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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Grading and Wading

Check off another busy week for the Rickses. We had a few unusual events, including parent-teacher conferences for our oldest two children. This is, of course, the first time we’ve had two appointments, but they were scheduled consecutively, so it was not too bad. Our neighbor was kind enough to come be with the kids while we went to the school.

Before Carver went to bed that night, I asked him if there was anything he wanted me to ask or tell his teacher at the conference. He thought for a moment, and then said, “Tell her that I love her, and that she is the best teacher in the whole world!” I did pass on the message, and his teacher was thrilled to get the message.

Carver is doing very well in school. He gets along with all of the kids, and loves to participate in all of the classroom activities. He was a little hesitant to try new things in art, and seems to have felt that he was not very good at it. That caught us by surprise, because he has been coloring at least a few pages per day at home since school started. That did strike us as unusual, because he never did seem that interested in art before. Perhaps he is practicing to try and get better at it, so we’ve decided to encourage him more. He is above average in his other skill areas. He seems to be our most extroverted kid, so he is right at home surrounded by kids his age. He looks forward to school each day.

The meeting with Avey’s teacher was next. She is, of course, testing off the charts with her reading and writing skills. Her teacher gave several examples of how deeply Avey analyzes their reading assignments, and we saw writing samples where she used better vocabulary than most of my students (college age). Her teacher also noted that Avey will go out of her way to be helpful to other students who are struggling. She seems to intuitively understand so much about academics, I suppose it is only natural that she turns to tutoring. We are so proud of our students!

Wednesday was an unusually busy day for me. I had to go to Chicago to be in meetings all day and, therefore, missing out on my normal productivity from our local library. Fortunately, the meetings with students were productive, and the faculty meeting was not entirely painful.

With the extra long weekend (Columbus Day on Monday), Kira had an itch to get out and do things like real people. Friday, we ate out at a restaurant, and rented the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film. Avey’s become a big fan of the series, and we all enjoyed this one very much. 

Saturday, we tried to scratch that itch a little more. Kira took the older three kids to our local fire department, where there was a big event about fire safety. The kids got to ride in a real fire truck, got tons of little toys and treats, and watched a house fire demonstration. We did the same event last year, but Kira was home with little baby. I stayed with him this time so that he could nap. 

In the afternoon, we ventured into Chicago. Some of the family wanted to see my new office, and maybe go see some other things. We went to my office first, and then saw one of my classrooms. They got playing around there so much, that our time in the city was gone by the time they were ready to leave. We were also sort of avoiding leaving the building again because it was pouring rain. Still, we felt like we needed to do something else to make our trip worth it, so we crossed the street for a Dairy Queen, getting drenched in the process. Of course, we found that it had been closed down, so then we came across a doughnut-and-ice-cream shop and took shelter there before getting washed into Lake Michigan. We had a nice treat and then drove home, seeing a gorgeous double rainbow on the way. 

We have the holiday tomorrow, so we’ll see what other ill-advised stunts we can pull, and report on them next week.


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