Wednesday, October 15, 2008


The critter thought it was fun. When I told him that today wasn't a test day and he'd have to wait until Thursday, he gave a big sigh of disappointment. Yet again, I am left scratching my head.

I had another head-scratching moment today in relation to my vegetable garden. I think I've mentioned how disappointing my garden has been this year: 3 of the tomatoes got wilt and 2 got the bottom rotting fungus, beans died, cucumber withered, lettuce was nibbled by cute baby bunnies, spinach bolted, zucchini plants flowered then turned yellow and died, carrots stayed stumpy and barely edible, need I go on? The only vegetables I got enough of were arugula, kale, peas, scallions and basil. So I've decided to get a farm share next year and just plant fun stuff in the garden--pumpkins, potatoes, peas, (only vegetables that start with the letter P?), stuff that we never can have too much of and that won't impact our diet too much if they fail.

With such a track record of plant death and destruction, when I saw one of the few surviving tomato plants dropping its tomatoes before they turned red I assumed it was another failure and my thumb was turning a fine shade of black.
Only today I remembered that I had planted a yellow tomato plant and they were falling off the vine because they are ripe. Snort!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The MEAP tip toe

Tomorrow my oldest critter takes his first standardized test. Sigh.

A friend whose son goes to another Ann Arbor public school, one that is really well regarded and not a struggling school by any stretch of the imagination, told me that they started MEAP prep in the second half of 2nd grade and that her son's teacher had to cut the dinosaur unit from their curriculum in order to get in enough test prep. This just breaks my heart (she was very disappointed about this too).

In her weekly note last week, the Principal at my son's school wrote a strong statement about how standardized tests are contrary to the holistic program at the school but that, darn it, the kids have to take the thing. The preparation for the test consisted of showing the kids a sample test a couple of weeks ago and telling them to get a good night sleep and eat a good breakfast. I'm trying to take a similarly resigned-but-supportive attitude, but since my kid is a lousy sleeper and eater, I gotta admit that I do feel a little tense.

So I'm doing what I can and am churning out batches of mini banana chocolate chip muffins (without the ground almonds and with soy instead of cow milk to accommodate allergies) for the kids to snack on between testing blocks.
So hey, my house smells great and for all I know, my kid is quirky enough to think that the test is fun!