Spring Sprang Sprung! Doctor JJ’s Kids Bustin’ Out All Over

29 05 2011

Our spring showed color early and has been full to bursting since then, with performance, celebration, commencement, remembrance and rites of passage.
And hats.

(This will surely sound like one of those insipid Christmas letters listing stuff about a family you never see IRL, so feel free to skip it or make snarky comments — in the privacy of your own home.) 😉

Maybe the garden metaphor is less fitting than fireworks, or rocket launches. But there have been plenty of flowers, on hats and in centerpieces, on stage and on campus and filling our home. I suppose the season started with Favorite Daughter’s acceptance to grad school and her 21st birthday, clinching a job at the campus music library, apartment hunting for that first momentous move out on her own (she’s lived at home through university) all while sustaining her unbroken streak on the president’s list to lock up her perfect career GPA with a Phi Beta Kappa key.

St. Patrick’s Day was a whole week for both FavD and Young Son, an Irish stepdance marathon of performances for schools indoors and out, for nursing homes and assisted living centers and at two different citywide festivals. Thanks to unschooling, on the actual day Young Son was able to start at nine in the morning and dance straight through until almost ten that night.

Young Son's St Patrick's Day meant dancing for two and then some

I know how much he danced and how much energy it must have taken because I went everywhere with him; I was worn out even though I got to sit the whole time. 🙂

Meanwhile, rehearsals for their latest community theatre musical “CURTAINS” took up most weeknights and Saturdays through March and April, for both kids. (Favorite Daughter was dance captain.)

Curtains Can Can-Can! Favorite Daughter on far left

Young Son front and center

This time the show rehearsed in a vacant mall storefront, filling the atrium far and wide with song and dance, delighting mall-crawlers from all directions — mostly from Barnes and Noble and the sports superstore but also the little kid ride-for-a-quarter machines — whose stopped-in-their-tracks surprise was good fun to watch from a bench nearby while waiting to chauffeur one or both Ross kids to whatever awaited their attention next.

Curtains rehearsing in mall storefront: FavD in blue skirt, Young Son's right half on far right

Young Son took up another wind instrument this spring, in addition to the great highland bagpipes, hornpipes, penny whistles and baritone vocals he enjoys so much: the alto saxophone. MY alto saxophone to be precise. We found yet another tailor-made mentor/private teacher, a world-traveled former US Army Band professional saxophonist who’s now A.B.D. (all but dissertation) at the local university and has his own studio and instrument workshop at home.

Oh, and FavD quite unexpectedly acquired a new costume de rigueur as of April 20, perfectly suited to her scholarly librarian life: her first pair of glasses, which like Young Son, she wears all the time and looks somehow more like herself with, than without. 🙂

On the heels of that bespectacling, Read the rest of this entry »

“High Attainments in Liberal Scholarship”

10 04 2011

Florida’s oldest chapter of Phi Beta Kappa (older than I am!) inducted Favorite Daughter this afternoon, followed by a reception at the President’s Residence. Her certificate sports the embossed gold Phi Beta Kappa key and recognizes her “high attainments in liberal scholarship.”

Favorite Daughter Cast in First Musical Theatre Lead!

25 08 2010

She’s now in rehearsal to play the shy, word-loving middle schooler Olive Ostrovsky in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

Award-winning regional community theatre. Hilarious show yet also deeper, very much about schooling versus actually learning how to live, not being perfect and not necessarily following the rules, and exploring how no matter where we are or what we do, we become ourselves through real relationships . . . AND she has a pas de deux plus two solo vocals!

Here’s the dramatic one, which she sings to/with her loving but absent and apparently somewhat self-absorbed parents, “I love you” and “How I wish you were home.” (Olive is pictured here as the pink-overalled competitor number 11)

Here’s a (rather jumpy, sorry) live-action version:

Count on hearing much more in coming weeks from Olive’s proud IRL mama, who also “always knew she was a winner.” Life IS pandemonium!

Hey, do you think I should mention her “olive oil” essay to the director for the playbill?

Sweet Waffle Kohn for Best FB Status Update

18 06 2010

JJ is awarding Snook’s inaugural facebook status prize for this, from a local theatre geek just now:

“. . .so I go home to take a nap since I am sick and have no voice. A tree falls on the car and clips the power. I call the city about the power and the voice automated system can’t hear me and therefore can’t direct the call. So if a tree falls in my yard I apparently don’t make a sound. :)”

You gotta love theatre folk . . .

If you have nominations for future Sweet Waffle Kohns in this category, post em here!

UPDATE – cheating just a little, here’s an award-winning blog update from Colleen, the formerly New Unschooler who it seems has unschooled herself very well, thank you!

“I was thinking, as I was sitting there watching the show, how lucky I am that unschooling brought me to this acceptance and celebration of Jerry’s passions.”

Ahem — FavD Has Some Awesome Friends

13 04 2010

Guess what the girlfriend she went to Europe with last summer has been up to since they got home, right here in town?

Oh, nothing much, just winning the Goldwater Scholarship as a sophomore for her biochemistry cancer research . . .

In that moment, our eyes met, cultures overlapped, and a friendship was formed, one that I feel truly privileged to be a part of.

Socialization. So there. 😉

I Did the Math — This Sums Up America’s Mess

11 01 2010

Good logic of failure read for Thinking Parents (you know who you are) about why we can’t reason with ideologues determined to keep any unfair advantage they can put over on us, as long as possible, no matter what it does to what’s left of the can-do American ingenuity we once used for good instead of evil:

“The sad fact of contemporary American economic culture is atomistic individualism. Anything else is decried as communism.”

So yes, logic of failure but even more than Dietrich Dorner, what about Alfie Kohn? It’s quite literally “punished by rewards” . . .

JJ’s Got a Naughty and Nice List

18 12 2009

It’s a good thing I am not in charge, she muttered darkly . . .
Most public figures* including everyone with more money than morals would be in BIG trouble this year!

Although I heard Andre Agassi* answering some questions after a speech on NPR today and he makes the Nice list regardless of his clueless youthful excess, for honesty and modesty and public service and decent fatherhood, having reached his senior emeritas status.