Thursday, April 17, 2014

On This Date in 1999 (April 17)

Yesterday was report card day. JoAnna and I have been a little concerned about Andy’s schoolwork. Last week he brought home a “Math Progress Report” for the third quarter. 

                                                   Unit 7 Unit 8 Unit 9 
Daily assignment average (60%)         48       84       63 
Test average (40%)                            82       96       81 
Overall unit score                              62       89       70 

Unit 7 covered coordinates, area & circles. Unit 8, algebra concepts & skills. Unit 9, fractions & ratios. His final grade for the quarter: 74. For some reason, he fell down on his homework during the 7th and 9th units. In fact, midway through the quarter, Mrs. Ball, Andy’s teacher, telephoned me to express her concerns about Andy’s suddenly cavalier attitude toward his school responsibilities. He wasn’t noting down his homework each day in his assignment notebook. Consequently, he wasn’t handing his homework in on time. I started to get suspicious before this incident, when Andy always answered my question, “Did you do your homework?” with “I don’t have any.” The three of us – JoAnna unable to get away from her office in the middle of the afternoon -- met a few days later and that seemed to be all the incentive Andy needed to dump his bad attitude. 

So anyway, we knew that Andy was getting at least one “C” on his report card. JoAnna and I prepared ourselves for the worst. 

Yesterday Andy called me at the library as soon as he returned home from school. He was very eager to share the results of his latest report card. Even though I was working at the reference desk during a busy part of the day, I told him, “Well, tell me how you did.” 

No wonder he was pleased with himself. 

His other grades include: 
  • Reading B+ 
  • Spelling A- 
  • Language Arts B- 
  • Social Studies A 
  • Science A-

He even read me the note that his teacher had written: Andy has made a real effort to apply himself and organize materials, finish work on time and use class time for assignments the last part of the quarter. Keeping working, Andy! Andy had an ulterior motive for his call, of course. 

“Dad, can I have my Playstation back?”, he asked with proper deference. 

“That’s a family decision, Andy,” I responded. “We’ll talk about that later today when Mom is home.” 

I’m perceived as the easier touch, so the boys are never too happy when Mom is added to a decision-making equation. If you recall, Andy’s punishment for his temporarily poor attitude at school was to be denied the aforementioned electronic game and the possibility of any sleepovers. Last night we negotiated the following terms: the Playstation will be available from Friday afternoon (as long as all homework is completed) through 6 p.m. on Sunday. I’ve been keeping the Playstation equipment in my office at the library. In that way, Andy can’t “cheat” and use it when he and Eddie are home alone after school. 

Eddie also brought home a good report card. His teachers are very pleased with his progress in reading and language arts, where he is in a modified, i.e. special education, program. In a “Project Read Assessment”, an attachment to his standard report card, he received achievement grades of mostly S’s, for Secure (child can apply the skill or concept correctly and independently.) In the two areas where he is graded on his regular classwork – Science/Health and Social Studies, Eddie received the highest grade possible: S+. In the Individual Development section of his report card, most of his evaluations are S (for satisfactory). His one problem area is a result of his perfectionism, “accepts constructive suggestions.” For the first quarter, he received an “N” (for needs improvement); then an “I” (inconsistent) for the second quarter; and now a “P” (progress shown) for the most recent grading period. At least he’s making steady improvement here! 

As I noted in my journal yesterday, Madison must have hosted a joint conference of the American Meteorological Society and NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws). Snow? What snow? The feel and sounds of spring were in the air yesterday. I started to clear away some of the debris in our expansive bed of perennials along the south side of the house, serenaded by the constant buzz of lawn mowers in the distance. Although it was overcast through most of the day, the clouds had dissipated by the late afternoon so that I needed my sunglasses when I drove Eddie (west, into a blinding sun) to his soccer practice. 

Right now it’s time for me to get out of my sweaty exercise clothes and into the shower. Andy plays his first soccer game of the season this morning and needs to be on the field in 45 minutes. Later today I may decide to start my semi-annual window-cleaning chore – and that’s the best word for it, although listening to a book on tape helps the time pass quickly -- since there is only a slight chance of rain showers predicted for later today.

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