what a week

My children were home this past week. Not Oldest - Oldest is never home. He was building a deck and driving his charge to and from the station (he cares for an older gentleman in town).
And while most of the residents were on vacations and college visiting trips we hunkered down a bit.
We've had the excitement of Middle's movie debut with its flurry of voting and watching.
Youngest has done a museum visit with friends (wherein he impressed all present with his knowledge of the artist) and has spent a lot of time playing outside.

On Monday I gave Middle a practice college entrance exam, as instructed by his tutor.
It was nearly four hours long and he sat at the dining room table whilst I kept the house quiet for him.
I sharpened pencils and cleared the table and set the kitchen timer for ten 25 minute sections and an essay.
He was determined and clear headed and well prepared.
In between two of the last sections he walked around the kitchen for a bit to stretch his legs and decided that a bag of Skittles would be a good snack.
Not surprisingly, he had a hard time concentrating on the math section that followed the Skittles.
His tutor came on Thursday and scored the test for him. His marks went up (from the school administered practice test) over one hundred points in each category.
And while I think the test and idea of a tutor is somewhat archaic, I can appreciate that his confidence has been bolstered and his scores have improved.
He will take the actual four hour test next week and I'm hoping his grades will be good enough to let the matter drop entirely. (As opposed to registering for another test in the fall and working with the tutor again.)
After the tutor left, with Middle still in an academic mood, he placed his first ever phone call to the art school he wants to go to. He was shuffled from person to person as he explained that he had received a letter inviting him to visit the school and wanted to do so.
And now we have an appointment to speak to an admissions counselor next week.
It is very relieving to me that he knows exactly what and where he wants to continue his education as it allows us to bow out of the conversations his classmates and their parents are having regarding all the schools they are visiting. I don't know how we would have done driving from place to place, staying in hotels and taking notes on schools and programs. And I may well have to do it with Youngest in a few years, but for now I'm lucky.

K has been working seven days a week and seems to be holding up pretty well.
I've been very good about pressing his shirts and keeping him in clean socks and jeans.

My mother did something that made me exceedingly proud this week. She volunteered and will be trained to be a literacy volunteer. After she completes her training she will meet with an adult once or twice a week and help him learn to read. I can't tell you how impressed I am.

And speaking of my mom, today, she and Youngest and Middle and I went into town for the day. We've been planning this excursion for months and have had to cancel it several times.
But today, with the weather clear and warm, we were off for an adventure...an adventure I could not document as I LEFT MY CAMERA ON MY BED.
And what did you miss?
(A dream because I did not purchase any of the gorgeous, simple tunics in linen and silk.)
(At one point Mom was in the middle of a Chinese dual, being fought on the street!)
(Any size hand-truck available in any finish!)
(Many small foods on clean white plates!)
(From a zip bag no less.)
(Okay, I probably wouldn't have photographed that.)

We had a glorious day. Youngest has a full range of Zakka style school supplies.
I scored a pair of $70 pants for $21. TWENTY ONE DOLLARS, and we came home to Middle in second place.

Go vote again if you haven't - and don't forget to vote this weekend. HE CAN WIN. HE HAS THE POWER.


Eleanor said…
You'd better bloody believe it that the Australians are keeping this thing alive!!

Oh, and I enjoyed this post too.
Rae said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rae said…
I think I was the man who paid for his lunch with quarters. Maybe.
Miz S said…
I have dutifully voted for 3 days in a row. But go ahead and nag because I guarantee I will forget if you don't.

Your mom is awesome. I would love to teach an adult to read.
Anonymous said…
Muji... happy sigh...

What a lovely day. I'm glad it went so well for you.
Paula said…
What a lovely day you had and your mom sounds dear.

Yes, voting every day.
Anonymous said…
I can almost imagine the pictures you would have taken with that camera. But please, be like Karl Malden next time, and don't leave home without it.

Anonymous said…
How wonderful that your mother is going to become a literacy volunteer. She is an inspiration!

ErinH (voting faithfully)
Anonymous said…
A college entrance exam for an art school? Am I strange to think that strange? My DD only had to show her portfolio and provide a 70% average high school diploma. And her art school is an official university and all. But maybe it's because we're in Canada. NY is so much more competitive.
TheOneTrueSue said…
Go Middle - on all fronts!
Anonymous said…
dim sum...how much I love it...
Your mom is oen person to be really proud of. I believe teaching literacy to adults must be one of the hardest things, patience wise. Kudos.
I am so teaming for Middle that I wake up in the morning thinking: today I can vote again. Plus, he sounds so into his college it's refreshing.
And Youngest...he'll grow up to be a great man.
They all will. Just like their dad. And meet a wonderful girl, becasue behind a great man there is ALWAYS a GREAT woman.
Anonymous said…
OH and thank you for writing another post. You must have done that knwing that I am not a Survivor kind of gal.
Me and no one else? And on second thought it's best your forgot your camera. I cold have had a stroke watching at dim sum shots...
Suse said…
We Australians are keeping it going? Amazing what a country of only 15 million people (with superlative taste in films) can do when we're motivated.

Paola, I am WITH YOU re the Survivor posts.
Anonymous said…
Actually, the college trip can be kind of fun -- you've got nothing to do but drive around with one kid, looking at odd little towns and the colleges that inhabit them, sleeping in strange little motels -- plus, it can be nice to have a week or so alone with one kid. I think the trick is to be confident that you'll find something that will do. You'll also definitely find many that won't. I guess if you think of it as sightseeing it's not quite so painful.

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