Oct 17 – Improvement!

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Much better, yes? 16′s concussion symptom scores were still in the low 20′s a week ago, but they finally started dropping down into the teens around the 10th and then Monday saw a larger drop. We had another checkup with the doctor in the afternoon – these will occur weekly until the doctor can sign off to say he is no longer concussed.

Cognitively he is improving. He took a 45 minute exam in computer science Monday and the only part he couldn’t handle was the section that had been taught the days immediately after the concussion – one day when he stayed home entirely and the other when he was at his worst. The teacher is going to let him re-take those two sections later next week. He read Chapter 8 of Gatsby entirely on his own and answered the chapter questions last night only consulting with me on one of the 11. Much better!

His math teacher is letting him gradually make up the homework assignments he missed and there doesn’t seem to have been a ton of impact on History or Chemistry.

Ironically, while math & computer science grades fell (which he is being allowed to make up), English went UP :-)

He no longer needs to take pain meds to attend the games because the sound doesn’t make his head hurt worse anymore. He just seems to be carrying around a low grade headache and occasional problems with his balance. That one is funny – in the doctor’s office he had some issue standing on one leg and doing the head to toe walk for 10 steady steps. He was actually better at that at the last visit! But, he said that the balance issues come and go randomly so I guess it was good that he displayed that symptom in the exam room.

Anyway, it’s slower going than last year, but I think that a corner has been turned – keep those fingers crossed!

 

PS – anyone else noticed something in common this month with The Merry Month of May when I first tried out the daily posts? In May I was obsessed with Chip and his bladder issues. This month we have 16 & his concussion. I may rethink any future plans to do a month of daily posts!! No good for the family’s health ;-/

Dear Betty Lou

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I’m pretty sure 15 is going to drive me to stow away on a cruise ship soon. Preferably one heading someone warm with fizzy umbrella drinks being served hourly.

Probably one of the biggest issues I’ve noticed with him is his lack of ability to develop good working relationships with his teachers. He acts like talking to them and asking for help and or asking for clarification on a grade (or lack of one) equates to a death sentence.

He will constantly tell me what’s WRONG with his teachers of course, but he will never address anything on his own. According to him – moms of teens say it with me – they all suck! They hate him! Blah blah whine whine.

Even with me being on top of his assignments to the best of my ability, he is still getting zeroes on homework. Homework that he actually DOES! How the eff does that happen? I watch him do it, watch him put it in the proper subject notebook (with his damn name on it yes) and STILL that goddam red box appears.

When I tell him to ask about it – “Oh, I don’t know what happened but it’s too late now because excuse excuse excuse…” Argh! How can he just accept that?!

Well, I don’t and today I emailed two teachers about those – I’m waiting on a response but really..I don’t get that it is so hard to ask them while he is there? “Hey Prof, I showed you this on Friday – see, you stamped it – why is it a zero on the gradebook?” Why so difficult?!!

What I need to do is get him to think of his teachers as football coaches.

Why?

Because he LOVES them! He develops relationships with them! We saw his football coach while we were at the school Saturday watching a baseball game – no hesitation but he was right up there giving Coach a fist bump and chatting away. He’s TOLD me about times he’s spoken with him about improving his skills. He mentions when coach tells him he ran a good route in practice. All through Pop Warner he had no problem talking to Coach Wolfie.

WHY can’t he apply those techniques to his teachers???!!!!!

I’m telling ya – Bahamas – here I come – and don’t try to find me until he graduates. And if he doesn’t? Fine – just send sun screen.

Love, me.

 

Dear Martha – part 2 – HELP!

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I think we all know 15′s academic challenges and such

He’s doing better thanks to me keeping that thumb on his forehead all the time. Even nearly finished with online driver’s ed as I mentioned. Last week, they had to meet with their counselor and sign up for 11th grade classes.

I wasn’t too focused on it because I didn’t think he’d get too aggressive with his courses. All he asked was about shuffling his summer online course targets to take Spanish 3 online vs Chemistry. He mentioned nothing else and when I asked him if he needed signatures he said yes, but that he’d get his dad’s (since I didn’t see him Friday after school).

 He forgot, of course, to go online and select his classes before the deadline so thanks to me asking about it again yesterday – he went into the counselor’s office today to sign up manually for the following classes:
English
Football PE
Chemistry
APUSH
AP Calc A/B
AP Comp Programming
GULP!!!!!!!!!!!!
I knew he’d do AP History since that is the one AP class he has this year (and he loves it though he didn’t do well in 1st semester. He is doing much better so far).
Comp Programming is his “elective” which he can take as long as he passes the language requirement in summer.
Now, how (you might ask) does he go from a non AP math class in 10th grade – Math Analysis into AP Calc? Because he ALSO intends to take Pre-calc this summer online. Yes – TWO full year courses over the summer – which he points out is not that out of range when you consider he HAS to stay in town thanks to football weight training which will ALSO get him up early in the mornings. After Pre-calc, the only CALC classes at TPHS are AP. Same with Computer Programming. So he’s tentatively signed up (pending summer school success) for three AP classes in 11th grade.
I’m quaking in my boots NOW because I know what it takes out of ME to get him to do his work this year……HELP!! Cloning! STAT!

Ah, that pesky motivation

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Such a fleeting thing, this motivation. And yet, so very very critical. The graphic above is so fabulously scientific with those big big words that may or may not make sense in your daily life. Hygiene? Really? I’m motivate by whether I can take a shower or not? Ok, I know that’s not the real translation, but that’s what popped into my wee little brain when I read it.

And self-actualization? Lordy – big words that say  “hey, I motivate myself, thank you very much”

What I do get from that chart is just how abstract the whole thing is. And it can change daily..heck, even hourly, right? For sure it changes as you age.

What has me thinking about it is Alex and his utter and complete apathy towards school & learning in general. I was at my wits end with him again last week and his grades dipped yet AGAIN and just a week before finals no less. Basically he needs to rock his tests over the next three days in ways he has NEVER shown before in order to prevent failing grades in 3 of his 5 classes.

He is currently NOT responding to this method of motivation:

We’ve removed all the fun extras in his life AND postponed his driving lessons/permit until he reaches a specific GPA.

Not working.

So I asked him last week – does he have ANY idea what is up? My mom had justifiably suggested it could be a result of the concussion he sustained in October. EXCEPT….he’s been this way since 5th grade quite honestly. It just seems to get worse every year. So it’s got to be something internal for him.

The trouble is, at 15 the whole “self-actualization” concept is REALLY foreign unless they are blessed to be born with some intrinsically deep passion for a particular field of study.

So when all the adults around him are stressing the importance of good grades to allow him to get into college – four more years of hated school all the while floundering around not having a damn clue what he wants to do – his mind thinks – why bother? Money and career are too abstract to him. That’s still all out there in that nebulous “future” thing.

This is his current opinion on “motivation”:

It’s not real. There are no obvious goal posts as there are in football. There is no home plate to step on like in baseball, no visible finish line to cross with a medal handed to you at the end.

He’s outgrown the more childish motivators – rewards of money or video games or anything like that. But he hasn’t been able to figure out what the next step is. I think he has a DESIRE to figure it out, that his inability thus far TO feel any passion for any field of study or possible career is frustrating him as more of his peers do start to figure it out. And I do know that if he is overwhelmed, he shuts down.

I know I want him to have what I have – a job/career that not only provides the bottom half of that pyramid – you know, money so I can buy soap to take daily showers (!) but it also provides me the warm fuzzies at the top half too.

I guess that is my new motivation – to help him find his. Because I really really don’t want him to end up like this:

Oh what a tangled week we’ve weaved

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Let’s kick it old school with some dot dots….old school – high school!….Some people never change….what’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding?….you need to get some, that’s what!….Secret Decoder Ring…Facebook debates…erased!..not fair!…I put a lot of thought into that reply…disappointing….current school – high school….3 F’s?!….killing me…finals next week….how do I get him to care and study?….contact counselor who says…..tardy tardy….what?…..we know, but how can we help him study?….well, his BIO grade is higher…<eyeroll>….Bio & Math have always been FINE….Spanish teacher never mentioned tardies so hush up about that and give us help!…tutoring…..email teachers weekly….keep checking his work…sigh…..Adam Lambert back on TV….Leno, Ellen….new song….Better Than I Know Myself…so beautiful….1st ebook going on sale…nerves!..technical difficulties….why is the sales site in German…German?……researching another…roadblocks!…argh!…..formatting dad’s memoirs for Kindle….I hate Word!…but…I learned some useful stuff about it….but I still hate Word…Pop Warner Treasurer no more….GOOD!…..(I mean it this time)…..taxes taxes taxes….yes, I cut my hair…yes, I knew you wouldn’t like it…..hmmmm…..guess it doesn’t bother you all that much :->…….ran 6 miles – 6 MILES!…..conquered more hills…toe blister – YEOW!…..cat pee…cat barf…3am cat calls…must you really start fiddling around in the garage at 11pm?….I need my sleep!…..work work work…a five day week?…surely you jest!….no?….zzzzzzzzzz…….I’d love to go ONE WEEK without having to add any budget codes…..I’d love to see ONE WEEK when a certain someone else works all five days……(don’t hold your breath)…..mammogram…YEOW again!….movies!…Moneyball & The Descendants…Pitt & Clooney…oh so easy on the eyes……Bunco. Bunco?…yep…giving it a whirl tonight to catch up with old friends…..speaking of friends…hugs & love to those who I know need it today….

Have a great weekend everyone!