The Last Few Weeks7:30 AM
Congress declared a new national holiday on April 5th: Bailey Finished Geometry Day. I hope you celebrated by drawing smiley faces with a geometric compass and playing pin the coordinate on the plane. I know I certainly had a blast.
But my joy lasted momentarily, because for the rest of the week I studied madly for an ACT test until my mom told me to cut it out and take a break. Don't think me heroic. I would have been better prepared if I had studied throughout the school year instead of cramming the day before. But I do have an excuse: my ACT prep was boring, with teachers lecturing on abstract concepts without any visual aids - and they had weird ties and hairstyles. That right there is criminal. (It's too bad their main goal wasn't getting me to take a nap. They would have succeeded.)
All I can say about the ACT was that bad dreams the night before = sleepless night = way-too-early morning = zoning out during the end of the three-plus hour test. My cheer squad assured me that I did better than I think, and were it not for the fact that I bubbled in answer A for most of the science questions in an attempt to get more filled than right, I would believe them. Children, a lesson from an old and experienced student ----
On second thought, I cannot think of anything redeeming about my experience, except that it's a good idea to stretch during the break instead of sitting alone in the library because all the other students left to socialize. Yes, I still have an unsocialized homeschool streak in me that refuses to break down at such times of stress.
On a happier note, the English portion of the ACT was quite enjoyable - in a frustrating way. The passages were so horribly punctuated that it took great mental power to squash the temper tantrums of my inner grammar geek. (Grammer - which is the opposite of grammar, mind - stresses me out. Seriously. It's psychological torture.) And yes, I did - I giggled aloud at some of the answer choices. Aloud. Children, do not embarrass your abnormal homeschool self to a needless extent. My deskmate very likely went away with bad impressions of me. My pencils mysteriously kept noisily jiggling around and my papers rustled and I kept twisting my legs around each other in an attempt to remain relaxed. There is a reason she never once looked at me.
I do not make a good test taker.
But talking about the ACT is as ridiculous as talking about a nightmare. What's the point of reliving the horror over and over again?
I like chemistry now. I was failing it so badly that I pleaded my case with our resident homeschool dad slash high school chemistry teacher, who pronounced my curriculum college level work and wow, are you really studying this on your own? So at least I have a reason for my density in the science department. It's like a miserable badge of honor - a high school student suffering through a college course on her own. To be honest, I feel quite heroic.
And guess what? Starting school on my birthday (July 28th, in case you're as bad at birthdays as I am - at least I think it's July 28th) means that next week I will be all done with school - squee! - with the exception of chemistry, of course, but that doesn't quite count as school because it's more like a character-building curriculum. Good for all ages and stages.
So I've been contemplating what on earth I'm going to do with all the early summertime I'm going to have in a mere week. I'll be reading Animal Farm for sure (I got through the second introduction minus the last paragraph after skipping the first introduction - not to mention the first few sentences) - that and all the other literature books I didn't get done during my "school year." Literature never counts as work, by the way. That is an important lesson in life to learn. I also have a really long mental list of non-school-credit books I'm going to read. I can't wait to max out my library card and start fretting about how I have twenty books to finish by Saturday. Glorious fun.
I'm also going to do some curriculum planning. Did I mention I'm teaching Daniel Franklyn preschool? Excitable. Simply excitable. I'm thinking about making a little learning nook in the downstairs basement - hanging up a bulletin board and decorating it like they do in public kindergarten; setting up cozy bean bag chairs and colorful carpet; rearranging shelves and bookcases; and best of all, finding out about fun preschool books to fill up those shelves and bookcases. We're going to have so much fun. I wrote about three pages of ideas back a couple months ago when I couldn't sleep - we're going to visit a bakery and hang out at the park and grow a little garden with plastic tractors and read lots of books and dance to number songs and all sorts of amazing things like that.
My preschool experience involved nasty-tasting plastic pizzas, ugly dolls, dark rooms and missing my mommy. So I guess anything is a step up from that. I can't fail, right?
And then this fall my friend and I might possibly oversee the high school biology group (sorry, guys). We have completed all the necessary requirements to handle such a task - namely, doing that same curriculum a couple years back, drawing all those little amoeba things that look like pink heffalumps and screaming when fish innards squirted out at us during dissections. We should do just fine.
I love teaching. I'm still weighing my options about how I want to spend my talents and time outside the home with tutoring and maybe substitute teaching. I want to end up a full-time homeschool teacher's aide to my mum - she's got first dibs on my enthusiasm. So I don't know how all that is going to influence my (previously stalwart) decision on majoring in Christian philosophy for the next four years. Ugh. I've got a bad case of decidophobia.
So what's your academic update right now? I'd love to see some of your future plans - summer or school-related. Thinking about other people's plans is so much easier than finalizing my own. ;)