Thursday, October 18, 2007

Yes, I feel lucky

This past Tuesday evening I had one of those evenings that gets me through the week. I met Sammy at the middle school, and then the 2 of us waited for Kev to arrive there. It was Parent/Teacher Conferences time. While we waited, Sammy and I shopped at the book fair… we always enjoy the books fairs. Sammy isn’t quite the avid reader that Joyce is, so he asked for only a couple of books. I would have to limit Joycie before we entered the book fair area, otherwise she would easily pick out 20 books. I managed to find a book that I felt she would like, so our total purchase was 3 books. New books smell so good.

Kev arrived and we started by going down to Sammy’s locker. For a boy whose bedroom usually looks like a tornado went through it, you’d think his locker would be a mess. It isn’t. Sam’s locker is very well organized. We bought him a couple of locker shelves at Office Max, and he had everything in its place. For each class, he has a 3-ring binder, which is a requirement by the teachers. The binders have dividers to organize notes, homework, tests, etc. The students also keep track of their grades for each paper… it’s very organized, and Sammy is doing an excellent job keeping his notebooks in order.

It helps that he really likes his binders, which we also bought at Office Max. We got the kind that have clear pockets for inserting covers, and we bought a different color for each class. Sammy made spine labels to identify the class, and then he made inserts for the front pockets. He used photo files from home and from off the ‘net, and he put together collages of the pics, using a different theme for each notebook. They turned out awesome. I love it that Sammy is so creative that way.

Then, taking all 5 notebooks, one each for Math, Social Studies, Science, English and Spanish, we went down to the cafeteria where all the 7th grade teachers were set up at tables to talk with parents and students. Sammy is doing very well in all his classes, with 100% or better (because he does all the extra credit work he can) in all classes except Math, where he has 98%. All his teachers had great comments about him, saying how great he is to have in class, such a nice young man, and on and on. Sammy loved it, and so did Kev and I. We know that we had no issues or problems to discuss with the teachers; Kevin and I wanted to meet them face-to-face and show our support for Sam. It was an entirely pleasant experience.

The open set-up of the conferences doesn’t allow for much privacy, which of course, being the parent of such a stellar student as our Sam, bothered us not at all. Did I mind that some other parent may have heard when his Science teacher told us that Sammy was getting 100% in her class, and that he was the first one to have 100% so far that evening? Nope, didn’t mind a bit. I’m so proud of Sam. But, I noticed that not all conversations between parents and teachers were going as smoothly as ours. Of course, some of Sam’s classmates struggle with class work, or they struggle with appropriate behavior, etc. I’d like to say that Sammy’s doing so well because Kev and I expect and encourage that behavior, but that’s not true. Yes, our behavior contributes to his behavior, but basically with both Joycie and Sammy, we have lucked out. Big Time. Both our kids are naturally well organized with their school work, and both of them like to read. Those two characteristics alone help them both to be great students. That we demand they practice good manners and the Golden Rule helps. But oh yeah, we lucked out.

After the conferences, glowing with happiness, Kev went on home to go outside bow hunting and Sammy & I headed into town to meet Joycie for dinner. Joycie was in town for her weekly guitar lesson, so the timing was perfect. The three of us met at our favorite Chinese restaurant, where they were just setting up the dinner buffet. Dinner was wonderful, Joycie and Sammy were talkative, and the food was hot and excellent.

When the three of us arrived back home after dinner, Kev was still out hunting. Sammy went right to the computer to check his MySpace and IM with his friends. Joycie got her new Martin out and sat in the living room and played. I put my jammies on, relaxed on the sofa with Reilly at my side and watched and listened to Joycie play. Beautifully. I loved it. She played for about an hour or maybe more; for me, the time flew by.

Soon after she had put her guitar away and was getting ready to leave, Kev came in from hunting, which always puts him in a good mood. The four of us had a wonderful evening. Two days later, and I’m still basking in the warmth.

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