Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ginger is Alive but not well

The semester is finally over. It has not been my best semester. My brain felt a step behind every reading. And I was not as enthusiastic as I was the first year. Not sure why...actually the old passion I had as an undergrad is gone. I am not sure if that passion was really healthy anyway. My whole life revolved around school, fantasies of the intellectual life, etc. I was in love with being a student. There was a sense that the stuff we were working on was the most important stuff in the world. I definitely don't feel like that anymore.

I still love to learn but I feel vaguely uncomfortable about this lifestyle. It feels so hedonistic. I am going to graduate school because I love to learn. I love to read theory, etc. But deep down I know that teaching at Midwood was definitely doing better things for the world. And really the most important thing in my world are my children. All these things have combined to create a rather ambiguous fog in which I moved about this semester.

There were days when I really longed to be able to just be with my kids without worrying about the next paper or reading. And I got major house envy a few times. I started to really want my own home with a backyard...a minivan...hell, the whole suburban package. Of course I came to my senses quickly, and knew deep inside that I'd be bored with that lifestyle. But there is a part of me that longs to be able to want to like those things. It seems like life might be less complicated which is probably not true.

Sometimes, I think this all comes from hanging out mostly with moms who do stay at home. They do have their problems, and I acknowledge that but I often feel like the odd mom out. My life consists of two different worlds. One in which I am a homeschooling mom, and the other in which I am a graduate student. It's not easy to reconcile these two lives; in fact I am not sure if they are reconcilable.

Doing Nothing In NC

Time for my semester end update. For all those dying to know...No, Umberto is not reading. He can read a few of this Brand New Readers books but hasn't made much process on phonics. "Sounding out" words has become a tortuous event for all involved.

Me: Okay the b sound is baaa.
Umberto: Baaa?
Me: And then ahhhh sound.
Umberto: ahhh?
Me: The last sound is "daaa."
Umberto: daaaa?
Me" Let's put them all together.
Umberto: ?

He did pick out a couple of workbooks which he likes to do but it takes a lot of help from me. He has listened to me read a couple of chapter books which he wouldn't do last year at this time. We've read all the Spiderwick books, and Charlotte's Web. We're at the beginning of Clive Barker's "The Thief of Always" which is tough for him as it NO pictures at all. He also love his Star Wars Comics and wants to be able to read them on his own.

What keeps me from totally freaking out is his great love of knowledge. I mean, really this is what Horacio and I wanted to instill in our children. Umberto loves to go the library and get books out on a variety of subjects. He asks lots of questions, and is observant of what is happening around him. I see these things as a sign that yes indeed there is life in there! And while I do worry when I am with the "geniuses" of the homeschooling world, I try to remember that Umberto is his own person with his own timetable.

Household's current obsessions: Dinosaurs, Star Wars (still), lizards, doggies (there's nothing like watching Camille scratch her ear with her foot).

Umberto, the crafty one...

Here's a few pictures of Umberto's paintings over the fall:

This is the behive, he and I made after reading Gail Gibbon's book on bees.

Here's the spaceship collage. This one was a lot of fun.