Thursday, February 23, 2006

A Little Bit of Nate and A Little Bit of Me

As you can probably guess, Jeff and I have had a multitude of discussions regarding this school switching thing. Things to remember: This private school is not a “quick fix,” even if they accept him. There’s a transition period involved, and wherever Nate goes, he takes his challenges with him, that’s just a given. I cautioned Jeff not to hope for a miraculous change in Nate. It took time for him to get where he is, it’s going to take time to get him where we know he can be. Right now, he’s very down on himself. His self-esteem spikes and plunges. In my heart, and don’t try to talk to me out of it, I believe the teacher and principal are wavering between hoping this is what is best for Nate and hoping he falls flat on his face to spite me and Jeff. The principal’s attitude was, “I hope you find satisfaction in what you’re doing” or something to that nature and it wasn’t with good tidings. If I didn’t believe that this would be the best thing for Nate then I wouldn’t do it. What’s more, it takes pressure off of his current teacher to keep her test scores up, although Nate has always scored in the upper 10% on standardized tests. I’m sure if we can get Nate transferred by the 28th, she’ll be happy he won’t bring down the test scores for the 4th grade writing assessment. Writing, obviously, being his worst subject. Part of me wants him to take the writing assessment, just so all of his hard work has not been in vain. Nate pulled up all of his grades and came out with 3 A’s, 2 B’s, 2 D’s and an E. This was much better than last time when he pulled 5 E’s at midterm and 3 E’s at the nine weeks. Nate buckled down and utilized the accommodations for his writing, still showing he knows the material. I’m very proud. **** As for me, I’ve edited two more short essays for the WV writing competition. I’m entering “Chrysalis” in the Non-fiction, “Fruit of a Christian - Sermonus Interruptus” in the Humor and “Down the Nar’ Path” in the Appalachian Writing categories, all three will be entered in the Emerging Writer category, since the last time I won anything for writing it was in high school. What used to be these posts have been broken down, cleaned up, added on, edited, edited, edited (definitely less cussing), making them stronger and tighter, and in the case of “Fruit,” I think, funnier. If you would like to review, refresh, or simply read them for the first time, leave your info in the comments or e-mail me and I’ll ship them off to you. All of these hold a special place in my heart and perhaps they would all fit in the Appalachian writing category. I’m not so sure. I think “Fruit” is uniquely Southern (as in Baptist), and “Chrysalis” not so much so. “Path” was written specifically about West Virginians and therefore Appalachia. I’ll just keep it as it is. Nate and I got to the dojo way too late to even think of seeing Sensei Smiley. The yellow stripe belts were testing for their yellow belts and it was a mad house!! I couldn’t even sit inside the dojo to watch Nate. I sat on the inside steps leading down into the dojo and ran into a classmate from high school that I hadn’t seen in 18 years! She was two years behind me in school but I recognized her name and then the face, although she’s 8 months pregnant with baby # 4! The world is small folks. Later, as the multitude of parents and children filtered in and out amongst the bathrooms and up the steps and down the steps, and in and out of the dojo, Nate finally caught up to me and then drug me into the dojo, the entire length of the dojo, back to the offices, with me asking him every step of the way, “What do you need Nate?” “What do you want Nate?” I thought he was going to try and con me out of a shield, or sparring gloves, or worse, THE DREADED CUP. No. He marched right up to the second office with Master J and Sensei Smiley, waves and says, BYEEEEEE!! He turns and says, “Okay, I’m done.” I just stood there and asked, “What did you want?” Master J said, “I think to say good-bye.” DOH! But, I did get to see Sensei Smiley smile. Which isn’t hard to do with Nate, in all his enthusiasm, waving and saying good-bye, even though I felt like an idiot for being drug all the way across the dojo, caught up by Nate, having no choice but to go instead of making a scene. I guess it was worth it seeing his smile. Nate’s and Sensei Smiley’s.
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