Sunday, October 15, 2017

Keeping busy and another new normal.

I start my new job this week, working 4 days.   I'll have orientation and then 3 days of working.  I'm a little bit terrified.  It's been a while since I have worked outside the home, 9 years ago when I started working at the local hospital and had such problems with the chair and the computer program that they had.  I'm coming off of a year and a half of unemployment, a couple of failed new job attempts and I'm more humble and prepared to like it no matter what because I don't want to have to job hunt again.  Ever.  It kind of reminds me of the Winnie-The-Pooh story about how they are going to take Tigger into the woods and bring him back as a humble Tigger, a sorry Tigger and hopefully a less bouncy Tigger.  It didn't work on Tigger, but it worked on me.  I am prepared to like this job and do it no matter what. 

So anyway, we're moving into a new normal with me working.  I won't be home to wake up my college-aged son and though he sets alarms, he still needs someone to nudge him in the morning.  I guess his sister will have to pick up her old role of little mama and do it, at least this week.  I think once I get going in this job I will be working later in the afternoon, so it possibly won't be an issue after this week. 

Another part of the new normal, which is a good thing, really is that the younger kids social lives are expanding.  They are playing games and Dungeons and Dragons 2 nights a week and going to art classes another night of the week and often going back to the game store for pickup games or just to socialize at other times.  It's good for them.  It's a little hard for the 2 helicopter parents (who are trying hard not to hover) but we're doing okay.  :-P 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Doing better.

Youngest son is doing better and better in school.  He's taking less time to write things and writing well when he does write.  His history quizzes, which are essays, have needed less and less editing from me, just 2 commas and a semicolon on the last one and he's getting 19 and 20 out of 20 on a regular basis now.  He's got about half of his first paper written for writing 101 and it didn't take him but a couple of hours, whereas the first things he wrote took many, many hours and needed a ton of editing from me and his sister.  I'm thrilled by his progress.  He shows me a lot of his writing when he gets it back with the grades because he knows how happy it makes me.  The most recent history quiz/essay was 20 out of 20 and said "Good job!" on it.  You all know how much I worried when he was little and wouldn't even draw and hated coloring and then didn't learn to read until he was 10 and always, always hated writing, but maturity is working for him.  I'm glad we didn't sacrifice our relationship to trying to have him conform to others expectations of when he should do things.  He did it in his own good time.

If you have a little one who is struggling with any skill. lagging behind his peers, tell him or her about my son and read him or her this book.  Leo the Late Bloomer


Wednesday, October 04, 2017

A concert!

We went to a concert and variety show for youngest son's college last night.  It was very good. There's a lot of talent in the group.  I especially enjoyed the choir parts when my son was singing, but I enjoyed the other parts too, mostly.  There was at least one singer that I just sat and hoped would be finished soon.  That's how it is, though, isn't it?  During the in-between times, when no one was singing, they gave away door prizes.  Most of them were things like candles or T shirts, but my daughter-in-law won some Disney Princess stickers and my husband hit the jackpot with a bookstore gift card and some Godiva chocolates.  :-)  Anyway, it was a fun, family time.  It's interesting for us, having been homeschoolers, to start participating in these kind of school/family events that we've been out of for so, so long. 

Monday, October 02, 2017

History Test #2.

This is for youngest son (who was 6 years old when I started this blog and is now in college!).  He has dyslexia/dysgraphia and got a 92 with "solid essays" on his history test!  He has a chance to do a 6 point extra credit and he's going to do that too, to bring his average up a little bit. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Job craziness and other updates.

I've been job hunting for a year and a half and it's been kind of a pain.  I wanted to say tough, but it hasn't been really tough.  I'm not the major wage earner in our household so the pressure is not as great as it would be if my husband didn't have a good job.  Still, it's been a little hard on my ego and I've wanted to quit several times.  Last Thursday, I got offered a job.  It was at a nursing home, working as a receptionist.  I was very excited about it and my daughter and I did a happy, happy dance.  Then, 5 minutes later (what are the odds?), I got a notice that another company wanted to interview me, for work as a transcriptionist, paying a lot more, with no weekend hours and no early morning hours.  I had to do the interview.  It went well and I was offered that job on Wednesday of this week.  I immediately started trying to contact the person I had interviewed with for the first job to let her know but I could not reach her by phone. I called 7 times over 3 days.  (I don't enjoy making phone calls, but much less to give disappointing news.  They were excited to have finally found someone to work that position).  Finally, today in desperation, not wanting to go through the weekend with the prospect of having to make that uncomfortable phone call on Monday, I emailed her and she got right back to me, wishing me well in the new job.  I hate that it worked out that way, that I had to go through with all the onboarding tasks for the one company while secretly hoping the other company would call.  I don't know why I can't simply get a job with no drama!  But, anyway, I have been offered a job.  Assuming my drug screen and my crime check go through, I will start on the 16th of October.  It's good timing for that because my daughter is on fall break the next two weeks and maybe we can get some things done to the house and maybe we can go and do some fun things.  I wish everyone in our family got fall break.  :-)

College is still going well for our current student.  He had another history test this week and thinks that it went well.  He emailed his answers to himself so I was able to read them and I think he did well too, except for some grammar and punctuation issues.  We'll see pretty soon, I guess.  He also talked with his math teacher a bit, to show her that he had the answer but had some trouble with the steps to get to it, but he did not, as far as I can tell, explain his disability to her.  It's progress I guess?  The rest of the updates for this past couple of weeks will be in pictures.

Cosmo, Remus and Freckles.  I've been doggy-sitting Remus while my son and his wife are at work.  

Cosmo getting between my daughter and her book.  

My brother-in-law got married and we got to go and then went to a nice restaurant that believes that this is a serving of ice cream cake for ONE PERSON! 

Duncan and Squinch.  I just love taking pictures of them because they are cute.

Oldest son turned 25 this week and his lovely wife cooked him, and us, this lovely dinner.  Burgers with pepper jack, barbecue sauce, fried onions and mushrooms with loaded mashed potatoes.  Yummy.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

More college notes.

My son scored an 81 on his algebra test because he has a hard time showing his work.  I've told him that he needs to speak to the professor about this, that the reasons she wants the work shown is to show that he understands the concepts and that he is not cheating and he can prove that to her in one conversation.  He definitely understands the concepts.  He's figured out that there are something like 49 operations in math and has figured out how to do them in his head and he does them now very quickly, so it's very laborious and counterintuitive for him to go back and try to show how he did it. He doesn't want to have this conversation with his professor so I told him to just start yelling out the answers in class when he knows them and to quit pretending to take notes; just sit there with his hands plainly in view on his desk (so she knows he's not using a phone) and answer the equations she writes on the board.  He says that he can do this, so he needs to show the professor that he can do this.

Whew.  It's hard to be the mama of a twice-exceptional young man and also be hands-off and let him do his own thing.  He's 19.  He doesn't need his mama going over there and talking to anyone about it.  He needs to handle it on his own.

As long as he passes the class, right?  And 81 is a pass.  There's just a part of me that says it is a shame for someone that good at math to get an 81.  :-(


Saturday, September 16, 2017

50 Books This Year.

I've read my 50 books for the year and if I keep going at the same pace, I may be able to do 70 by the end of the year.  It's been a good year of reading.  I've re-read a lot of my old favorites and some new ones too.  It started out when my 2 youngest kids challenged themselves to read 26 books this year, one every 2 weeks.  They've pretty much finished by now too, at least I know my son has.  It's probably good that he got done before starting college because he certainly doesn't have as much time as he used to.  He does read very fast though.  He's at 30 and he's read bigger books and more difficult books than I have.  I like to stick to kind of light fiction and the occasional non-fiction self help kind of book or biography.  The complete list of what I have read is in the sidebar of this blog, on the right.  I recommend all of them except the one by Graeme Simsion The Best of Adam Sharp, because it's awful.  The rest are good.  I've started taking pictures of some of my favorite quotes instead of trying to keep track of them in any other way.  Here are some of my favorites, both fiction and nonfiction.  
 The first few are from a book on fighting autoimmune disease with diet, which I , sadly, can't remember the name of and it's not on my list because I didn't finish reading it.  I skipped the recipe section at the end.
"In the last fifty years there has been a 400% increase in the incidence of celiac disease."
"If you can do only one thing to improve your health, removing gluten is far and away the best thing you can do."

Now, onto fiction.   The next 2 are from Frederick Backman's Britt-Marie was Here.  

"At a certain age almost all the questions a person asks himself are about one thing; how should you live your life?"
"It was very brave of you, putting that tie on.  Because it looks absolutely preposterous." 

 From Kathryn Stockett's The Help.  The part that leaped out at me was "I reckon that's the risk you run, letting sombody else raise you chilluns."  I was thinking about kids spending so many hours at school and it resonated with me.


 The brilliant Cecelia Ahern on grief, from the book One Hundred Names.


 Frederick Backman again.  This is from Beartown.

 "It doesn't take a lot to be able to let go of your child.  It takes everything." 

 The extremely brilliant J.K. Rowling.  "Lord -- Thingy."  Oh, I love her writing so much! 








Friday, September 15, 2017

Going to College with a Learning Disability.

Youngest son is doing well.  His professors understand that he needs to take his tests in the accessibility center where he gets more time to work on them and that he uses a scribe (me or his sister) to complete worksheets at home.   Yesterday a girl asked him why he wasn't filling out his worksheet in class and he explained that he has a disability and showed her how one arm is shorter than the other, etc.  (The doctor when he was 4 years old and broke that arm said it was not in the growth plate!).  He is enjoying chorus the most of all his classes.  He's also taking Freshman Experience, World History, Algebra and Writing 101.  He will have to make some kind of decision at the end of this semester to figure out what kind of classes he's going to take ongoing because if he's going into a construction field, this is his last semester of general ed.  He seems to be getting Bs so far and that's his goal.  He's mostly keeping up with his homework with only a few reminders.  He wrote a self-assessment paper last night it only took an hour, which is huge progress!  A week or so ago he had a history test and was not able to get to all of it, despite having extended time.  The one question that he was not able to finish was worth 26 points.  I was worried about it because I hated the fact that he was going to get a C or D in his favorite subject despite knowing enough about history to write a thesis on it (with a scribe.)   The professor refused to give him the test verbally but gave him 15 points for the 3 or 4 sentences he wrote.  It was supposed to be 2/3 of a page, so we were both happy with that.  He ended up getting an 81 on the test and there was an extra credit assignment so that he can bring that up to 86 if he does it.  I think the college is doing a great job with the accommodations, but he does need to keep in touch with the accessibility manager and make sure he knows when there are tests and when he needs help.  So far, he's doing really well with that.  His accessibility manager even (already) has recommended our son for an internship in Washington DC but I don't think he wants to go.  Still, it's fun to get the recommendation.  :-)  

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