Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Is THAT why I bought the specimen kit? I think not.

When I finally sat down to relax last night, Seamus the cat walked into the room with a huge preserved frog! From the Biology specimen kit! The frog that was previously in a sealed bag!

The conversation went something like this:

Me: "Seamus, what have you got there?"

Seamus: (says nothing, too busy walking with giant preserved frog between his front legs)

Me: "No! Nooo! Noooooooooooo!"

As the horror of the mess that must await me in the other room grew, the 'no's got louder and longer.

It was definitely an Arrested Development moment. "And that is why... You always store the specimens where the cat can't reach!"

Monday, August 29, 2011

Check-off Sheets: Are they worth it?

Sitting on the couch in the sun so that I am near Ayeka (16) and can talk with her about the AP test she’s reading about online, I use tweezers to pull out the industrial size staplers in the Physical Science Teacher’s book, in preparation of three-hole punching it. When I’m done I get up with loose pages, free staples, and tweezers, then see a pair of sock s I need to return to my bedroom so I grab those too.

Socks on the bed, I head towards the bathroom to put the tweezers away, and notice the printer is on. It reminds me that I still need to print out the kids’ check-off sheets for this week’s home education. Tweezers put away, I grab toilet paper for my runny nose.

Back in the kitchen/dining where we do our homeschooling, I put down the loose papers, blow my nose, and head to the kitchen trash can. It is under the kitchen sink which is right beside the Spin-X. Seeing the Spin-X reminds me I need to put the clothes in it into the dryer, and get the second half of the wash load into the Spin-X and spinning. I make a quick run to the dryer with the spun clothes, and back to the kitchen with more clothes which I set to spinning.

At the kitchen table I hole-punch the teacher’s book and put it in the binder. There on the table is an old check-off sheet which reminds once again that I need to print out the new check-off sheets, but before I can do that the Spin-X stops which means the last of the clothing is ready for the dryer. I get up to get the clothes and see Sasame (10) heading to a vacant expanse of floor with a giant puzzle, and I tell her she hasn’t finished her math yet. She sighs loudly. Halfway to the dryer Ayeka, who is now typing up a paper for English, asks me, “How do I get out of editing the Header and back to the main body?” We figure it out together, but not before I’ve address the lump on the couch which is Sasame under her blanket. “Really? You’d rather do nothing, than finish your math and be able to do whatever you want?”

Back from the dryer I see that Sasame has escaped to the great outdoors.

I sit down to print out the check-off sheets, but Ayeka calls out that the Header is showing up on each page and she needs it on only the first. I go back to her and show her how to do a Google search to find where some kind soul has explained to some desperate student how to do exactly that. (So much faster than mucking through Word’s “Help”.)

On my way to my laptop I see that I have to leave in three minutes to pick up my son from school. I ask you,

Is it any wonder my brain can’t hold on to a single thought? That I enter a room to turn on the printer, and instead unplug the modem? That there are moments where my mind goes completely blank and I’ve no clue what I set out to do?

Home with Aku (14), I promptly sit down and print out check-off sheets for this week and the next. Happy that the printer is spewing them out, I smile at my son. He smiles and tells me the weight lifting sessions are going to start tomorrow after school. Then he hands me the pre-season basketball work-out schedule. If he’s to participate in the open gym basketball games, he won’t be home on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, which means he won’t be able to do Physical Science with his sister on those nights. I wonder where in the world I can squeeze in two more hours of study during the week. Then I remember that the time he spends lifting weights and swimming for pre-season conditioning will easily fulfill his PE requirements, and that I can use the time I had set aside for PE to give him an hour for science on Tuesday and Thursday during the day before he heads off to the school. Whew! And then it hits me: The check-off sheets I just printed out for him will need to be changed.