Bright shiny morning

They say it about the weather in New England, the weather in Texas, the weather in Arkansas, and now I’m going to say it about middle school: if you don’t like it, wait a minute, and it will change.  I guess I just have to get used to living on a rollercoaster for a while.

Dr. Tea says this is the dark side of having a child at SA: you can’t really go to work and forget about how her day is going.  When I am teaching, I hardly ever think about anything else but the class I’m in the middle of, but otherwise, outside of the classroom I am hardly ever anywhere that I don’t see middle-schoolers and middle-school teachers, so yes, it’s hard to forget. 

Fortunately, things seem to have settled down.  In the midst of my worries about the Snork Maiden, I had lunch with Natasha and the head of the math department, a woman whose youngest child is a senior this year, and their empathy and advice were very helpful.  And within a day or two, the trouble seemed to recede.  The Snork Maiden reported that the QB was being friendly again, but other than that, has not been mentioning the QB, and when she talks about lunch, she mentions a different group of girls, and not the QB.  

Stubb has been in rehearsals all weekend, and the Snork Maiden and I spent much of one day with Natasha’s family and another in the company of good old Bestfriend from elementary school.   I didn’t get much work done, but that’s what the rest of the week is for. 

We also received her academic progress report for the mid-quarter–all sixth-graders get one at the first mid-quarter–and it was warm and positive and I think a real encouragement to the Snork Maiden, as well as a reassurance to us.  She works hard, her skills are where they should be, she has a good attitude and enthusiasm for the subjects–all the things you want to hear. 

I oohed and aahed over the report, and then I said to her that while of course I am very proud of how hard she’s worked and of what she’s accomplished so far, Starfleet Academy is still a new place and she doesn’t have to love it all of  a sudden just because she earned a great progress report.  I think I was suddenly nervous that she would think she had to screw up academically in order to show us that she is still not totally comfortable in this environment.  Or that we would take the report as some kind of proof that she’s really perfectly fine, when she still feels so unsure.  I don’t want to focus on her vulnerability, but I do want her to feel that it’s okay that she still needs support.  So hard to know the right thing to say.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Congrats to the SM!

    And it occurs to me that one of the pleasures of school that I don’t often admit is that it’s a place where I don’t think about home and family, and I would find it challenging to have a family member in my workspace. Which doesn’t mean it isn’t a good challenge, but it must certainly be a real change. Sounds like you all are handling the transition well.


  2. I went to the high school where my mother taught and had her as a teacher, so needless to say, I have thought a lot about this issue now that I am a teacher at a school where my own girls might attend someday. It’s been really interesting to hear how you are navigating it–middle school alone seems hard enough, but then, how wonderful to have her in a place where you know and trust many of the adults who will be coaching her through it!


  3. Posted by meansomething on October 13, 2010 at 5:37 am

    WN? and Jackie, you both have nailed it. It’s wonderful, and it’s a challenge. For me, this is already a familiar and trusted place; for her, it’s not that yet, but I see her settling in, and I’m hopeful.


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