Friday, October 26, 2007

Parent-teacher conference

At 3:05. Where will I put my kids? I asked. Oh, I'll just give them some toys to play with in the hallway while we talk.

See there? They have it all worked out.

The PTA has sent home their third last-chance-to-purchase-a-pie reminder and like the others I've thrown them away. I like pie as much as the next woman stretching her seams, but I'm not risking my pie calories on an unknown. Plus, the pie sale conflicts with the get-kids-eating-healthy spiel and gives me a headache thinking about it.

The first five minutes of a parent-teacher conference is like a boot camp. The system is gamed to break you down before they build you back up. The teacher showed me a list of words she asked my six-year-old to read, all but one of which, she was unable to decipher.

This is alarming news! My daughter has always been quite verbal and very interested in books. "These are not first-grade words," said her teacher, but that did not quite soak in until we got through the rest of the standardized test.

Back to the hard words like 'become' and 'early' and I think even 'aisle.' If they're not first-grade words, I asked, why are they on the test? Here, the teacher spread her hands open and gave me an exacting look of exasperation aimed not at me but at the invisible gag that keeps her from exclaiming, "I WISH I KNEW!"

Then we went through all the things she did well, including recognizing all the sounds for the alphabet and reading above her level perfectly, though not being able to talk about what she's read.

That's just like me in the reading comprehension part of the SAT and GRE! I offered excitedly. She smiles. Like mother, like daughter. Well, long passages are boring and the mind starts to wander...I said long passages are boring and the mind starts to wander.

We also discussed the wisdom of number grades at such a tender age. First graders understand they are to try for 100 percent, but they don't understand that 98 percent is really, really good and makes parents just as proud. No, if they're like mine, it takes them a while to get passed that emotional hurdle.

An emotional hurdle I'm trying to get passed is resentment for my yoga instructor. I've been squatting and lunging with weights for a few years now and my legs are pretty strong, so when she holds a pose for longer than I can comfortably handle, I start thinking bad, angry thoughts about her. I shared this with my husband who said he didn't think yoga is supposed to trigger the fight-or-flight reflex, and that maybe I should re-think which exercise classes to take.

I'll have to mull that one over. If only I had a piece of pie to munch on while thinking it over...too bad.

Update: Edited for OCD's sake.

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Anonymous allan-san said...

Peace, Grasshopper. Let not angry thoughts bring stress and chaos to your consciousness. Breathe deeply, exhale in calm focus. Allow your mind to release your tensions to the universe. Dwell in the bliss as the images of your legs made strong and supple from lunging and squatting kick the holy crap out of that wimpy yoga twerp.

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Miguel Little Feather said...

Allan-san provide heap-good advice.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

You guys are cracking me up!

Light are the wings of the butterfly...heavy are the thighs of the hippo, allan-san.

..oh, little feather, I needed that laugh.

8:13 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Thanks for the laugh-out-loud post, Nancy.

I hear you re the yoga instructor. Tacky showoff.

Its apple season, make yourself a pie.

11:07 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

It is almost time for my annual can't-get-the-crust-quite-right apple pie!

6:28 AM  
Blogger kathy said...

what a great post! "..I SAID long passages are boring" etc made me laugh out loud.

also re yoga: the great thing about yoga is that it's about finding YOUR edge not some teacher's, so no need to brain her unless she's irritating for other reaons, in which case do

(I say that and have not been to a class in 6 months so do not listen to me)

_aisle_, jeez!

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Vivian Louise said...

yeah, yoga rocks. except when it hurts like a @#*_)$@%#$.

12:54 PM  
Blogger David N. Scott said...

I'm secretly very irrationaly competitive and hate it when people are better than things at me.... at least things I try to do well and have experience at.

Boo's school does healthy lunches 4 / 5 days but serves greasy pizza on Fridays. Sigh.

11:58 PM  

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