Friday, September 2, 2011

Open House

Hard to believe it's already Open House time. When John and I were in school they didn't have Open House until October. I remember that clearly because I remember making black cats and Jack-O-Lanterns to decorate the classroom for it. That being said, Sean's school is actually one of the last to have theirs.

I think I've mentioned before that he goes to a fine arts magnet school. His school is in Las Vistas (or The Vistas as us gringos call the neighborhood *grin*) and it is the pride of the neighborhood. The people who live there are very happy that their children are now allowed to go there without waiting to get a lottery spot since the de-seg order on our district has finally been lifted. They make a big deal of the Open House there and when we got there it was unbelievable the number of cars. They set it up by academy to help with congestion but it didn't help much. Sean is in the Blue Academy and they were last at 7:20. We finally got to see the auditorium. It is very nice. It seats 400 and is very professional. Sean says his friend Nathan is in drama and he said they get to go up on the catwalk to learn to work the spotlights and everything. (In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm quite impressed by this school. It is fancier than any school I've been in, much less attended.) It's very strange going to this school after him being at Corbett for so many years. It was like a second home to us since John had worked as a monitor there for several years as well. We knew all the teachers and most of the students in the higher grades. Here we know absolutely NOBODY. Until last night the only two people we would have even recognized were his guitar teacher, his science teacher and the attendance clerk and out of the context of the school his science teacher is probably the only one I would have recognized. Now I am at least familiar with who some of the faces are.

When we first arrived there was a big crowd in front of the gallery that's next to the auditorium. When we got closer we realized that it was because the students from one of the dance classes were performing. After they were finished a group of kids from drama stood on the stage by the gallery to make an announcement about shutting off phones and proper etiquette in the auditorium. It was really funny the way they did it. At the beginning of the presentation in the auditorium some of the students from the advanced band performed. I don't think it was the full band because it was a fairly small group. I wish I knew what they were playing. We recognized it but we couldn't put a name to it. They are good though. That giant bass drum really sounds good in there with the acoustics too and I was incredibly impressed with the girl playing snare. She was holding them together really well without any direction from Teacher at all. I am still trying to figure out why the baritone player was carrying his backpack though. LOL I had to laugh at Sean when the principal stood up to talk. She spoke and then she handed the microphone to Miss Lisa because she doesn't speak Spanish. Sean turned to me and said, "She's translating, Mom." Yeah, I kinda figured that one out, son. Sometimes he's a great master of the obvious.

After they finished we went down to the classrooms. Sean wanted to show us all of his work that's in the hallways. He has been very secretive about a science project he worked on with his friend and seatmate David. I knew it was something made of clay because he let slip the other day that he was upset that Jose had kept taking their clay even after Teacher told him to stop. (Jose isn't normally in their class but the class was double that day because there was no humanities teacher that day so they had to double up the students and extend the science and math to make up the extra time.) Anyway, the project was a model of neurons made out of clay. I am not a scientific person so I don't know how accurate it was. To me it looked like fireworks on the end of a chain so if that's what neurons look like then they did a good job. He also showed us a beautiful picture he took of a flower in the garden in media arts class. He did a wonderful job on it. It looked like something you would find on the internet. It was perfectly centered and everything and he wrote the description next to it. Then there were several displays for the math class. One was a math autobiography that they had to write and it was mounted on construction paper with a picture of themselves and another sheet which had information about themselves--how far they live from school, how long is their foot, how wide is their arm-span, how tall are they, all measurement stuff. There was also a graph of number of pets each student has but the 3rd period graphs didn't get posted in the hallway. We saw it when we went in to talk to Teacher though. And then there was the personal shield they had to make in science class. He had to bring that one home to re-do it as I mentioned in my previous post. He wound up making two because after he finished the first one he got worried that he hadn't done it right. When he took them to school Teacher had the class vote to decide which one to put in the display. He didn't tell us this but she liked the other one so much that she kept it for herself and hung it up on the wall by her desk. We introduced ourselves and talked to her a little bit. She's very nice but she is very demanding which is a good thing. She told us that she doesn't expect perfection but that she expects everyone to do their best. I explained to her that with Sean there is an issue with time which she has probably already noticed. She nodded and I explained to her that it is possible to get fast OR it is possible to get neat but not necessarily at the same time although that is dramatically improving as he gets older. She understood and explained that the way they do most of the work in all of the core classes it will probably not be too much of an issue. He showed us the humanities room and the pyramids that he drew when he was studying Egypt. No teacher there since they don't have one, just a sign explaining that they are in the process of recruiting a teacher. Then we spoke to the math teacher. She is very nice and says Sean is doing quite well in math. That is a relief as he sometimes has issues with that. I put my email down on the sign-in sheet and told her that if he starts to have problems to please email me since he will never tell me. He's rapidly reaching the point where I can't help him much but we have the internet and since their school had low math scores on AIMS last year and is under a re-structure because of it they also offer free tutoring. Hopefully that won't be necessary though. By the time we finished talking to her it was a little after 8pm and everything was closing up. We didn't get to meet his media arts teacher. We had seen her in the hallway earlier and he said hello but, in typical Sean fashion, didn't bother to stop her and say he wanted to introduce his parents to her. He was disappointed that he wasn't able to show us the room though because it is all set up with the Macs now and when we saw it before school started there was nothing in it at all.

After we left the school it was like the Rapture had happened and we missed it. When we got there there were so many cars in the street it was unbelievable and we were just lucky to get the one space in the lot that opened up as somebody was leaving. When we got out there were absolutely NO cars on the street and ours was the only one in the lot. It was eerie.

We didn't feel like heading home so we decided to go to 7-Elephants (as 7-11 is called in our house) and get Slurpees. At that time of night it is doubtful to be able to find a working Slurpee machine as that is their defrost time but we managed to find one at the third store on the route. Then we took a quick run to Bookman's as Sean wanted to look around. I didn't go in with them as I generally avoid that place like the plague, especially at night, as it has a tendency to make me sick. They had a good time though. They felt compelled to take the sign from one of the displays up to the counter and give it to the clerk though. Apparently the sign was in there last time and drove them nuts and they had expected it to be gone when they went in there but it wasn't. The sign said, "Super Heores." Nothing like paying attention to what you write when you're making display signs.

All in all it was a fun evening. Now we are getting ready to start the long Labor Day weekend. It got off to a very rocky start this morning but it seems to be improving. That's about it in our corner of the world. I hope you are all having a great weekend in yours.


Karen said...

It sounds like a really cool evening and it also sounds like they are doing some great things with the kids! I'm so glad that you are happy with Sean's school and that Sean appears to be proud of his school. 3 more days, here!!!! I'm not sure if open houses will go as scheduled or be postponed a bit due to the lost week. I hate that we have already used up 5 "snow" days and school hasn't even started. Yikes!

Wilma said...

It was a great evening. I like to see his work posted up. It makes him so proud. We also saw his friend David in the science classroom but he didn't introduce us. He just went over and said hello. Sean's not big on introductions. LOL

Glad to hear that you've finally got a set start-date for your schools. I hope your winter is mild so you don't have a boatload of snow days to make up next summer.

Rovie said...

it looks like you are all having a super- filled fun night especially for Sean.

thank you wilma for visiting my blogs and for adding those in your blog list. if you still have time please checkout my main blog too...


thanks so much! enjoy the rest of the week!

Wilma said...

Thanks for stopping by, Rovie! We did have a lot of fun and Sean was so proud to show off his school to us. He is so proud because it is a big school and he knows his way around and has never gotten lost.

I stopped by your blog. I enjoyed it and will add it to my list as well.

MsCaroline said...

Off to a great start, sounds like! Always encouraging to have a crowded parking lot - usually means very involved parents, and that is often a very good sign. The school sounds awesome - the school where I taught in TX was the home of a fine arts magnet (among others) and I really loved the way the kids were encouraged to be creative. Most importantly, it sounds like Sean likes it and is feeling like he belongs there. We have our Open House this Thursday. Hope it goes as well as yours!

Rovie said...

thanks for adding my three blogs in your list. please check out my blogroll page in those blogs; added yours as well..

thanks! let's keep in touch!

Wilma said...

I hope it does go well for you, Carolyne. I don't know if the parking lot means the parents are actually involved in the school or if they are just proud that their students go there and visit when it's open. That is the way it is with us. Sean has never wanted us to be involved on a daily basis. It was one thing when John worked at his school but volunteering in the classroom has always been a no-no except for field trips. He wants home and school separate.

Wilma said...

No problem, Rovie. I enjoy your blogs. I'm glad to see you here. :)