Thursday, November 03, 2005

And another week goes by...

I love this picture. I'm pretty sure that Kallisti, a friend in my guild, posted this somewhere a while back, and it made me laugh.

I'm glad this week is almost over. Tonight is Phil and Sebastians last night of the Family Math program they have running down at the school. When we first got the notice that they were running this, we signed Sebastian up right away.

See, when it comes to math, I'm a real dipshit. I was in school, anyway. I've noticed that as I've gotten older though, that I can be pretty good at math as long as I have a reason important enough to apply it to. When I was in school though, it was a totally different story. I got into Algebra in junior high and I was fine for the first two weeks and then I got lost, and that was pretty much the end of that. Granted, I can definitely say that had I had a different teacher it might have been different, but sadly, I had good ole Mr. Harrison.

Lou Harrison. He was probably about 70 years old with this huge belt buckle that said LOU that he wore every day with his brown polyester pants and his cowboy boots. And Mr. Harrison wore a hearing aid, that didn't work unless you whistled. And see, I played the clarinet in the school band, and band class was right before algebra. So I would get to algebra with some song still stuck in my head, and if I whistled that song, his hearing aid would go crazy, he would go ballistic, and I would get booted out of class for the day.

Eventually, 6th period algebra became the class where I brought a good book to read. That semester I read Gone With the Wind, Grapes of Wrath, The Godfather and a bunch of Stephen King. At the end of the semester, with my big fat D in my hand that I didn't even deserve, I figured it would be best to tell algebra to fuck off, and I put myself in business machines instead, which worked out great because it turns out that I had a great teacher and I enjoyed the class, and I learned things in that class that I still use every day of my life.

The whole point to this is that I hated math in school, and I don't think Phil enjoyed it much either. With this in mind we've decided that we're going to do everything we can to make math enjoyable and fun for Sebastian, so maybe we can bullshit him past what we couldn't get past ourselves. It's easy now...but we figure that if we can get him to enjoy it now, he can carry that with him through the algebra and geometry that we bungled our way through.

Appreciation of reading will come easy for him. When Phil and I got married, so did our vast collection of books, so you can't go two feet in this house without coming across shelves and shelves of books that we refuse to part with, so that will come by example.

We got Sebastians school portraits back yesterday. After his kindergarten pictures from last year, we made a point to sit him down and practice picture smiles, and it paid off. Last years pictures, they were cute, and I guess exactly what you would expect of a kindergartner, but this year was much better. Also, they actually arrived without a big white line through them like last years, so I didn't have to call and yell at anyone.

First grade for him seems to be going well so far. I guess we'll find out for sure on the 15th, when we go in for our first parent-teacher conference of the year. I can tell by doing his homework and reading with him that he seems to be comfortable with everything so far, and I imagine (hell, I would hope) that if he were encountering serious issues that the teacher would have let me know by now, but conferences make me nervous just the same.

First grade for me has been rough so far. I don't think there has been one day past the first week of school that I haven't been sick from some bug that he has brought home from school...and I'm not just talking the sniffles...I'm talking knock you on your ass, can't get out of bed, Nyquil for the win kind of crap. I've searched Ebay for a plastic bubble that I can live in with no luck. I'm really sick of being sick though, and it seems that as soon as I get one or two days where I'm back on my feet, I go down for the count again. It's miserable.

While I've been sick, I've gone on a dishtowel kick. I am absolutely addicted to knitting these. Mostly because even in a Nyquil-induced stupor, I can memorize the patterns easily, and I can just knit mindlessly. It's amazing how many patterns are out there, and it's a great way to learn and practice new stitches. The yarn is really inexpensive and easy to find, and you end up with something that you can use or give someone as a gift that they can get some good use out of.

I don't know what it is about the craft places around here, but they really don't cater much to yarn lovers. The largest craft store in my area (and it's HUGE) only has a half a row of yarn, and it's mostly baby yarn and that acrylic stuff that I can't stand knitting with. To make matters worse, if I'm lucky enough to find what I'm looking for, I find that I get pissed when I realize that I am often paying twice what I could get it for over the internet. For example, 2.5 ounces of cotton yarn is ON SALE for $1.79 at my local store, but if I search, I can find it for $.99 online...so even with paying for shipping, I'd still come out ahead.

Some of the cutest patterns that I want to do generally call for really expensive yarn, and I'm really not good yet at figuring out what I can substitute for, so maybe it's a good thing that some of these yarns aren't available in the stores by me, because I probably save a lot of money by being able to price compare over the net.

Once the holidays are over, I have some new projects I want to start. I want to find some easy patterns for dog sweaters. (I think I just heard whimpering) and I want to dive into some lace work and try that out. There's also a throw kit that I would love to get my hands on. I've drooled over it in the last three catalogs that have arrived and I would really like to knit this one for Phil, but it's going to have to wait because the kit for it is a bit more than I would like to pay this time of year with Sebastian, Phil and Phils moms birthdays coming up so close to Christmas.

Well, this has been a rather long-winded post for today, so I will end this for now and get some things done around here.

Hugs to everyone,

Nicole

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