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Posts Tagged ‘Rallies’

100 guppies

It has been a rough week at school for Blitzen.  She missed ‘rally’ for the first time since she started there in November.  Rally, from what I can tell, is a big, free-for-all, reward-for-good-behavior type thing on Thursday afternoons in the auditorium.  There are snacks, music and dancing, sometimes a video and just crazy, wild fun.  Blitzen LOVES rally.  But everyday this week, Blitzen has stormed out of the classroom at least once each day and yesterday, she ran out 3 times.  At home, it is fight.  At school, it is flight.  So no rally.

At dinner, we had a lot of things to discuss.  What is happening at school and an incident with the babysitter that afternoon.  Blitzen doesn’t really like to dive deeply into her feelings and behaviors and will do just about anything to avoid it.  But when we have these conversations at dinner, she just tries to change the subject.  Last night, the conversation went a little bit like this:

Andrew  — How was school today?  I haven’t looked at your point sheet yet.  (School employs a point system and Blitzen loves to get all 72 points – sometimes she does but this week, not so much).

Blitzen — Not good.  I got a 60.

Carrie — I saw your sheet and noticed that you left class again.  That has been happening a lot.  What’s going on?

Blitzen — The kids, you know, the boys, they just be getting on my nerves and my teacher.  But wait, wait, can I ask you something?

Carrie — Yes, you can but this conversation about school isn’t finished.

Blitzen — I know but it is about guppies.

Andrew — We can talk about guppies for a minute but we’re coming back to what happened at school today.

Blitzen — The guppy in my science class is pregnant.  And when her babies are born, she won’t know they are her babies and she will try to eat them.  We saw it on a video.

Carrie — Wow.  Are you going to separate the baby guppies from their mom?

Blitzen — Yes, you know what you have to do? You have to put the babies in another tank.

Andrew — Are you ready to talk about what happened at school now?

Blitzen — No, no, wait, I just gotta tell you something.  One time, at my other foster house, I had 100 guppies and the mom guppy tried to eat all the babies and the baby guppies were really mad at the mom so I had to separate them.  The baby guppies had to live in other tanks – I had like 100 tanks too.

Carrie — That is a lot of tanks.  Now let’s talk about why you ran out of class today.

And on from there.

Now I am willing to wager a significant amount of money that Blitzen never had guppies before.  But mostly I think it is fascinating how, even when she is avoiding talking about difficult things, she ends up revealing so much.  What an interesting tale – you separated the baby guppies from the mom guppy because the babies were mad and they all ended up in separate tanks.  Hmmmm, this story sounds very familiar and it has nothing to do with guppies.

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This weekend, we went to DC to attend the SOS Rally, Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action .  Great speakers –
all of Andrew’s  education heroes but I’ll let him chat about that if he wishes to do so.  It was enlightening for me – I was excited and inspired and a little saddened and a lot sunburnt (ouch!) and have been since spending serious time thinking about school environments, what this generation of children might need vs. what they might be getting, and how that will influence us as soon to be parents of a school age child.

We are residents of NYC, Central Harlem is our neighborhood and we love it.  School districting in this city is confusing at best and trying to learn about it is turning out to be quite an undertaking.  Just like most places, the public schools fall within a wide spectrum – from amazing, progressive, and innovative to what appears (admittedly from our  currently outsider perspective) to be depressing places driven by testing and unimaginative curriculums.  I am sure everyone reading this* is thinking – ah, yes, of course, haven’t you been paying attention?!? – and I guess that I haven’t really been paying attention because I haven’t really
been impacted in an every day way.  Up until now, it has simply sort of been abstractly upsetting to me that there is
a generation of children growing up mostly in learning environments that tend to squash intellectual curiosity and don’t celebrate a variety of talents/interests/gifts and don’t embrace the mosaic of human-ness.

I want our little fosterwee to go to a school that is challenging and exciting, not an anxiety inducing testing machine.  A place where teachers are appreciated and feel appreciated and privileged to do what they do.  A place where parents and students
get to know one another and form a true and committed community.  Oh, and it would be nice if it were a place where they update the website regularly so that I can get good information and don’t have to read about the open house from 2009.

So, we’re seeking, researching, investigating the educational options for fosterwee to be.  We’ll keep you posted.

*Is anyone reading this, by the way???

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