2006-03-06 - 2:42 p.m.
Whew! I called the gifted math program and they were gracious about allowing Katerina be signed up for the testing in a few weeks.
I called and left a message for her DAD, then I called the land line and her Grandmother answered. I had a nice chat with her about the kids. She told me of how she has had to keep on top of Katerina to get her homework done, but she thinks Katerina is being rebellious and asserting her individuality by arguing with her about doing homework. (Normal stuff!) So Katerina's Dad made the decision to let her do her project which was due this morn ALL ON HER OWN without the nagging of GRANDMA and him as a learning experience for her. (AS SHE AND GRANDMA WERE FIGHTING ABOUT HOMEWORK ALL THE TIME!)
She went to school with two sections not completed (after having CLAIMED to me on the phone weeks ago that she had started it-- but not really having done so, and having claimed to her DAD and GRANDMOM that she was working on it the past few weeks- but scrambling at the last hour to get what she could then done) I said "KUDO's TO YOU BOTH. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH LETTING KIDS FAIL AND LEARNING THE CONSEQUNCES OF THEIR ACTIONS ONCE IN A WHILE!"
MAYBE KAterina will not argue so much with GRANDMOM now when she does get those much needed external supports from her! (Let's hope!)
SHe will certainly not like NOT ACHIEVING as well as she is used to doing! Grandmother said SHE LOVES WHEN SHE SUCCEEDS AND ACHIEVES WELL!
When I told her Granmother about the registration for the math program testing interestingly her Granmother did not KNOW she had tested last year. I had said something like " the lady I talked to was very encouaging and said a number of kids who are in the program didn't test in the first time they tried but sometimes another year of math makes the difference on the practical application part."
She was curious when I said that and then said she hadn't known Katerina was tested last year. She said "I try to stay out of these things."
I said that it likely Katerina's DAD didn't mention it to her as we all know she doesn't believe it good to push kids TOO MUCH and we talked about that whole topic a while.
She talked of HOW STRESSED KAterina is. She sees her very stressed moreso this year than last (I pointed out last year she in fact DID go through this process so to do so again should't be too much of a stressor!)
She is mostly stressed about worry about what high school she will go to. KAterina is oppossed to going to a private school as one of her friends shadowed at one and said the kids seemed snobby. The goal of the BUFFALO PREP program is to teach kids who have aptitude skill and then place them ON SCHOLARSHIPS in private schools. Katerina has said she doesn't want to do BUFFALO PREP.
Grandmom read some of KAterina's essay from school about where she wants to go to High School She wrote that she thinks she won't fit in in a private school , and I think most revealing "I want to go to a public school as I have always gone to a public school" She also expressed very much the attitude that she doesn't want anyone TO TELL HER HOW TO DRESS AND WHO TO BE and wants them to just DEAL WITH HER as she is! VERY INTERSTING! (Don't WE ALL feel like that to some extent?)
So I told her Grandmother that I though that THE MOST SIGNIFICANT issue is her FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN and I talked of how EVERYONE HAS THAT and that Katerina IN PARTICLAR has a hard time with any change. So I encouraged her to not reduce stress for her by NOT PUTTING HER THROUGH THOSE STRESSFUL TRANSITIONAL MOMENTS OF TRYING SOMETHING NEW which is indeed a temptation, but rather to help her RECOGNIZE it is just fear that will pass once she makes it through the hurdle of the TRANSITION OF TRYING SOMETHING NEW! (Whether it is a testing process or actually venturing out to do any other new thing!) HER grandmother and her father in fact WANT KATERINA to go to one of the best private schools, and Katerina want to go to the public SCIENCE MATH TECH school. BOTH ARE OUTSTANDING. I think EITHER would be great for her (although I think if she is in the city school I think the CITY HONORS might be BETTER for her than the technical science school... as I think they have AS STRONG of a program there in math/science with all the OTHER benefits. But if she really wants to be a CHEMIST and that is not the case then the more focused school just might be the best place for her and in fact MIGHT BE A BETTER CHOICE THAN EVEN THE PRIVATE SCHOOL. They all need to be looked at carefully!)
I think it ESSENTIAL that KAterina herself someday recognize this tendency in herself. But she needs to come to that AS SHE GROWS, and until then I think it essential that the adults in her life DON'T LIMIT HER OPPORTUNITIES by allowing her to be overcome by fear!
I worry that her DAD didn't follow up himself on finding out about the testing as he thinks to go through the process of trying again for the math program is just too much for Katerina. She can handle it. I am worried about whether she'll actually MAKE IT TO THE TESTING. I want to TRUST and ASSUME her DAD is genuine when he says he is supporting her in this. I want to trust he honestly just forgot to follow up soon enough, but that he is HELPING HER to prepare! They both told me she is working on the math 30 minutes each day in addition to homework and they both seemed excited about the skills she has learned. Her grandmother also was aware of the program this year!
So I hope it wasn't a passive aggressive tactic to NOT go to the prep meeting on his part and not some intentional method of trying to NOT ENCOURAGE her.
I am going to arrange to either get there myself or have transportation ARRANGED JUST IN CASE for some reason they don't follow through. THis is too important of an opportunity to let get by! It literally makes A LIFE CHANGING IMPACT on college opportunities for kids. (Ranked as one of the top 10 national programs one can see why. Its a feeder program for the best higher education math and science programs in the country.)
We did have a really nice chat. I believer her GRANDMOTHER and her FATHER REALLY ARE trying to support KAterina and Soren in the best ways possible. We talked about ADHD in kids. Her grandmother attributes her lack or organization and the things she sees to preteen hormones and as she says "KAterina is trying to pull the things I tried as a teenager."
She said she never saw her have the trouble with attention BEFORE this year. I told her it not unusual that it DOESN't impact kids until school work starts to get harder and pile on more as it does in middle school. I let her know that KAterina is relying on kids to tell her what her classes are each day and how I guessed she wouldn't know that, but I knew as only as an adult I REALIZED THAT I DID THAT and only as an adult DID I FIGURE OUT THAT WHEN I GOT IN TROUBLE FOR CUTTING CLASS THAT SOME CLASSMATES HAD PLAYED A JOKE ON ME BY TELLING ME THE WRONG DAY!
She told me KAterina did mail me a copy of her schedule as I had promised her to type it and shrink it down on my copier so she has a neat copy to TAPE INSIDER HER SMALL 5 X7 DAILY PLANNER SO AS TO NOT BE DEPENDENT ON OTHERS TO KNOW WHERE SHE IS SUPPOSSED TO BE!
SHIT... was just thinking "What's burning" to discover the pot on the stove I forgot about... oops THERE GOES MY LUNCH (I FORGOT TO TAKE MY 2nd does of medication until very late today and it didn't kick in yet!!!)
AHH as I was saying, Gramndma said how KAterina is not hyper and she doesn't think she has ADHD. I told her to do reading on INATTENTIVE TYPE and that the knowledge of it HAS INCREASED over the past twenty years and she may be surprised by what she finds.
She said that Katerina was USING THAT AS AN EXCUSE and a crutch so SHE HAD HER READ SOME THINGS and told her she doesn't think she has it.
I said "YES IT IS OFTEN THE CASE IT CAN BE USED AS AN EXCUSE and I told her that I don't think it so important to even KNOW whether she has it or not and whether it is every IDENTIFIED or not UNLESS IT IS HOLDING HER BACK.
We had that conversation Then ABOUT BOTH KIDS. I encouraged her to read more though as it might give good insights that are helpful BEHAVIOURALLY in helping KAterina REGARDLESS of whether she actually has it or not.
WE then talked of SOREN and I said he ALSO may have it but it affects him differently. I asked if he still bombs every standardize test there is! HE does. She said he is getting As but that's why he didn't get into the GIFTED program. But we BOTH AGREE that the SCHOOL OF THE PREFORMING ARTS IS AMAZING FOR HIM. HE JUST GOT FIVE AWARDS INCLUDING ONE FOR THE HIGHEST FIFTH GRADE AVERAGE IN HIS SCHOOL
I said how it is really something to be aware of BECAUSE IF HE EVER IS HELD BACK FROM AN OPPORTUNITY then it MAKES SENSE to look at a possible diagnosis and medication for him as NOTHING ELSE WILL HELP A KID WITH THE ORGANIC BRAIN PROBLEM OF ADHD BE ABLE TO STAY FOCUSED LONG ENOUGH TO EVEN TAKE A STANDARIZED TEST! I told her how I NEVER COULD.... and not to say my kids must be just like me, but as he consistenly bombs EVERY STANDARDIZED TEST other than IQ testing, and gets As across the board in school that it would be a shame to NOT LOOK AT MEDICATION AS AN OPTION if that one componant were ever to limit his opportunity for something HE REALLY WANTS or something that would be so great for him that REQUIRES TESTING. She and I agreed it wouldn't be likely until LATER.. but she and I both agree it would be a shame NOT TO BE OPEN to that possibility of receiving assistance if either of the kids were indeed held back by something that couldn't otherwise be helped but that COULD BE RECOGNIZED As a medical condition and helped with medication!
She said as far as Soren it likely won't be until 10th grade when they have to worry about that, but also said his FATHER wants to take him in for some further testing. (LIKELY ON THE RECOMMENDATION OF TEACHERS)
I told her that although she didn't see this in KATERINA that HER TEACHERS DID and were always relieved when they brought it up to find out we had tremendous structure and were also inclined to think she had some attention problem.
So whether we all agree or not about this issue is really irrelevant AS LONG as all the supports for the kids are there UNLESS they are being held back from acheiving. SINCE KATERINA just received FIVE awards at an HONORS CEREMONY at her school (and GRANDMA SAID THEY DO NOT GIVE THOSE OUT FREELY!) and Soren just achieved so well (EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE A BIT MORE GENEROUS IN GRANTING THEM TO THE KIDS.... ) it DOESN's SEEM TO BE A CONCERN THAT THE KIDS ARE NOT ACHIEVING POTENTIAL in the environments they are in.
I just worry about her opportunities being limited BECAUSE SOMEONE ELSE HAS FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN themself and allows this to be determinative!
So JUST IN CASE I want to arrange to take her to the testing myself or else have a back up plan for transportation arranged (OTHER THAN HER DAD AND GRANDMOTHER!)
I WANT TO TRUST that her DAD will get her there, but this is TOO IMPORTANT of an opportunity to risk it slipping by.
WE also talked of all girls schools. I mentioned this as at first I thought the school THEY WANTED her to go to was an all girls school (Its not) HEr grandmother said that she generally likes the idea of all girls schools, but that in KAterina's case "she was poisioned by your relationship with her DAD and your relationship with WESTELY and says she never wants to date or get married so in her case I think an all girls school would not be good. I think being in a CO ED high school she would see couples happy together and maybe get some positive examples"
I thought that comment rather funny as she MISSED HER OWN negative influence on KATERINA ... I think she is UNAWARE of the fact SHE IS THE ONE WHO PRESENTS MARRIAGE AND EVEN BEING IN A RELATIONSHIP AS SO NEGATIVE! SHE ALWAYS HAS!
I just responded. "But KAterina saw positve happy examples in both relationships you mention, so she could just as easily only take note of the NEGATIVES of any relationships she sees in High school as well. People can only focus on the negative if they choose"
SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE HELL IS SHE THINKING??? THAT A PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL CAN OFFER THE BEST POSITIVE EXAMPLE OF RELATIONSHIPS?? That is likely ONE OF THE WORST PLACES to seek positive role models! While I am sure there ARE SOME POSITIVE EXAMPLES, I would think there are far more NEGATIVE EXAMPLES in the AVG public high school where teenage boys ARE BIG TESTOSTERONE DRIVEN CREATURES... than POSITIVE MODELS! God help ANY CHILD whose only example of relationships comes from high school!