Winners and The Loser

My longtime friend IRL, Aim, has started blogging about *her* life with three little boys. She calls herself “The Outnumbered Mother,” and you should leave The Zone right now and go read her blog. She is hysterically funny. Moreover, even with a baby and two small children, she is blogging more regularly than I, and she shames me into getting off my duff to write more often. Thanks for kicking my ass, Aim.

We have had more naches in The Zone this week than we’ve had in a long time! First of all, Moose’s beginning middle school band had its final concert of the year. The 6th graders played a 30-minute concert consisting of 6 songs. The band performed four of them really well, especially “Guantanamera” (a song close to my Cuban-rooted heart) and the theme from “Star Wars”. I was really impressed with how well the children kept time, watched the conductor’s stick, and played the music together as opposed to a group of individuals. Afterwards, WineGuy and I treated Moose and Wild Thing to a sushi dinner to celebrate. Wizard wasn’t there because Wizard wasn’t there.

Last night, The Zone Middle School invited our family to attend the 6th Grade Academic Award Ceremonies. WineGuy, Wild Thing, and I went to see how Moose would be honored. My baby received an award for a perfect 4.0 average for the entire school year. Woot! I’m not surprised because he’s really enjoyed school this year more than he ever thought he would. However, when Moose showed me his interims the other day, I went ballistic. For some reason, he has a B in History and a C in Algebra I. Most people wouldn’t bat an eyelash at those grades, but I am a Jewish mother of a child who has brought home straight As all year. Anything else is unacceptable. So, after I threw a flying conniption fit, I sat down and talked with Moose. He admitted to slacking off this term, piggybacking on several absences due to legitimate illness. I told him to go back to his teachers and find out what he needed to do to bring his grades up. His history teacher actually took him to task for slacking off this term and gave him a list of assignments he needs to ace to bring up that grade. Moose’s English teacher rightfully gave him a C on a book-based project, so we sat down one night and re-did the whole thing together. The English teacher was surprised to receive the revised work but did so gladly. The only remaining issue is Algebra I. I hope Moose speaks with that teacher today because that class has been the most challenging for him and the one in which he, personally, wished to excel.

Finally, this morning WineGuy and I dragged our sorry selves out of bed at 0-dark-hundred to be at The Zone High School at 7:00 a.m. for us to attend the Freshman Academic Award and Merit Ceremony. We proudly watched Wild Thing strut across the stage twice, being recognized once for a cumulative GPA greater than 3.5 for this first year of high school and once for being the Outstanding Student in Programming I. Wild Thing’s computer programming teacher nominated him for that last award, and he was the only winner from that class.

As for The Loser, you can guess who that is:  Wizard. Today is the last day of school for seniors. Wizard has 2 final exams in I don’t know which classes. Graduation is one week from today, and we still do not know whether he will graduate. We had to tell both sets of grandparents not to plan on a graduation because things look grim. Wizard supposedly turned in a bunch of work over the last few days. His teachers have Memorial Day weekend to grade everything and report his grades. We won’t know anything for sure until the first graduation practice next week. I guess if they kick him out of grad practice, we’ll know where he stands. Wizard has a pile of college rejections but no acceptances. According to an ultimatum I formed  many years ago, Wizard has until the day after his 18th birthday in June to either (a) be accepted to a 4-year college in which he will live in a dorm in the fall, or (b) have a full-time job. If Wizard fails to accomplish either goal, I will throw him out. It’s pretty sad because the kid doesn’t drive, can’t navigate his way out of a cardboard box, and always looks to see how little he can do to get by. Here’s my plan:  stand at the northern terminus of the road on which the homeless shelter sits, point Wizard in the right direction, and tell him to walk the 9 miles south to get there. ¡Adios, ranchero!

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