March 24, 2010
The March Madness continues. I wish I were just talking about the basketball tournament. I love this time of year when college basketball rules, especially when my Xavier Muskies are in the Sweet 16. However, CJ's school has decided to emphasize the Madness part of March Madness.
Apparently, every year the 7th grade has a project called, you guessed it, March Madness. During the project the students are split into groups of 4 or 5 and given a school that was in last year's tournament (or the University of Cincinnati since they are local and can't seem to get into the tournament), and assigned a project leading up to a presentation. The project includes researching the school as if you will be selling it as the place to be for high school seniors. You find facts like enrollment, tuition, academic credentials, organizations and activities, and the perks of living in whatever city your college campus is in or near. It is a neat idea, and takes place over a 3 week period, but has turned into a real stressfest. I was thinking that leaving retail and becoming a teacher might not be a bad idea for me, but watching this ordeal may have been the mind-changer I needed. Getting 13 year-olds to coordinate this whole thing and turn it into a finished product is a lot like herding a bunch of cats onto a bus to go to the circus.
So being on vacation has enabled me to be a parent volunteer for a couple days of madness. I went to the school yesterday and listened to five of the groups practice their presentation. I would have given a couple A's, a B, a C, and a none of the above. Hopefully, the tips I gave each of the groups will bump them up to a good grade in the teachers' eyes. I am going back today as there are about 20 other groups that were not ready to practice yesterday. I am wondering how hungover the teachers are going to be today as I am quite sure they needed a visit to Happy Hour after school yesterday.
As for CJ, my non-biased opinion is that his group would get one of the A's yesterday. They have done a nice job of selling their school, Stanford. I am glad he got to learn something about Stanford as he will never be attending this fine institution. It is very far away and their admission standards are above where I see CJ headed in the next 6 years. Not that he isn't a good student or loaded with potential greatness, I am just not sure it is Stanford level greatness.
The stress is really getting to CJ though. He looked a bit liked death warmed over yesterday and woke up asking to stay home from school today. Staying home is not an option as his group has to present their stuff today and he had the poster board, school logo, and Stanford balloons here at home. We gave him some caffeine (my cure for everything), a throat lozenge, a pain reliever, and a pep talk. Since I will be there until lunch time, the bone we threw him is that if he makes it until lunch, I can bring him home with me then. We will see what happens. So far, so good as I drove him to school and he did not throw up in my car.
One of his group memembers is a friend of his named Kristian. Kristian has the energy of a 3 year-old at a Twinkie festival, so I am hoping that CJ can feed of of him this morning. Hmmm, twinkies, maybe that would have worked better than the Mountain Dew.
Well, I have to go to the school now, and perhaps stop at the grocery store on the way....