Tuesday, August 31, 2010

14 of the 101 Things I Want My Daughter to Know

I've been thinking about all the things I want Syd to know when she grows up or as she grows up and have been trying to develop a list of those things. So, here's my shot at 101 Things I Want My Daughter to Know:

1. Life isn't fair. That one took me a while to learn. If you can learn it from me, you'll be ahead of the game.
2. Not every scratch or nick is a "wound." The only things that really classify as wounds are pretty much limited to military injuries or gang violence.
3. Nuns are nuns, not muffises. Nuns have never been called muffises and I'm pretty sure they never will be. So, never address a nun as a muffis.
4. Follow your gut. Sometimes your head will make you over think and your heart will make you under think. The gut is usually right.
5. It's never a good idea to make effigies (voodoo dolls) of your instructors for a class presentation. While they may be hams who love seeing their photos printed online and in papers, they rarely enjoy seeing it printed on fabric while you discuss Celtic curses. It makes matters worse if you give one to each classmate along with the instructions for how to make more of their own. Just make a non-interactive poster instead -- trust me one this one.
6. Do a double check before you leave the house. Make sure both shoes match, your shirt is turned the right way and none of your clothes are turned inside out.
7. Chocolate gravy is not like regular gravy and is actually really good.
8. Always eat before you go grocery shopping.
9. Make a list of things to do, but don't schedule it in 15 minute increments. It'll drive you nuts when the schedule is just a little off.
10. It's never too early to start Christmas shopping.
11. Knowing the Greek alphabet may not win you a stellar job, but it's good to know, especially in college.
12. You can't get in trouble for telling the truth. So, when the snotty little know-it-all kid at the museum calls you a loser, look him square in the eye and say, "My goodness. You are a rude, obnoxious little boy." Tada! Truth. No one can argue truth.
13.Don't go to college for 4 years to learn to write at a third grade level. The good news is that journalism teaching has changed tremendously and you'll probably never need to fear this.
14. Keep your eye on the donut, not the hole. That's a metaphor. Donut holes are actually pretty tasty and looking at them won't burn your retinas or anything.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A New Beginning

It's been a weird day. For everyone else, tomorrow is the first day of school. In our household, that would have made this "The Best Day Ever." We concocted that idea two years ago when Syd started kindergarten to make sure we wore her out so she'd sleep good before her first day of school.

But this year we are homeschooling. We are beginning new traditions.

Why home school? We have several reasons. The biggest is that at the end of the school year, I brought home a little girl who was quiet, disinterested, and generally bummed out. Within a week of summer vacation, I had my snappy, quick-witted kid back -- the one who likes to play and hang out with her dad and me. When she started talking about the school year that just ended,I realized the year had been difficult for her. The kids in her grade were not very accepting and made her feel like an outsider...on a good day.

It didn't help that we didn't live in the district. I worked there part time so she could attend school there. Kindergarten was an awesome year.First grade, not so much.

To keep things challenging for Syd as we homeschool, I've bought several different reading texts and have a heavy concentration on writing (which is what I know) and science (which is where her interest lies now). We're also incorporating public service into the curriculum through social studies.

And since she wants to learn to type, we'll begin technology, too. We'll learn how to design a blog and webpage and how to create custom graphics as part of art.

So, while today isn't the traditional "best day ever," I hope that we will both find this school year to be the best ever. Someday I hope she can enjoy the same activities public school has to offer, maybe even in my alma mater. (Go, Leopards)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

If Paula Deen ruled the world

It's been established here that my husband thinks Paula Deen is the devil and he and the kiddo enjoy poking fun at me because I like Paula.

"What's not to like?"

"She looks plastic," Jim offers. "If she's plastic that means she has no soul...because she traded it to the devil for food fame."

"I just think her eyes look creepy," Syd said.

I went into my Paula-Deen-is-an-Overcomer speech. When I finished, Jim offered a new claim:

"I'm telling you. Paula Deen wants to rule the world. She'll put numbers on all our foreheads and will make us her slaves."

Syd was in the back seat laughing. It got me to thinking...

I'd love to live in a world ruled by Paula Deen. People who needed a job would be put to work in her restaurant or in one of many other projects, like developing cookware, cookbooks, etc. And she'd be all, "Hon, you're not gonna get a check for a couple of weeks so you just bring your wife and younguns down to the restaurant for meals until then. And be sure to take some bread, eggs and milk home with you when you leave. And here. Take this pecan pie. I'll eat the whole thing if you don't take it out of here."

With domestic issues lined out, she'd be all over foreign policy. "Now, listen here, President Hamid Karzai, I am not leaving my folks here during Thanksgiving and Christmas. They're going to all go home with their families to enjoy a traditional dinner with a turkey cooked just right, so I want you to figure out how your gonna handle this mess on your own. Here's a gooey cake. I always think better with a big ol' piece of gooey cake."

Hmmm. A world ruled by Paula Deen doesn't seem so bad to me.