FINALLY ADDING UP!
I've been reading a lot of adoption-related memoirs. A good thing as, it looks like I'll be writing one on Michael's first two years with the hubby and Moi. My working title, a la Whitman, is
I CELEBRATE MICHAEL!
Depending on how the book turns out, it's likely that it'll be used for a big fundraising event planned next year for the orphan advocacy organization, Kidsave, as well as Michael's former orphanage. Kidsave (like many nonprofits) has seen donations plummet as a result of the recession. So the hubby and I are helping Michael plan a fundraiser to be held at la casa. It's also a way to teach Michael about being concerned about others and helping out those in need.
You'll likely see, therefore, a ramp-up of Michael-related blog posts in the future as I rush now to put together a book manuscript. And that's just fine. I love to talk about how wonderful my son is, and I just know you love to hear about it--the gravy on the side being my befuddlement with certain parenting duties (what, more cooking?!). So: Onward! To wit:
Things are finally adding up. Though I happily boast over any achievement by Michael -- like his SUPER DUPER MATH ACHIEVEMENT AWARD last year -- I have to say that I never really believed he warranted all those "A" math grades (yes, I can separate between moi preening and reality). This reflects one of my beefs with his previous school -- they subsidized students' grades with homework results. But, basically, this can mean that if a student had a committed parent available for homework (like Michael did with Moi), that student was likely to get a higher grade than another student whose parents may not have been helping out. It can be de facto a parenting grade versus a math grade! At one point, Michael was in a situation of getting Cs in his in-class tests but with those grades overshadowed by the As he got in homework because I kept making him do the problems over and over until he got them right!
How has the state of public education come to be so dysfunctional as to believe, what, form over content? (This ain't poetry so there is a difference here...) Once, we raised our concerns at his prior school and they looked at us with that look that meant: What are you complaining about? Isn't he getting A's? And you should hear all the other stories I hear about grade inflation -- sheesh, let's get real! This is why I love Michael's current school, Blue Oak, which is both tougher academically but also more capable of real teaching. I think he got a D in his very first math test in 8th grade (which was appropriate for someone who was behind and had been reliant mostly on Moi instead of a trained math teacher for his math training). But, for his second test, he got a solid B! With nice commentary by his teacher:
Great progress, hijo! That "B" means more to me than his 7th grade A's because I know Michael did it all on his own (not much homework aid from Mama Moi this year as we also teach him to become more independent). This means that, at least in math, Michael is now on par with his peers despite his late start in formal schooling ....and the peers in question are some of the academically-best 8th graders in the Napa Valley area. Woot!
For a moment there, I actually felt like I LOVE ALGEBRA! (Real algebra vs the metaphorical one-grin.)
Okay, I could go on. But let me stop with the Mama Moi boasting and share now my other recently relishes: my latest Recently Relished W(h)ine List. Go tomatoes!
1 stalk of "miner's weed"
110 stalks of green onion
4 stalks of scallions
37 summer squash
16 bell peppers
87 leaves of basil (Michael "harvests" them leaf by leaf)
3 squash blossoms
19 bunches of house grapes
10 stalks of thyme
3 squash blossoms
2 peaches (a bit unripe; our first of the season!)
I-FORMATION, BOOK 1, poems by Anne Gorrick (gorgeous!)
1000 SONNETS by Tim Atkins (kewl & nifty!)
ITERATION NETS, poems by Karla Kelsey
PARABLE OF HIDE AND SEEK, poems by Chad Sweeney
RULES FOR DRINKING FORTIES, poems by Rodney Koeneke (nifty & kewl!)
ANGELS FOR THE BURNING, poems by David Mura
AMNESIAC, poems by Duriel E. Harris
BOUGH BREAKS, poems by Tamiko Beyer (in book "proof" form--fabulous and I can't wait to share it with the world as a Meritage Press release)
HOLDING PLACE, poems by Michael Slosek
CASTLES IN THE AIR: THE RESTORATION ADVENTURES OF TWO YOUNG OPTIMISTS AND A CRUMBLING OLD MANSION, memoir by Judy Corbett
ON MOVING: A WRITER'S MEDITATION ON NEW HOUSES, OLD HAUNTS, AND FINDING HOME AGAIN by Louise DeSalvo
LITTLE HEATHENS: HARD TIMES AND HIGH SPIRITS ON AN IOWA FARM DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION, memoir by Mildred Armstrong Kalish
JUAN, memoir by Karl Price
ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF NORMAL: FORGING A FAMILY AGAINST THE GRAIN, memoir by Debra Monroe
MEETING SOPHIE: A MEMOIR OF ADOPTION by Nancy McCabe
THE BROTHERHOOD OF JOSEPH; A FATHER'S MEMOIR OF INFERTILITY AND ADOPTION IN THE 21ST CENTURY, memoir by Brooks Hansen
NEGOTIATING EARL SPENCER: OR HOW AN ANGLOPHILE TEACHER FOUND A SON IN SIBERIA, memoir by Jean C. Michael (what a godawful book. Remember--to get on my Relished List is simply to be a book that I finished, regardless of what I thought of it. I abandon many books so to be a finished read by Moi is something, even if it's a ... godawful book)
SAVING LEVI: LEFT TO DIE...DESTINED TO LIVE, memoir by Lisa Misraje Bentley
MY THREE SONS: THE BIRTH OF A NEW FAMILY, memoir by John Sonego
MERCY, novel by Julie Garwood
LAND OF THE HEART, novel by Tracie Peterson
THE BARGAIN BRIDE, novel by Barbara Metzger
THE LOCK ARTIST, novel by Steve Hamilton
NEVER LOVE A LAWMAN, memoir by Jo Goodman
2005 Molly Dooker Shiraz "The Boxer"
2002 Jones Family cabernet NV
2007 Aubert Reuling
2007 Tra Vigne Chardonnay
2007 Tra Vigne Cabernet
2009 Dutch Henry Sauvignon Blanc
2007 Walter Hansel Russian River chardonnay
2005 Dancing Hares cabernet
2004 Dutch Henry cabernet
2007 Dutch Henry zinfandel
2007 Aubrey chardonnay Ritchie vineyard Sonoma Coast
Schramsberg sparkling wine
1988 Lafite (moi wedding anniversary wine! Thanks Tom: I know the cellar was loathe to let that bottle go!)