The boys started school on Tuesday, August 14th. Jack had an assessment meeting with his kindergarten teacher on Thursday the ninth. Unlike in PA, we sat in the room as his teacher Mrs. Whited ran him through a small battery of tests. Jack did fine, but he did have a few inspired moments worth noting. At one point in the interview, Mrs. Whited asked Jack if he could write his name. He could (and did).
“Can you write anything else?”
“I can write ‘Max’” volunteered Jack and he did.
“Can you write your last name?” asked Mrs. Whited.
“Oh, no,” replied Jack.
“Can you write anything else?”
Jack surveyed the room and his eyes fell on an illustrated alphabet ringing the crown moulding. For each letter there was a corresponding picture and word. After a slight pause, he told his teacher, “I can write Volcano.”
“Reeeally?’ asked Mrs. Whited.
“Oh, yes,” said Jack and he scurried back and forth between the picture and word volcano, mentally transferring one letter at time.
It was an impressive display of using reference material. I wish my college students were as resourceful. Of course, later in the assessment he was asked to rhyme a word with “cat” and he made the “huhh” sound for the letter “H.” There is still work to do.
Max was placed in Mrs. Cantonwine’s class and he enjoyed meeting her on 1st and 2nd grade orientation night (Monday, August 13th). The boys are going to be at Ridpath Lower Elementary (K-2) just a block from where I work. It is a beautiful school and everyone has been very nice.
Anyway, after his assessment meeting, Jack was very excited for school to start. So much so, that he cried several times on the first day. It was a rough start. Unlike his brother Max (who enjoys structure so much he likes creating rules when none exist), Jack (who is my sweet baby boy) is less committed to the idea of toeing the line. In his classroom, there is a stop light: green for a good day, yellow for a day with a couple warnings and red for…well…not such a great day. Students get tickets for green lights and those tickets go towards a reward of some sort. So far, most of Jack’s days have been green. There have been a couple few yellows. And one red.
One the day of August 16th, Lisa and I signed Max and Jack out from the school. As we milled about with other parents and students, one of Jack’s classmates exclaimed to his father that he got an extra ticket. I asked Jack if he got a ticket.
“No,” he said, “I got a red light.” We would later discover that his infraction had been squealing in the library. But, I didn’t have time at that moment to inquire. Because, as my ire was slowly starting to rise and I was about to inform my second born that a red light as not acceptable, the fire alarm went off. I immediately turned toward the noise.
And saw my first born with his hand on the trigger.
Filled with terror at breaking a rule and tears streaming down his face, he stood tap dancing in place, not knowing what to do. Seems he had accidentally lifted the plastic cover of the alarm, activating the “alarm-cover-is-off-alarm” and not the actual fire alarm. The secretary assured him that it was OK, but he was still upset. We slinked as a family to our car and ducked down as we drove away.
It was a red letter day for the Hosler boys of Ridpath Elementary.
But, on the upside, all of the teachers know our boys by name now.