Thursday, January 31, 2008

Musa, Musa, Musa

I’ve been watching my daughters’ Tae Kwon Do class since they started in January. I’ve learned a lot about my children sitting there as an observer. For instance, they’re impossibly flexible. They are also loud and fast and aggressive. I realize I’m not in the habit of describing my daughters with these words.

Earlier this week my daughter’s sixth grade class went downtown on a field trip to Chicago's Harold Washington Library to do History Fair research. While the children were diligently pursuing their assignment, a strange man approached one of my daughter’s classmates and asked her to follow him. She went to get her teacher instead.

I found out about the incident when my daughter called me after school with the worrisome details. She said the whole thing was creepy. There was a pause in our conversation—because, as you can imagine—she was creeping me out, too. But before I could come up with the words to make her (and myself) feel better, she made this statement:

“If anybody ever bothers a friend of mine again, I’m gonna practice my tornado kicks on him!”

Thank you, warrior daughter. I feel better already.

Friday, January 25, 2008

CPS Saps My Energy

Hubby and I send our twin daughters to two different Chicago Public Schools (CPS). It's a long story, and one I'm not going to tell now.

But over the last few days, I've been thinking about what we've gained by sticking with that decision. As a family, we've been exposed to diverse educational experiences; our daughters to a broader curriculum. We've found more friends, had more fun, worked with more teachers and teaching styles, and learned about the politics of different neighborhoods. Double-everything hasn't always been easy. (Truthfully, at times, it's been downright difficult.)

But I'm fond of saying that difficult things are worth doing. In this case, our decision forced Hubby and I to keep the big educational picture in mind. We could never just focus on one school, one set of issues. And that was worth it, because slowly we've come to see how all the CPS children and CPS educators and CPS schools are connected.

The downside of our experience is that we've come to realize the problems CPS faces are just too vast. Each year I ask myself, what program/
teacher/school won't be around next year? And now, after the CPS week we've had, I'm quickly losing confidence in our ability as a city and as a society to solve these problems at all.

If this is how I feel, as a parent, imagine how the teachers feel.

Monday, January 21, 2008

CPS Blues

The Chicago Board of Education's monthly meeting is this Wednesday at 10:30am (125 S. Clark St.) A lot of changes coming. . . .

Click here and start reading under the category "125 S. Clark St." to learn more.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

4 Excuses for Not Updating My Blog

The main reason I haven’t posted in a full month is because I started a new full-time job. I expected it to be an adjustment for our family—after close to a decade of freelance work—but we’ve all landed in 2008 healthy, sane, and a little richer.

It’s also true my blogging suffers because I share a computer with Hubby and two 12-year-olds. In the past, this hasn’t been too much of a problem, because I always worked while the girls were at school and Hubby was at the office. Now, we are all demanding the computer during the same chunk of evening hours. This dilemma could be easily resolved by purchasing a laptop, but I have feelings about that. Besides, these days I mostly want computer time to load up my new iPod (which is why I’m last in line at the computer and another reason why I haven’t been blogging).

So this morning, while the girls were still sleeping and Hubby was out to breakfast with some friends, I decided it was the perfect time to catch up on the blog.

Except my dog got there first.