Thursday, October 7, 2004

Batteries, Juice, Middle School

Spent the late afternoon taking in Ph.'s soccer match at Barry Park.  He's knocking the ball around for his middle school team--a mix of seventh and eighth grade soccer players who've played seven or eight matches this fall.  I brought the camera, but it has been idle for some time, so the batteries had just enough in them to auto focus a time or two before giving me the blink-alert.  Backup set of AAs: same. No pics.Juice

Before today, the team hadn't won a match.  They held close in a couple of one-goal matches, but no wins.  Today--bear with me, I'm gloating--Ph. chipped in an early goal to put the team up 1-0 against the squad from Mexico, N.Y.  In the second half, Mexico tied the match, 1-1, and late in the second half, Ph. broke lose for a long, one v. one run on the right side, which he capped with a chip shot around the defender and over the keeper's head--into the far side of the net.  After the match, I told Ph. that camera's batteries were sapped--no pics.  Well, he said, we've got pictures in our minds.  Heh, memory--and a humble attitude on top of it.  

Afterward.  To the school for Open House Night. Welcome: "Tonight, you will be your child."  It wouldn't be appropriate for me to critique the school or the teachers. He's surrounded by plenty of good folks doing their best with a received curriculum.  But two observations.  1) In the science room, a variety of posters were on theGarfield walls, but the only recurrent poster--the only one that appeared multiple times, once per wall--was a spread from the U.S. Army.  On it, "An Army of One" in big letters along with pro-soldiering action shots, smaller messages about homeland security, fighting the war on terror, vigilance, watchfulness.  Today we'll be using graduated cylinders to determine the density of a metal nugget. Now march.

2) Music.  Where to begin.  Recurrent poster: Garfield.  It wasn't neatly recurrent with only the finicky orange cat.  Odie showed up in a couple of frames, and there were inspirational phrases about hard work and the road to success.  Lots of instruments in the room, too, huge drums and whatnot.  The curriculum made me feel like dashing home to give Ph. a hug and kiss on the forehead.  I would (do) have done horribly in this class.  (Please tell me if I'm blogging in poor taste now.) Test tomorrow! on the early musical periods--Antiquity, Middle Ages and Baroque eras. Students will not be allowed to head to their lockers for their notes.  Antiquity, Middle Ages and Baroque eras.  Listen: They will know the instruments, important figures, and so on.  Where to end.

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