Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Stephen has been having some throat issues and went to see the ENT who performed surgery on his a number of years ago.  The doctor told him he would have to put a scope up his nose and down his throat to see what was going on. As Stephen was being scoped, the ENT commented that it was tough getting around his deviated septum.  Stephen looked him in the eye and said "You mean the deviated septum that you repaired when you operated on me?"

The doctor explained that yes he did operate on it but it was so bad it could not be completely fixed.  Hmm...

Anyway, Stephen loves this doctor because the doctor has no bedside manner.  He is very matter-of-fact and blunt. Stephen says you can tell the guy is a total asshole.  I would totally hate to have this guy as a doctor.  Stephen hates our dentist because she is chipper and cheerful and talkative.  He does not want that - just the facts. I like doctors who are confident but also who also take the time to know me.

At the dentist yesterday they asked about the kids (even though a bad experience with Jax lead me to take them to a new dentist this year). I like that.  My primary care provider (whom I rarely see herself - usually just her nurse practioners) is also a rheumatologist and they spend lots of time with you when you go in and always ask how things are (personally).  Again, I love that!  Stephen just wants to be all business and be quick about it.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Math Woes

We got the email from the Algebra teacher suggesting that Dex step down to grade 8 math because he did not have a B in the class after the first unit test. Man, that is not what we wanted to hear. It had seemed that Dex finally had a handle on Algebra and the work load but he bombed the test because he forgot to label his graphs.  So the details, right?  Anyway we had so many questions, like if we transferred him to grade 8 math would he go in with the same grade (a D+!) or start from scratch.  Would he be expected to make up all of the work that he had missed and since he was planning to do a make up test to increase his grade (the teacher would take the average of both tests), would him scoring higher on the test make a difference?  I sent an email to the teacher and counselor asking these questions.

The school counselor said that he would not be expected to make up the work in grade 8 math and he would go in with a clean slate and no grade. Also, his schedule would not change as there was a grade 8 math class at the same time.  The teacher said virtually nothing about what would happen if he got a better grade but said ultimately that decision was up to us if we wanted to leave him in Algebra or not. Hmmm, that is not what the first letter seemed to indicate.

Stephen was angry at the school for the whole thing. We purposefully chose not to have our kids tested into Algebra during 6th grade because we did not think that they needed to jump ahead like that.  We both have our reasons for believing that kids need to work at their grade level (unless of course they are 'gifted' which our children are not - they are very smart, intelligent and hard working but not gifted). One of the other reasons is that the test was 2 or 3 hours on a Saturday morning and we just thought that would just make them resentful and they probably would not do well on the test.  We are happy with them progressing at grade level through math. Jax is doing nicely in Geometry in Grade 10.

However, last year, the school decided to test EVERYONE for Algebra placement (and they did it during the school day). Dex did extremely well on that test, he earned an A in grade 7 math and then scored high again on the state testing in math so they automatically put him in Algebra this year. The school put him in the class and now they want him OUT of the class because he did not have a B after the first unit test.  Stephen is pissed because Dex wants to STAY in Algebra because somehow the school had convinced him that by being "ahead" in math and able to take calculus in grade 12 he will get into a better university.

Dex got an A on the make up test because he labeled his graphs this time.

So, since the teacher said it was ultimately up to us, we decided to leave Dex in Algebra knowing that he probably won't get an overall A in the class or perhaps even a B.  But he thinks he will be happier in there so...

If, when the time comes, and Cars is placed into Algebra before his time (meaning before high school), we will immediately take him out and keep him in his proper grade's math. Of course, I really do not think that will happen with Cars (Dex does have more of a mathematical mind than my other two kids).

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Jax's 504 Plan review meeting went well.  He grudgingly accepted that it was good for him after all.  Then a few days later we received a letter in the mail about the free practice SAT test that the school was going to be offering to all sophomores during school time.  The letter apologized and said that they were not able to accommodate students who had 504 Plans issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Jax freaked out and said "What?!  I am considered DISABLED because of that?!".  "That" being the 504 Plan. 

I tried to explain he is only considered eligible because he has a condition that could affect a major life function (breathing if he has an anaphylactic reaction).  And of course he does not need any accommodations for taking tests so I told him it was just a form letter sent to every family and student with a 504 Plan.  He is still fuming about it because he is embarrassed.  :\

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

I feel a little defeated at the moment.  I set up Jax's 504 Plan review for this year and told him about it when he got home from school. He asked me if every kid with a peanut allergy has a 504 Plan.  I replied (jokingly, of course) that no, it was just that I loved him more than other parents loved their children.  He told me that he did not need it anymore and it was overkill.  I asked if he felt that it made him stand out and he said yes! 

The thing is, we never have to even deal with the 504 Plan except for the annual reviews now because there have been no issues. But his 504 Plan stopped his 5th grade teacher from using peanut butter in a science lesson.  And his 504 Plan allowed him to have a separate desk in 5th grade so he did not have to sit at the shared desk beside the kid who brought in peanut butter for lunch

I feel a little sad about him saying this.  I know he is speaking only as a teenager who only sees that it makes him "different" (except that no one even knows except his teachers unless Jax tells them!).  All of the fighting that we had to do with the school district to get this 504 plan in place - from the school nurse, school psychologist, principal to the nursing supervisor and risk management lawyers).  It was a huge fight - a battle!  And it was all for Jax and it feels like he just does not even care about all of that - just how it affects him now.

And logically I know he is a self-centered teenager who does not want to stand out and does not want to seem different.  It is bad enough that he has this allergy let alone having a plan at school that labels him as having a "disability".  He does not realize all of the acrimony and nasty comments from that friggin school nurse that we had to endure.  He does not know all of the hours of research done to prepare for his eligibility meeting. He knows he is a teenager who does not want to be the center of attention.

So I am trying to get over my hurt feelings. And we will go to the meeting and he will sit sullenly and act all embarrassed that I am there but I will know that his teachers will have reviewed his 504 Plan and he will be safe at school.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

No longer Haywired

The electrician came back on Friday and replaced the red wire nut with a blue (or purplish blue) wire nut. I called the inspector and left a message to find out what happens next and he called me yesterday morning and asked if he could stop by.  He took a look at a photo I took of the change (before the electrician closed the box back up) and said all was A-ok.  Hurray!  Now I just need to double check on the state website in the next couple of days to make sure that the permit is indeed approved.

No more work on the house for a bit.  Too exhausting!