Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Growing Up is Not Optional

As the school year starts screaming towards summer vacation, there are lots of academic events happening. The dreaded (me) Science Fair Project that's supposedly been in the works since late January is due with a presentation and judging this week. At least this year all the experimenting didn't happen the day before the project was due. THIS year, during March, we actually carried out the experiment. However, that's as far as it got until this past weekend - with everything due Monday.

Darling Man, the usual science project guy, had to work so I stepped up to the plate. We carried out the experiment one more time just to take pictures. In a behavioral study (heh) ZBoy offered his gerbil, Stormy, a small piece of apple and a small piece of carrot to see which he would choose. He chose the apple every time. EVERY time. If the carrot was left in his cage, he might eat it much later, but it usually got cleaned out when the cage got cleaned.

I love the pie chart - it's all one color! Stormy chose apples 100% of the time.

This is the final result. Judging is on Thursday. ZBoy feels pretty confident about it. It was pretty interesting. I didn't realize his preference for apples would be so strong.

So... since winter break, we've had the statewide testing, reading contests and science fair.

And yesterday was Middle School Orientation.

Next year, my son will be going into 6th grade - at the same school I went to! It was a little surreal to walk in there, into the gym, and sit in the same place on the bleachers I was sitting in when I got a little scar on my arm. The bleachers are a permanent installation now, whereas they were the all-metal, fold up against the wall kind when I was there. I got there before the kids did and perched at the top of the bleachers, I got a great view of past and present mixing before my eyes.

Set up already was the Jazz Band, which was running through some stuff, including a wonderful rendition of Snoopy's theme, complete with electric guitar riffs. The guys slouched over their instruments with long hair and bored rockstar expressions while the girls stood around on their just-starting-to-lengthen legs, gazing at the boys with their pre-makeup faces.

Finally, the kids came streaming in... 5th graders from 5 different schools. That's a lot of noise! ZBoy got to sit with me, but it was so loud in there, I couldn't hear anything he said. I could see his mouth moving, but it didn't seem like anything was coming out.

This school is a Performing Arts Magnet School, so there were presentations from several of the performing groups at the school

The Jazz Band lead off, playing "My Girl" which got the audience clapping. Then the Boys' Ensemble sang "Barbara Ann" in reedy voices that haven't changed yet.
In between performances, the principal talked about going to school here. How the day was structured, PE requirements, academic requirements and electives.
One of the electives is Strings - which I really hope my son will continue. The instructor here is quite popular and I think he'd really enjoy playing for him. It was an impressive group.

ZBoy was grinning and enjoying every minute of his orientation... Until the principal started talking about dress code. My boy's favorite outfit is sweat pants, t-shirt hanging out, jacket (even when it's hot) and sandals with socks. He looks like a homeless kid. The school's philosophy on dress is that being a student is a job and that the kids should look the part. They don't have uniforms (yet), but are expected to wear pants at the waist, belts and shirts tucked in. The grin slid off Z's face. He turned to me and said, "I'm gonna hate this school!"
The thing is, he's not. He's gonna love it. He's been ready for the structure of middle school for a year. Every day he gets 4 periods of academics - Math, Science, Social Studies and Language Arts. And two periods of electives. Whatever he wants to take. And each year, he takes a half-year of PE (though he could take more if he wanted to).
He thinks he's going to hate it because he likes being a little kid. But growing up isn't optional - and once he's really on the path to adulthood, I think he's going to find that he loves that too.


Jan n Jer said...

Ahhh the middle school days...you will survive it! They grow up fast!

karisma said...

LOL! I can't imagine my Zak wearing proper pants and shirts either. Poor Zboy! I am sure he will have loads of fun though learning his way around, even if he does have to dress the part.

TC has to wear a uniform to school and as winter is starting to show its teeth she was complaining this morning as she wanted to wear her new grey jumper with a huge panda on it. She is only allowed to wear plain black!

Debs said...

My youngest is in his last year of Middle School. Next year both my babies be in High School. :( I still have mixed emotions. Growing pains. LOL

I miss being in band!

Sandcastle Momma said...

I had to laugh at the thought of ZBoy's face when he heard about the dress code LOL I applaud the rules but I know how he feels - there's nothing better than comfy sweats. I hope he enjoys middle school!