Oh, my gosh, you guys. This 40-degrees-and rainy thing just isn’t acceptable anymore. A day or two is fine, but this is way too much. I feel like I’m sleep-walking through the days because of sunlight deprivation. I need to go take some vitamin D.
Today’s the first day of state testing, and while I sent J into school with a refusal letter, I wasn’t entirely sure that she was going to refuse. She was under the impression that no one she knew was refusing this year, and I’m sure it’s a bit more intimidating in a new school. Still, I stocked her up with some reading material so that she’d have something to do. [She came and reported that she had refused.] Among the possible reading materials was Book Three of March, by John Lewis.
If this isn’t on your reading list already, you should totally add it. It’s John Lewis’s memoir of his time in the Civil Rights movement, and J and I have both really enjoyed it (we’ve both read the first two books). Actually, J really loved the first one, and then halfway through the second one she set it down and came and gave me a long hug. “How’s it going?” I asked. “Okay. . . ” she started, and then she said that actually, things had gotten pretty violent and disturbing and I was like, yep, sounds like the Civil Rights movement to me. Come to think of it, I think Book Three’s going to lead with the 1963 Birmingham church bombing, which, if I had thought about it, maybe I should have warned her about before she read it in school. In any case, I’d argue that time spent reading that graphic memoir is much better spent than time taking the ELA exam.
What else? J was just in a band concert, the big band festival extravaganza our school district does at Proctors. I guess they rotate between chorus, band, and orchestra? I think that’s how it works. I know I went to the choral show at Proctors a couple of years ago when M was in it. That year they were super-sly and did a final song where all of the different choruses sang simultaneously as an inducement to keep parents from bugging out early. Since then M has dropped everything music-related, which is a bummer, but J’s still in for chorus and trumpet, so my hopes are high we’ll keep at least one kid in music mode through high school.
You know I’m not always as super-impressed with our school system as apparently we’re all supposed to be, but they are nailing this music stuff, let me tell you. One thing I like about the concerts is that they always combine and have a bunch of different levels playing at the same event so the older kids can be role models to the younger. For the band concert, they took it a step further, performing a piece by a high school alum composer and performing pieces with the Potsdam Brass Quintet, so even the super-musical high school kids had role models right there. This wasn’t the only impressive school concert I’ve attended this year, either. At J’s last chorus concert, they sang a super-fun song and one of the soloists was last seen performing on Broadway. So there.
And this is sort of off-topic, but speaking of Proctors, I really loved the documentary Most Valuable Players, which is currently available on Netflix instant. Basically, it’s about an awards show at a theater in Pennsylvania where the best of high school thespians are honored live on local tv. I was like, why oh why isn’t Proctors doing this for the Capital District? It looks so fun. You know: crazy, but fun.