signifying straight A's all four quarters. I was incredibly bummed, because I couldn't sneak away to see her get the awards. Usually, people in my department are really good about covering each other's classes when our kids get awards, but this is finals week, and the assembly took place right in the middle of a final I was giving. I didn't feel right about leaving. I'm hoping it doesn't scar her for life. I missed one--ONE--of my older daughter's awards when she was in elementary school for the same reason: I was giving a final. (And believe me, that kid seemed to get an award every other week for something or another. I made it to ALMOST every one.) She still reminds me of that at least a couple of times a year, for good guilt-measure. Anyway, luckily Doug was able to make the awards ceremony, as was her dad, and they both sent me pictures.

The next day was the 5th and 6th grade awards. Nicholas received the B.E.A.R. Award (Be Excited About Reading). This was a big deal for us, because Nicholas started out his educational career a decidedly un-excited reader. He was what we like to call a 'reluctant reader'--one who is quite capable, but who just doesn't see the draw. Well, a light went on for him in the past couple of years, and suddenly he is reading up a storm. So much so that it became a double-edged sword. He became so engrossed in reading that he pretty much quit doing anything else in class. When his progress report came out a few weeks ago, he was precariously close to a sad, dismal, and lonely summer. With the threat of physical labor (and no video games!) looming over his summer horizon, he managed to put the books aside (weird irony here) and get his schoolwork in gear. I was very proud of him for bringing his grades up to a very acceptable Honor Roll mention during the awards assembly.

Today at the elementary school, they are having the annual sprinkler run. I used to think they did this because they wanted to reward the kids for all the hard work during the year by letting them cool off and play during what usually is 90+ degree weather. The real reason, though, is that the teachers have already stacked their desks and chairs and are cleaning shelves and floors. They don't have anywhere to put the kids! Tomorrow, when they have a half day before the doors close for the summer, the kids will all sit on the rugs and play board games brought from home. Teachers, meanwhile, will be scraping 6 month old gum off the underbellies of 36 desks.

**Okay, see what I did? I was resolute in the fact that this would be a short and sweet post--a mere picture or two of the kids basking in their glory, tiny caption below each. Turns out, I am incapable. I am verbose in spite of myself. Hopeless.


  1. Nothing wrong with a little verbosity! Congrats to all the kids - great accomplishments!

  2. Congratulations to your kids for a job well done! So what do you have planned for summer?

  3. Outstanding work!! Congratulations to your whole family. It takes commitment from everyone to have success in school!!

  4. Congrats to your children!! Fantastic on the awards.

  5. That's a lot of fun celebrations! Congrats on the great school year.
    Hope the sunburn is healing...

  6. Is it over yet? Just reading about all your end of the school year activities is a whirlwind. You must be exhausted!

    Hope you start your summer fun soon! : )