• DC1 brought home fur elise from hir new piano teacher.  It was amazing how the second time I played it my fingers instinctively remembered where to go, especially in the hard part in the middle.
  • DC2 wants a walrus for a pet.  I think zie has been reading too much Pigeon.
  • The problem with having fur elise completely and totally memorized is that every time DC1 makes a wrong note it bugs the crap out of me.  That is an E, not a C.  An E, gosh darn it!
  • I found out that DC1’s teacher has been mispronouncing hir name all semester.  DC1 has corrected hir, but zie has forgotten.
  • DC1 wants to go back to hir small private school next year.  We’ll see.
  • What do you supposed it’s like when you put two narcissists in a room together?  Do they find each other irritating or do they just talk past each other or what?
  • DC1 got mostly Bs in reading/writing (there are like 25 different “reading/writing” items).  Not sure what to do about that.  Zie also got a “needs improvement” in PE.  Not sure what to do about that either.  And a B in science, though the science teacher based that grade on 3 short multiple choice quizzes (two of which DC1 missed two problems on) and a final exam.  He’s pretty lazy for an elementary school teacher– assigns but doesn’t check homework.  A’s in math and a note that DC1 has run out of 5th grade math, so the teacher will be supplementing in class and has suggested more Kahn Academy at home.
  • Update:  DC1 finished Kahn Academy’s 6th grade math and is 40% done with 7th grade.  I think there’s a lot of overlap so that isn’t quite as impressive as it sounds– after finishing 6th grade, zie started 7th grade with 36% already done.  We’re thinking it will slow down once it reaches algebra.
  • I took the love languages quiz and got:  8 “words of affirmation”, 7 “quality time”, 0 “receiving gifts”, 8 “acts of service”, and 7 “physical touch”.  These results are pretty similar to my myers-briggs and a bunch of other professional personality tests that I’ve taken where, with a few exceptions, I tend to be pretty close to the middle for a lot of things.
  • DC2 was drawing a picture on a letter for DC1 to take to the school retreat.  First zie drew a stick figure of DC1.  Then sie drew a cross and said, “Jesus died on the cross.”  Then zie drew a dead Jesus blob.  Then zie kind of obliterated the cross.   (It’s not even Easter!  At the last religious daycare DC1 went to, I asked how they were handling the scarier parts of the bible but didn’t think to ask at this one because it’s the same denomination as the last one and I figured it was just Catholics who were into teaching the scary parts to toddlers.  Guess not.)   The other week zie was telling us about Samson and Delilah.  The lesson zie took was to never get a haircut because you will lose your power so DC2 is getting pretty shaggy.  DH says, “Not everybody gets a dead Jesus, at least not in the mail.”  I really wish they would stick to baby Jesus, at least for this season.
Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: . 19 Comments »

19 Responses to “RBOC”

  1. Norwegian Forest Cat Says:

    Apparently I got Bs in reading/writing once I hit late elementary school. My mom tells me the teacher wanted us to do a lot of creative writing that we also had to read in front of the class, and that was (and still is) 100% not my jam. I loved book reports and term papers, though. Science writing FTW! I also got a B in PE one semester because the teacher insisted on doing gymnastics, and I couldn’t (and still can’t) do somersaults or cartwheels. She didn’t realize that it was easier to just not try than it was to embarrass myself in front of everyone. So, maybe DC1’s teachers are just not quite hitting hir interest hot-spots? My parents just blew it off and said well yeah, of course she’s getting Bs. You’re making her do stuff she hates, so we’re not worried.

    I remember doing the love languages quiz when I worked at Jesus camp a long time ago. I realized that my SO was the one for me when I realized I was using all 5 love languages on him because I liked him THAT much. :) Awww…

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      We don’t really know where the grade is coming from for English– zie gets back papers with 3/4 (which is a B) but no comments. We did recently get one with a rubric and everything in the 3 column was circled. The first box, would look identical for the 3 vs the 4 except the 4 had the addition of “voice”. Another 4 box had “a joy to read” instead of 3’s “easy to understand.” Maybe DC1 is just too much of a scientific writer. I dunno.

      • Cloud Says:

        Our older daughter’s teacher told us they are strongly encouraged not to give 4s on the first report card, because that is supposed to represent complete mastery of the grade level material (or something like that). If your school is using a similar system, it might just be policy. Sort of like those ridiculous forced ranking performance reviews that require the manager to give most people 3/5.

        She also showed us their metrics for writing assessment and wrote down the name for me. I could dig that up if you’re interested. We decided we didn’t care enough to follow up on that.

        Performance assessment is hard. But it sure seems like we do a lot of stupid things in this area….

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        You should hear what’s going on in higher ed with performance assessment (as I’m sure our academic readers can attest to!)

        I did kind of wonder if there’s supposed to be a gradual increase across the year. But if zie doesn’t know how to improve, I’m not sure I trust improving to just happen.

      • Rosa Says:

        Zie reads good stuff, so zie knows what good writing looks like. Practicing will get them there.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        well…. I think things like “voice” and “enjoyable” are pretty subjective qualities. DC1 tends to get to the point without a lot of embellishment. Which may not be what this teacher is looking for. But being able to write for different audiences is also an important skill.

  2. hypatia cade Says:

    Instead of a walrus, you might consider a rhino. Have you read the book “Rita’s Rhino”? It’s a great/funny kid’s book about crazy pets.

  3. Debbie M Says:

    Part of me says that what you should do about B grades is to be happy. Those are good grades! An additional plan is to ask the teacher what ze recommends. And now that I’m a student again, I’m remembering just how random grades can be. They are all about showing that you’ve done what the teacher wants. And we just hope that trying to show what the teacher wants leads to good learning and growth and not to learned helplessness, other trauma, or apathy.

    Do you remember the mistakes you made learning Fur Elise? If so, is DC1 making the same mistakes? I wonder if it would bug you more if ze was making the same mistakes (which sound wrong but oh so familiar) or different ones?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      DC1 doesn’t seem to be as bothered by wrong notes as I am in general (I cannot handle wrong notes that sound awful or things being flat or sharp), so no, not the same mistakes! I’m really bad (or, you know, creative) at tempo. I can’t actually tell when tempo is wrong.

      We think that DC1 should be asking what the teacher recommends, but maybe we should be instead. It’s just hard not knowing what is being done wrong so one can’t improve. (Ex. what is “voice”?) Fortunately, this is a public school so DC1 can continue on to 6th grade next year regardless of As vs. Bs (whereas if this were a private school, Bs might mean zie would have to repeat 5th grade when we return).

      DH suspects that the teacher has marked DC1 as a math genius but not good at language arts, which is compounded by DC1 occasionally not completing assignments, and possibly our fabrications on the reading log (which might have been a bad idea in retrospect).

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I mean estimations, not fabrications, estimations!

      • Debbie M Says:

        B grades are grounds for failure sometimes? Yikes!

        Ah, yes, another problem with school. Teachers can ignore evidence that their first guess about you was wrong. But then they often love watching you “grow,” (and taking credit for that), so doing worse at first than you’ll do later can be just fine.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Not failure. Grounds for not staying grade-skipped.

      • Debbie M Says:


  4. Catwoman73 Says:

    My daughter wants to take piano lessons, and I was once a music major, specializing in piano performance (Switched majors in my 3rd year, though). I am so worried that listening to her mess up over and over will make me into a crazy person! I’m going to need to invest in some really good earplugs!

    Personally, I wouldn’t worry too much about DC1’s grades. B’s aren’t bad at all! I think some kids are natural academics, and other kids take years to get into their own academic ‘space.’ I had mediocre grades until about grade 11, when I was finally able to take classes that were more consistent with my strengths and interests- it was only then that my achievements started to match my potential. I totally understand how hard it is to watch your kids not quite living up to what you believe them to be capable of- I often feel the same way about my daughter. It’s hard to be patient and let them find their groove, but I really do believe in simply enforcing age appropriate expectations for doing homework, and leaving the rest to them.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Well, DC1 is currently grade-skipped two grades, so it’s not really a matter of not living up to what we believe hir to be capable of. More a matter of hir (or us) not knowing what zie needs to do to improve. And the grades on the paper not matching what we see at home in terms of language arts (ex. a 3 in phonics, when DC1 has clearly mastered phonics to a level that zie has hilariously funny mispronunciations of large non-phonetic words).

      DH worries that the teacher has pigeonholed hir as a math person and that precludes hir being a reading person, especially since the difference between 3 and 4 seems to be mostly subjective (“voice” “enjoyable” “style”). Even though previously zie has done very well in language arts. But in the South (where we normally live) they have a different approach to language arts where there’s a right answer and style isn’t necessary.

      In any case, we have a growth mindset about these things and see 3s as a chance to improve, but it is frustrating not to know what needs to be worked on and what needs to change.

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