When I was a Mom, I used to dread the last two weeks of school. All of you moms know what I mean. This is the time of field trips and demonstration projects and plays and concerts and recitals that show off what we have learned this year.
Back in those days, it seemed like a burst of permission slips and bag lunches; of making last-minute costumes and buying outfits and taking time off work to go watch something. Now that I'm a mellow grandma, I have a whole new perspective on these things. It's an opportunity to go be proud of my gorgeous grandchildren, to tell stories about how proficient they are and to write even more blogs like this one bragging about them.
Today, I got a two-for-one at Emerson Magnet School when "Darla's Friends" in the second grade, which include my exceptional Alyssa, performed a pageant highlighting the waves of people who came to Kansas -- from the Native Americans who were always here to the Germans, Russians, Mexicans, African-Americans and others who came to settle the state shortly before and immediately after the Civil War.
Alyssa was an exceptional German immigrant, Mela.
The performance was prefaced with a slide show that featured "Home on the Range" as the background music and I was so proud of Alyssa, who sang along with an obvious proficiency of the words of multiple verses including the one that begins "How often at night, when the heavens are bright..." I will leave you to wonder if you can finish that one.
Alyssa was delighted to report that on a recent field trip to the Konza Prairie, she was one of only two kids in two second and third grade classes who knew all the words, prior to the field trip. Could that have something to do with that being her lullaby song since she was four days old?
The immigrants on stage with their teacher, Darla Loggans (my vote for teacher of the year several times over), leading them in the singing.
Next on the afternoon program, we had an awards ceremony for all the students in third, fourth and fifth grades who scored "exceeds" of "exceptional" on standardized testing in reading, math, and science.
Future astronaut Chole, a fourth-grader, took home "exceptional" certificates in both reading and science, which indicate a score above the 85th percentile on standardized tests. I wouldn't brag, of course, but confidentially, she was above 90.
Chloe couldn't wait to get off the stage and go ride her bike, but she has two certificates that mean something to mom and dad and grandma.