Today is MaZzzZZzZzzZZZzzz!

Photo: Happy first day of school to everyone who's starts today!!! ~C

Today is the day my daughter gets her assed kicked into shape and on schedule.  It won’t be a good day for her, and probably just as bad for me…  however I should not be spending this much of my time every day getting her ass in gear.

Everyday there is an online class.  Today was math.  Today was the introduction to the new math teacher.  She’s very intelligent, experienced, and has a clue.  I can understand what she’s teaching.  The kid can understand it (so far!).  Her class unconfused both of us, and I was only listening, since I was in the room.

The class went about 30 minutes.  Then the teacher stopped the recording and said that those who didn’t have questions could leave.  I look over towards my daughter and her head is down next to the laptop.  Her eyes are closed and she is sleeping!

This is not how I want to start my day.  It’s nice that it’s only a 4 day week, but it feels like a friggin Monday in my world.

I’m going to have to be even stricter about bed time and the kid actually going to sleep now.  Last night I got her to bed at a reasonable hour, but I know she didn’t go to sleep.  There’s evidence in the kitchen that she was up late again, or woke up in the middle of the night again to make a cup of herbal tea.  I have gone through 3 days of this.  The kid either didn’t get enough sleep, or was up in the middle of the night and went back to sleep.  This is a big sign that my kid is stressing out about something in her life again. Sorry, this nonsense doesn’t fly for me.  We’ll have to talk this out later.  I have a few ideas of what’s going on.  New rules are going to have to be put into place.

I give the kid time to wake up and get started on her lessons.  It’s so much online computer time, who can blame her for passing out and napping!  There’s no textbooks.  Not even a workbook.  It’s ALL online.  The only class that seems to even call for a notebook is the much dreaded history.  That class is going to waste a shitload of ink and piss me off more than it already has… but smartass that I am, I have a partial solution – I think!

Instead of printing out all these pages that need to be printed, written on, scanned, and put in the teacher’s dropbox, I’m going to have the kid fill them out on the computer.  I won’t have to print and scan – and that saves me some of my time as well.  The kid can just type and save.  Instead of it being in her notebook, it can be in a folder on the computer.  Paper and ink is saved – and so is some of my sanity in the process (or so I hope!).

I’m going to be a complete ass for some of the arts and craftsy crap that I think is beyond stupid for a history class as well.  If the teacher wants a map printed out and colored, it will be – just not with crayons, markers, or colored pencils.  The kid was informed she can do that on the computer as well… the same goes for the silly travel brochure the kid has to create for a selected ancient city in Greece, as well as the required postcard she must do and submit.

I have finally figured out history a bit.  It’s a lot of work, but it’s not a lot that needs to be submitted to the teacher in a day.  Let’s see how much we can chisel all the time wasted on that class down to AND get all the required work done in a week.  The only problem work is still the stupid 3 panel triptych.  That’s not due until the end of the quarter.

I have done my fair share of bitching and complaining about the school and teachers the past 3 weeks.  Now it’s time to whip my daughter into shape.  As long as my daughter makes the effort, I will go to hell and back for her.  If my daughter thinks she’s going to slack, I will just kick back and she can get bad grades for not doing what she should, when she should… which also means she will not earn any perks with me, will also lose privileges, get punished, get grounded, and get very pissed off in the process.

Happy Tuesday and welcome back to school!

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Aside

This Week Is Over!

Good news – The history teacher cancelled yesterday’s class… two hours before it was supposed to happen.  She still hasn’t responded to my daughter’s email… and quite frankly, I just don’t care anymore.  I’ll keep mental notes and encourage my daughter to continue to do her best, all in 90 minutes a day per core  subject.  I sure hope that the recorded class she plans on posting doesn’t include doing extra work to prove you watched the recording.  My child was ready and willing to show up.  It’s not our fault the teacher couldn’t do her part.  I will say that it’s a good thing that her class is in the afternoon.  If I had to wake up early for it, she would’ve gotten a nasty message from me.

Now for the bad news – We are bummed!  The math teacher, who we both like, is giving up teaching my daughter’s grade.  We’re going to have a new math teacher.  The one teacher who really has a clue and listens… I hope the new teacher is just as good.  I knew the math teacher had a full plate, a young toddler, new to the online thing, and swamped with irate parents, and baffled kids.  Instead of emailing people, she calls them.  She must be a fantastic advisor.

So now what?  Can’t I take a break in the evenings from the stupidity that goes along with this online school?

We have no issues or frustrations with science or the teacher.  There’s some silly extra work that needs to be done and it will get done… just not in the time frame the teacher expects it done.  So how is that an issue?

I guess the idiotic advisor can’t read back her notes from our phone conversation the other day… or she screwed up and wrote Science instead of History.  The only thing I said about Science was that my child is learning from the silly work, will do the silly work, but it’s going to take longer than the deadline allotted for it to be done.

Science class was the other day.  The teacher told the kids they have another extra week to finish the silly work.  She didn’t realize how much silly work some kids would end up with.  Not a problem – good news!  The teacher also told the class if they needed more time after next week, let her know via a private email.  Even better!

So I get this email the other night.  Huh?  No, please do NOT call me!  I have had enough for one week!  How do I tell this woman in a polite manner, do not fucking call me?  I was sitting right there next to my kid for this class.  My kid didn’t ask a question about the folders because the teacher handled it immediately.  I think my kid has 12 folders left.  Who knows how many lessons and quizzes are in each folder – it’s a lot!  You can’t do the quiz without doing the lesson, so that kills that idea.

Here’s the email from the science teacher (note the lack of my name *snicker*).  Names have been removed:

Hi

I have wanted to call you today and speak to you but I had collaborates all day today. I will hopefully be able to touch base with you tomorrow.

I just wanted you to know that I understand your concerns with your child in regards to Compass. I had no idea that Compass was going to assign so many folders. This is the first year that we were assigning them with learning paths. In the past years we assigned individual assignments. However, she is expected to work 90 minutes in Science.

As soon as I realized that students were getting anywhere from 14 to 20 folders I immediately sent an e-mail giving the students until the end of this week. I realize that students still are struggling so what I asked them to do is to work on the rest of their folders for 90 miniutes tomorrow, and next week I want them to work on week 4 assignments first and any other assignments they can go back to and still complete for full credit. Your child did not ask me any questions in the collaborate so I am hoping this will calm her frustations. I do not want her to be frustrated in Science.

I am also switching from Compass to Science Fusion which is more kid friendly. There will only be one assignment at a time. No learning paths.

Please feel free to e-mail me at any time if you have have concerns regarding Science. I hope this reduces fears and frustations. If she needs more then next week- let me know by Thursday and I can work out a plan for her to catch up and stay on track. I do want her to put current work first.

I will call you tomorrow during the day. I hope you have a good evening. Again, feel free to contact me by e-mail anytime. Thanks again.

What frustration?  What concerns?  WTF is she talking about?  WTF did that idiot of an advisor take notes about?  I hope she’s a better language arts teacher than she is an advisor, cause she sucks royally… and I will gladly inform her of that fact!

So I shot off a nice reply last night to the teacher:

Hi Mrs. Science Teacher,

I was in the room when my daughter attended your Collaborate this morning.  No worries about calling.  Thank you for extending the folders for another week.  It’s too much online screen in your face for one person to deal with in a day… plus if you screw up, or don’t know an answer, you have to do the entire lesson all over.  My daughter never had to learn lab safety, and didn’t know how long she needed to wash her eyes out for… that gave her tons of folders on lab safety, which had me asking her what she was doing.  I thought she was goofing off.  She is learning from the folders, and neither of us mind that – it’s just too much to do in a short amount of time.

My child has dyslexia and problems with vision tracking (I’ll spare her the entire list of disabilities for now and not even mention the ADHD.).  Reading is hard enough for her some days.  I wasn’t expecting all the work to be on a computer screen.  She will get through the folders as soon as she can.  One lesson takes her about 30 minutes, which doesn’t include the quiz.  Two lessons with their quizzes take just about 90 minutes, give or take a few minutes.  I know this since I started timing my daughter this week to make sure she’s not exaggerating about some of her work.  The science is over my daughter’s head, as a lot of this she didn’t learn, or if she did learn it, it wasn’t this intense. I also know from watching her the past few weeks, that there are things she learned and didn’t retain over the years.

We have no concerns with the folders, other than the deadline, which you have since extended.  We never had any other frustrations with Science other than the deadline for the folders.  I have simply told my daughter to work for 90 minutes in each core subject, unless she has work that doesn’t require that much time.

Regards,

Momma XYZ

Do you think she got the part about do not fucking call me?  I got this email from her this morning:

I am glad to hear that the extension has calmed the frustrations.

Another tool in Science Fusion, is she can use audio and it will read the text to her. We can try that next week and see if that helps her as well.

If she ever feels overwhlemed or frustated, just reach out to me and we can always work things out. I do not want to get her behind, so next week just have her work on Week 4 assignments first and then work on Compass from the past.

Keep me posted on how she is doing. I look forward to working with you and your daughter this year in Science.

Again I ask, what frustrations?  WTF is wrong with these people?  WTF happened to the salutation?  I guess she is playing it safe, not knowing if I’m married, remarried, single, or what,  since she uses a hyphenated name, but the kids can just call her by married last name.

If I sign my emails using my first and last name, why is that so confusing for people? I don’t consider myself a Ms., never did… but I’d prefer being calling Ms. XYZ over Mrs. ABC, or nothing at all.  I guess I’ll stop using salutations, or just start all my emails with “Dear Moron!”

Now excuse me… It’s a 3 day holiday weekend.  Instead of being out and having some fun, we are either going to play catch up with some of the school work this weekend, and/or crap out in bed being stupid!  Oh wait!  I did that last night, and it felt wonderful!

I think we might venture out today… to walk across the street and buy some ice cream.  Then we’ll come home and I’ll whip up a couple of malteds for us to toast the week being over.  I’m letting my daughter sleep late this morning.  She’s already requested we stay home today and think about venturing out tomorrow, or the day after.  Sounds good to me!

Aside

Science fun!

Today is orientation for Science.  All these orientation classes have been a waste of time, but a way for the various teachers to introduce themselves to their students.   They have all taken 30 minutes, give or take a few minutes.

Science starts at 9 a.m.  The teacher talks so much, that my daughter couldn’t talk in class, since only 1 person can talk at a time.  So my daughter had to type her intro, and was skipped over for the most part.  The teacher even gave her own intro.  I could just imagine all the kids rolling their eyes as she went on and on… like me typing on my blog!

Science is one of my daughter’s favorite subjects.  I don’t think this may be the case this year.  The class is going for far too long for an orientation.  It’s redundant.  Do you really care about the teacher’s hyphenated name or her dog’s name?  She gave an intro at the beginning of orientation – why do it again, and longer, 5 minutes later?

Forty five minutes later and my daughter was given the escape route – “If you have nothing to say and no questions, you can leave.”  *PLONK*  At least she typed good bye first!

Why are kids bored in school?   It doesn’t matter if it’s a brick and mortar school, or an online school.  You can only capture their attention for so long before you lose them.  I bet if I asked my daughter how the orientation went, it’s going to be entirely negative.

I have to say, just like my opinion changed about the math teacher (so far!), my opinion of the digital art teacher is improving as well.  He sent the kids a message yesterday that was full of enthusiasm and reminded them about orientation tomorrow.  Today he sent out another message to the kids asking how they’re doing, and to let them know if they had any questions, he was there, ask away.  All teachers should have that sort of attitude.  Enthusiasm makes a big difference.  If you’re a boring teacher, you’re going to have bored students.  Kids will learn more if you’re enthusiastic.  This is goes for parents who homeschool as well.  Perk it up!

Boy can things change in a day, or what?!?! I have access to seeing what the kid should be working on, or should have finished and submitted via an online checklist for each class.  Well these wonderful teachers have orientation classes listed at 6 a.m. or 9 p.m. and 3 times a week.  Perhaps they are the ones who should have to take an orientation class as well!

We’ve also discovered that there’s a bunch of assignments that can’t be done because there’s no link or explanation of what needs to be done.  It’s on the checklist though.  So the kid emailed a few of the teachers to ask, because I feel that if they get paid to do their job, they should get annoyed over this shit as much as I do.  I wish I could be a laid back parent who doesn’t give a shit… but then my kid would still be in some shitty public school, and still wouldn’t be able to read or write.  Teachers are supposed to respond within 24 hours, but we still haven’t heard back from the LA teacher, who was emailed yesterday.  Then we discovered that one contact doesn’t even have a correct school email addy posted for herself!

I think this mess requires a nap!  I don’t drink.  I don’t do drugs.  I don’t smoke cigarettes.  My remaining bad habit is my potty mouth, and it has dropped enough bombs for one day!  Plus I’ve got the night off from cooking.  The kid wanted to cook, but is cooking tomorrow instead.  We’re having leftover eggplant parmigiana that I froze a few weeks back… we love eggplant!

Now to go freeze the abundance of chocolate mousse that my young chef in training made from scratch yesterday… I can’t see throwing it out and neither of us really want to eat all that the recipe made.

Mousse anyone?

Chocolate Mousse

Aside