Friday, August 21, 2020

7 Quick Takes about Struggles in the Wizarding World, Mugs for Left-Handed People, and the Untold History of Darth Vader

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


My older kids were downstairs watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. while I was upstairs with the younger kids. 

They didn't seem to be paying much attention, but every now and then the sounds of horrific crashes, shouting, and explosions from the more intense action scenes would drift upstairs.

During one particularly loud sequence of screaming, my 6-year-old looked up from the board game we were playing and said, "I think Harry Potter is having a hard time."


It's been unusually cool here for August, dropping into the 60s in the evenings. I'm actually typing this wearing gloves right now. 

My Reynaud's gets worse and worse every year. If it's below 65 degrees, my hands and feet are probably going numb, my lips may be turning slightly blue, and I'm likely pretty miserable.

In other words, I'm not suited to the climate here in New England. I'm like one of those species scientists look at and can't figure out how it managed to survive all these years. because it's just not that compatible with life in its environment.


My 14-year-old attempted a DIY marbled mug craft, and given our family's extensive history in Pinterest fails, I can't say any of us were shocked when it didn't work.

So we had this random white mug that we didn't know what to do with, and I suggested she personalize it with a magic marker.

She was thrilled at that idea because (1) she's left-handed so mug designs always go on the wrong side when she holds them, and (2) meerkats.


My kids' school finally published their fall reopening plan, and in related news, I've officially lost the will to live.

The middle and high school are actually going back in person full-time, but the younger grades are doing a hybrid model where they're in school two days a week and remotely learning at home for three.

I don't mind a hybrid learning model, but looking at what the kids will be doing on "remote learning" days makes me want to cry.

Instead of covering the assigned material on your own time like they did last year, the kids are now scheduled for several hours a day of "synchronous instruction" with the kids physically in the classroom, with breaks for snack and lunch.

Okay, but unless they're playing Minecraft I can guarantee my 1st grader isn't going to sit there behaving (or even misbehaving) in front of the computer for three hours.

And after he takes a break for lunch or snack or whatever, he's going to be DONE. I know this kid, and I'm telling you he'd rather gouge his eyes out with a spoon than go back to the computer for more school after snacktime (again, unless the lesson plan is "Minecraft for beginners.")

But I'm trying to breathe and be rational about this. Every parent has my same concerns right now. No kid wants to sit interminably in front of a screen. The teachers know that. The schedule maybe has to look that way on paper because there are laws about how many hours kids have to be "in school," but in real life it will end up being realistic, doable, and fine. I won't be reduced to an alarm clock nagging my kids to get on the Internet every 20 minutes for the rest of the 2020-2021 school year. Right? RIGHT??


Speaking of school, my 9th grader got her course schedule for the fall. Apparently there wasn't room in any of the electives she wanted, so they gave her a study hall.

She doesn't want a study hall so she emailed the guidance counselor, who then "fixed" the situation by randomly placing her in beginning guitar instead.

Since my daughter has precisely zero desire to ever learn to play the guitar, this isn't exactly an improvement.

Between this and the elementary school hybrid plan, it took all the self-restraint I had not to call the superintendent and just do a long horror movie-style scream into the receiver.


I appreciate how UPS is getting into the social distancing spirit.

Their new marketing campaign is highlighting the "ing" part of all the stuff you can do at the UPS Store: shipping, printing, faxing, etc. Clever. You can do all the verbs with UPS.

I was in there mailing a package the other day, and noticed the stickers on the floor telling customers where to stand in line so we weren't too close together:

Well played, UPS. Well played.


The show The Mandelorian has rekindled my kids' love for all things Star Wars, so among other things, they've been watching Bad Lip Reading clips of Star Wars on YouTube. 

If you don't know Bad Lip Reading, the basic concept is that they take clips from movies and TV shows and dub over them with funny things it looks like the characters could've been saying instead.

Some are better than others, but I think this one is my favorite:

What's the best thing you stumbled across on the Internet this week?

Click to Share:
Unremarkable Files


Janice Richardson said...

We just started what will hopefully be only a month of remote learning but you described to a T my first grader. He's done after a break. I wish the teacher would start with the most important stuff instead of the date and weather. The teacher is really trying, but I may end up telling her it's not worth ruining my relationship with my son to get him to attend class all morning. Good luck to you!

Anonymous said...

One of mine starts Kindergarten next week and I handled it when I saw the pictures of the desks all spaced super far apart. I dealt with it when they said the kids wouldn't get to have desk buddies, and that they could only have gym when the weather was nice enough to be outside. I bit my lip when I saw the rug had been removed from the room and hearing that there would not be circle time on the floor, just kids chained to desks for hours in a row. I sighed heavily when they said the kids can't go to the library but that the librarian will choose books for the kids and drop them off at the classroom.

Then they told us we aren't allowed to walk the kids to their classrooms on the first day; we can't even walk them to the door of the school. We have to kick them out of the car and drive away.

I feel a lot like that guy from Office Space now. Well ok, I could just burn down the building...

Jenny Evans said...

Anonymous: Good luck to you and your son! I'm sure the teachers realize that kids are kids and will do everything they can to make it tolerable and even fun!

It's probably going to be harder for you than him because he doesn't know any different. Kids are amazingly adaptable, probably because they have the benefit of not having any life experience to compare things to!

Jenny Evans said...

Janice: I think if you just have a chat with the teacher and explain what's going on, she'd be the first one to suggest that! Most elementary school teachers are amazing about doing whatever it takes to support their students and their student's families, especially during this COVID crazy period.

Handsfullmom said...

It seems odd to have the older kids going every day and the younger ones doing hybrid. What was the reasoning for that? It seems like the number of contacts for middle and high school is so much greater, plus they are (theoretically) better at doing distance learning.

Jenny Evans said...

Handsfull: Apparently I misunderstood, and everyone is doing the 2 days on, 3 days off approach. This process has been so confusing to understand but I think I've finally got it now!