Monday, September 06, 2010

Still here

But keeping my head down. For the most part, I'm ahead (this Blackboard thing where they post assignments giving the student a longer lead time is great). However I feel the constant pressure to study.

My first test is this week; it's in geography. This one should be simple enough as it's largely over terms which requires only rote memory. After this it will be about maps and that is a lot more intimidating. There is a reason I always hand the phone to my husband when someone needs directions to our home. I do not keep maps in my head. (ex. I could point Australia out on a map, and could probably point out Adelaide--thanks to my friend Scotty--but none of the territories. Ask me about Anzac Day and I can recite a little of its history because I've read some poetry about it, but don't ask me which coast Sydney is on). I'm not proud of this, but it is how my brain is wired. I don't carry mental maps (which, we learned in Geography, is how most people find their way around). I carry stories in my head and a good road atlas in my glove box. Sam, who has loved maps since he was old enough to know what they are,  pointed out that there are lots of geography games online and even a geography board game on the shelf alongside of our others. I've let him look through the power points, some of which are animated, and watch the videos she's posted links to. He thinks my geography class is cool. Frankly, his enthusiasm is infectious and it's helped a lot to have him to explain it all to.

While I'm thinking about it--here's an interesting site for those of us who live in the US especially:
National Atlas

I meet with an advisor on Tuesday to map out my next few years. There are a lot of hoops to jump through in order to become a teacher--the largest of which being the CBase Test, which I have to pass with a 265 out of 500 in order to be admitted into the Elementary Ed program. I will probably take it for the first time later this month. No one expects anyone to do well the first time, but the prospect of facing the math section worries me. I don't know how much I've said about this here, but I have always struggled with this subject (I teach it well because I know where it falls apart for others), especially algebra. I am hearing horror stories of people who took the test four times without passing and had to ask for an exception (special classes instead).

In other news, I sang a solo at church yesterday for the first time in two years and Jeremiah accompanied me on guitar. He did an outstanding job and I think he was pleased to be able to do this for me. When it was our turn to go before the congregation, he suddenly remembered that he'd left his capo in his guitar case and muttered, "stall 'em" as he passed me. So, being me, I announced that I was supposed to "stall" and everyone laughed. Then I made a point of telling everyone that I'd wanted to sing with him for a long time, so this was a special thing for me (very true). During the song, I was a nervous wreck (I am not really as "solo singing" kind of gal, voice or no voice).  After the service, I was stopped by several teary mothers who told me how much that small comment  resonated with them and how much they admired our family's closeness. The song I'd chosen was Better than a Hallelujah by Amy Grant and it too engendered a lot of comment (good words, powerful message). Jeremiah has nerves of steel and it shows. I once asked him how he does it. I don't get stage fright when I'm playing, he told me with a shrug. I don't know why not. I just don't.  I want to be like him when I grow up.  

After church I heard my mother who was sitting behind Gary and the boys while we were singing, telling someone with great amusement, that she'd looked over during the service to see the remaining three unconsciously mirroring their father--sitting in the exact same position, wearing the same expression, leaning forward slightly, with one finger folded neatly over their lips as they watched us.

In terms of his own college life--Jeremiah is making all As and has been invited to join Phi Beta Kappa (kind of an honor student's society). He likes dorm life well enough, but I think he misses us more than he expected to. We certainly miss him.

I am fretting about many things: Gary's job security, the van's gauges working only intermittently (cannot abide flying blind), the long drive between here and there. But I'm especially concerned about how to balance college against homeschooling Sam who has been a real trooper. He is and always has been an independent self starter which means that his schoolwork is not suffering, but I'm worried that he's otherwise coming up on the short end of the stick. He winds up alone for better than half of Thursday, doing his school work by himself, getting himself ready for the class he takes at the public school. This week, in addition to Thursday, he'll be alone on Tuesday because Gary was drafted to work mandatory over time and I have the meeting with my advisor and won't be home until after five. I have studied my schedule and cannot skip any classes this week as I have assignments and group work in every single one of them. Gary offered to call in to work, but with the current atmosphere over there (they fired four people last month and are handing out suspensions left and right) is not a good idea. If we absolutely had to, we could go to schooling him just three days a week by doubling up on work, but I'd prefer to keep things consistent and not make Sam pay for our short-comings. And, no, enrolling him full time in the local public school is not an option--you'll have to trust me on that one. I do wish I could take him with me some days.


Ro said...

Something will come out of the blue, just wait and see ;)
Good luck and you're doing a wonderful job :)

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Sam sure sounds resilient! And I understand about the enrolling in public school not being an option. I get it. :)