Girlfriend in Tacoma

Jan. 11, 2008 at 8:01am

I Blame Tacoma Schools...

(it's not as bad as you'd think.)

I took the kid to her 6 year old check at Dr Schulze's office yesterday.  I got to see, as a third party, how flippin' smart my kid is.  She read all the eye chart letters, she told me the sign on the door said exit, she counted by 2, 5, and 10 up to 100, and she read the first few pages of Cat in the Hat.

That wasn't what impressed me.

Given the option of having a varicella vaccine during her appointment, or next year, the kid looked thoughtful a minute, and said, "today."  My eyebrows shot up as I awaited her reasoning.  She told the nurse, "If I have it today I won't have to be worried anymore." 

Dang.  I wasn't using logic that sound in my early twenties.

But then, I'm of a different era.  Kindergarten, 1974, Oakbrook Elementary School.  Mrs Benson left us, to have her baby.  We had Mr Johnson, then. I wore bad Keds with rounded, rubber toes, the kid you never could tell right from left on.  This, when I wasn't wearing bad hand-me down German sandals purchased for my sister when our family had been stationed in Germany. That was also where I had my ears pierced, and why I had dangly blue heart earrings hanging from my lobes (cause for jealousy and ostracizing, later that year.)

What the cool kids in kindergartgen were doing, was hiding under the tables eating play doh for the sheer pleasure of a salt overdose.  I tried it once, and it didn't do anything for me. What we did as a class, was go to the library and sit in the crater, listening to... (Mrs Rankin? No, that was my organ teacher,) a woman read to us.  Special days, we would see a crackly film on the reel to reel. We also would sit around in circle, learning songls plunked out on an upright piano in the classroom, learning how to state the pledge of allegiance (I still taper off round about "and to the republic, for which it stands, one nation? indivisible? With liberty and justice for all?" -- do they even say "under God anymore? Are they allowed to?)

During that circle time, we would have a snack.  Graham crackers, Oreos, all kinds of lovely treats I never had at home.  I would lick my Oreo filling, not like it, put my cookie back together and eat a bite, then play with my shoe. Eventually, I worked out the way a bow works, and felt the rush of accomplishment that comes with learning to tie my own shoe.  I toasted myself with milk and Oreo. I think we might have had a daily nap on a mat, and went home shortly afterwards.  All this happened before noon.

Today's K works differently.  My kid goes into class at 9, and seats herself with her group.  The kids all have backs ramrod straight, homework proudly in front of them.  Some pages show illustrated story problems, with equations carefully written in the last of four squares.  Some have sentences and pictures illustrating sentences. (My favorite work of my own kid's, which came home Thanksgiving: "Dad said, "I see a pie."  He swallowed the pie.  Mom said, "No!" " --that's my girl, reporting all the way.)

Kids in my daughter's class give a daily weather report, and compile weather data.  They work out numbers, and discuss evens, odds, fives, tens.  They look at overhead projections created via Apple desktop computer. 

It's a different world compared to mine.

But I can't comp[lain, despite how it blows my own nostalgic feelings out of the water by comparison.  Because while I, in Kindergarten, was learning that I should not kiss Chris Mantle on the playground-- I was the kissing queen bee, chasing boys around with a buzz, some accepted, one punched me in the gut, teaching me what it felt like to have the wind knocked out of me. (guess who that was.) --my kid is learning enough that she can write, on our at-home chalkboard "I (heart, drawn and carefully colored) my mom and dad and family and my self." -next to this, a meticulously drawn, accurate and beautiful globe on a stand. She explains, "this is a symbol of the globe because I love all sorts of things."

that's my girl!

comments [3]  |  posted under doctor visit, fabulous kid, Tacoma Public Schools


by jenyum on 1/11/2008 @ 9:25am
I love my kid's school, too. She's so happy there, and they were expected to learn more in Kindergarten than I was in first grade.

I just wrote a short novel about what seems to happen at the junior high and high school level, and I realized I would just be raining on this lovely post.

by jcbetty on 1/11/2008 @ 9:30am
I suspect there will be the junior high/high rant (complete with nostalgic comparisons) in years to come.

rain is welcome :)

by pongo on 1/31/2008 @ 10:11am
school does what it's designed to do: make us all into unquestioning, productive workers. school sucks for everyone, especially young kids.

there are other ways of learning.


musing her way through arts, culture, dining, shopping, exercising, and parenting, all while wearing a pungent, truffle-like aroma.

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