Saturday, February 05, 2011
Teamwork And Homework Pay Off
This will be a rather long update but it's a few stories that intertwine. I might have mentioned elsewhere that we were getting our son back on his educational path by adding some new structure to his after-school hours. This came after seeing quite a few missing homework assignments. He now spends at least 90 minutes at the kitchen table doing homework before anything else. He has actually noticed how much better his life has been around this new change and how breaking away from it feels so disorganized and confusing. Anyhow, he spent two late nights catching up on late/missing homework assignments that brought his Science and English grades up. (As he had A's on most everything but many zeroes on homework brought the grades down.) I might have also mentioned his teacher and assistant dean approaching us about having him represent the 7th grade in the Science Bowl. This is actually a state-wide competition over science and math that is now in its 4th year. Most likely... this wouldn't have happened if he didn't bring those grades up.
So, on Thursday (the 27th) David broke from the previously mentioned structure -- with our consent. He went to play with his cousins that he hadn't seen in awhile but promised to get to his homework right afterwards. That didn't happen. While playing on his scooter, the rusted handlebars gave and he went tumbling to the ground. All in all, he wound up with a buckle fracture of his right radius (near his wrist) leaving him without the use of that hand for the time being. He tried writing with his left but switched back after getting his full cast. All homework has caught up but it's been quite an experience for him as he's learning how much he depends on using both arms.
Fast-forward to 4:40am this morning as the wife woke him up to get ready for the Science Bowl. Heck, I even went to sleep early and got up to go with them. We arrived at the Henderson International Campus at 6:30am and turned in some last-minute paperwork for his participation. Worth noting here is that writing out anything is a slow painful process during the healing and hardly legible (and never really considered how important that may be for math questions.) We weren't allowed to see the first 2 contests but we got a phone call from David around their lunch break to tell us that they had won both their first head-to-head battles. Arriving quickly afterwards, we just made it in as they started against their next opponent. They won and had a little breathing room. I found out that my old junior high school (that I participated in Varsity Quiz for) was also competing... and was the team to beat. They would meet them in the finals. By the first half of the game, they were down by at least 20 points and came back to a nerve-wracking finish but lost. David had some tears in his eyes but I reminded him... it's a double-elimination tournament. The team would play their sister-school from Reno for third place and beat them in what was called a North-South battle by moderator Nate Tannenbaum. The next would be a rematch with my former school which had remained unbeaten. David's team dealt them a more than 50 point beating. I can't put it any other way. So, they would play against each other one more time... The other team would bring payback by topping them by 100 points. It was a slugfest... well, mentally. What has to be said here is that the main team consisted of four 8th graders (and a 7th that rotated in on the second half) and David's had an 8th grader, two 7th graders and a 6th grader. Pretty darn good for a team just put together that could only get better next year. So tonight, I remain a proud parent of a child that gave his all and learned to enjoy this competition.
I'd feel bad if I wrote all this without saying how nice Mr. Tannenbaum was. Kerry and I have fond memories of watching this meteorologist's forecasts and on-camera wit. But to have him moderate the final rounds was great. He even too a moment to pose for a photo with the boy. It gives David someone to look for on the news in the morning when he fills in for Ted Pretty.