Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I Hated High School the First Time

And now we're doing it all over again. I hate so much the turmoil Burgundy's suffering. She's a really bright girl who enjoys learning, and in the right environment, she'll break her back to make the teacher happy. I feel so much sadness when she has teachers who don't or can't recognize that, but I don't know if I would be able to recognize it either, in the teachers' shoes.

Regardless, we're trudging through. Last night was the Winter Concert for Burgundy's band. As we sat through the first two bands and listened to their selections, we all agreed: The Junior High band directors were just better. Even the lower level bands at the Junior High sounded better at times. Now there are logical explanations. The bands have spent the bulk of the semester in marching band and region band preparations, and they've spent relatively little time working on the carols for the winter concert. All the same, I really believe that Burgundy is not getting everything she can out of band anymore. She's not being personally challenged or personally encouraged. Sure, the music is difficult and frustrating for her, but it isn't personal. And I don't think she cares whether she triumphs over it. This is Burgundy's dilemma to resolve, of course, and it's all a part of growing and becoming more mature. All the same, I'm a little disappointed.

For what it's worth, Burgundy's band still sounded fantastic. They played a gorgeous rendition of Carol of the Bells, and then they played the famous classical setting of Jingle Bells (with the sound of hoofs and the whip cracking and everything; darn those percussionists are good). They wrapped up with a really lovely setting of several different carols and songs, but I'm not sure what the name of the piece is. Apparently, the Symphonic Band usually doesn't play it. Usually, that falls to the Wind Ensemble, but they're going to Chicago instead.

We spent every other waking minute of the evening working on a paper due tomorrow in debate. She has everything she needs to write it except the confidence to tie it all together and say what she really wants to say. The topic is financial accountability, and I know that she has strong opinions on it. She's researched it to death and is trying to hit it from all angles. She's researched it so much that she thinks she hasn't researched it enough. This morning I told her to pretend one of her friends has told her that she's about to get her first credit card. Burgundy can't respond verbally at all; she can only hand her friend the paper. What would she want the paper to say?

Julia spent most of the evening baking with one of her friends in preparation for her French Club's Christmas party tonight. She said they had trouble because they did the baking at the other girl's house. Both girls are German exchange students, and they other host family didn't have the crazy plethora of baking tools that I have. Most notably, they don't have a scale that works with either grams or ounces, so the girls couldn't figure out how to do the recipe conversions from gram to volume measurements. She said they decided to wing it. Throw a bit in: Does this taste right? Does it look right? How's the consistency? Based on the deliciuos samples that Julia brought home, I'd say both girls should be bakers, because they demonstrated a profound ability to bake scrumptious goods on the fly.

That's it. I'm off to construct traceability matrices!

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