Wednesday, June 8, 2016

What We've Been Up To





Our pool has a new slide and they held a contest to see who would be the first lucky child to get to use it.... and the winner was not Josie.  She did get to try out the slide a week after the pool opened and she reports that it's very similar to the old slide, except it has higher (safer) sides and it had seams that hurt your rump when you slide over them.


It was Town Day last weekend and Josie had a collage displayed in the art show.


We also bought a new collar for Pippa Middleton at the collar tent (town day is a little odd, don't ask).


It was also Henry's 16th Birthday last week.  He has refused to give me permission to post photos of him on my blog, so here's his cake:



And here's a photo of the cake being delivered to a random teenage boy who may or may not live in our house: 



Today (Wednesday) is Henry's last full day of school.  Hooray!  Usually the end of the year is a nightmare of exam studying and paper-writing for high school students but the way that Henry's academic schedule worked this year, he ended up not having any exams at all.  Instead, Henry had one short paper to write, a quiz to study for, a movie to make (which he had been working on all semester and was already finished) and a geometry project.

The math project was a killer, but it was still nice to not have to help Henry study for an exam.

Here's the final product:


On Sunday, I sat down with Henry around ten o'clock and he got out his supplies for the project.  The assignment was to create a house with a series of rooms that were different geometric shapes made of foam board, then figure out the square footage, the volume, the wall space etc and then calculate the costs to paint the interior walls, heat and air condition the structure  and something else I'm forgetting.  The final part of the project was creating a presentation to give to the class explaining all these results and what you did.  It also included a short essay, summing everything up.

Creating the house took about four hours.  The answers (most of which he had already figured out) took another hour and a half.  Creating the presentation took about 45 minutes and the essay - Good Lord - the essay took another 45 minutes, 40 of which were spent talking Henry off the ledge and encouraging him to suck it up, focus and get the #$#)! done.

It was a long, long day.

I'm almost 100% sure that I never did a project in high school.  We wrote papers, did research, read books and took tests/exams.  Education has changed completely since the 1980s.  This project, for example, answers that age-old question "When am I EVER going to use Geometry (or any other subject) when I'm an adult?"  And for that reason alone,  I think the project was worthwhile and it makes clear to me why education has changed over the years. 

I'm not saying that I loved helping to measure, cut foam board, holding glued sides together and assembling a structure that involved perfect angles and more ruler work than I am used to, but I do appreciate why the project was assigned.

I'm also thrilled that, with the exception of a few mandatory assemblies and activities, Henry is finished with school.  We worked hard to find him things to do this summer but without a whole lot of success.  It's hard to find jobs for teenagers in our area.  Henry applied for an internship at the New England Aquarium and he made it through the interview round, but he didn't get an offer.  Getting one of these coveted internships is difficult since they have so many applicants.  He was disappointed to not get a spot, but he also understood that he should be proud that  he made it as far into the process as he did.  We also looked into getting him a shorter internship through his school, but all the opportunities there were long-term and didn't work with other summer plans we had as a family.  Henry is going to do a few days of volunteering at a local lunch program and he's going to work on getting his permit and working on his driving hours.  Massachusetts has a long list of requirements that must be finished before a teenager can get their license, so hopefully he'll get some of that out of the way.  And we have a lead on an occasional job at a local plant nursery.  Hopefully this will be enough to avoid an "I'm so bored" summer.

The girls still have three more weeks of school.  Josie is basically finished but Georgia will have five or six exams to study for and take.  No one in our family is doing a sleep-away camp this year.  Georgia is taking a four-session photography program and Josie will attend a short hockey camp at the end of the summer.  

We should be busy... I hope!



1 comment:

Diane Guymon said...

Bradley decided NOT to play football next year ANDDDDDD he's not playing travel soccer this summer/fall either....crazy for our family because Andrew's basketball is over, so NO sports going on at all!!! Weird! But Bradley was hired at McDonalds (starts next week) and he's also got a job as a sign spinner, so he's excited to make some money. Andrew has a basketball camp next week and football workouts all summer, so I guess I shouldnt have said "no sports" this summer!

But what I'm really wondering is--- who are you guys rooting for in the Stanley Cup!!!

Have a great summer!

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