Friday, June 6, 2008

The Magic Test - me bragging

(not a bitter diatribe and no I'm not hanging onto the past)

As a kid all of my siblings and I took "the magic test". The test that determined whether you got to escape the boredom of the regular classroom or not. The test that showed just how smart you are or not. 5 of the kids in my family "passed" the test. I did not and was stuck being "just bright" in a regular classroom my whole life and also being bored. I did end up being one of the better adjusted people that my parents produced (Wil is too...the others ... I'll leave that up to your imagination).

Why do I bring up the magic test? Because the day I've been living for since the end of August 2005 has finally come. They gave Fred the magic test. She got a 99. Not a 99% on the test. 99th percentile placement. As in if you lined up 100 kids 1 would be smarter.

In November of 2005 I was told by Fred's kindergarten teacher it was basically a joke that she had to be in kindergarten but in CCSD nobody skips it and she BTW wasn't going to do anything special for Fred. I was furious! So she had 34 kids 17 of which spoke no english but if she had a developmentally disabled child she would have been forced to deal with that but not my kid.

Her first grade teacher did better. There were somethings I would have preferred to happen but I was taking what I could get.

This year she's had a great teacher who pushes her just enough to give her a challenge but not enough to discourage her.

Next year I have no idea who her teacher is yet (we still have 7 weeks of school left once we go back) but she will go to GATE one day a week for a couple hours!! I'm very excited!!

Now that she has been "labled" I'm hoping teachers won't freak out when I say she needs to be given a nudge every once in a while. She gets complacent like every kid but her being complacent is really high. I want her to do better, like most parents. I don't want her sitting like a lump on a log.

Okay, I think I'm done bragging now. ElCid was in GATE or whatever the equivalent was where ever he lived, she must get it from him.


Karen Valinda said...

OK! Excuse ME! Reread your opening paragraph and then rethink your final phrase!
It comes from her daddy AND her mommy. Her maternal grandmother, brilliant and mathematically gifted, was wowed by YOUR obvious brilliance from age 1 1/2 or 2, as was everyone who knew you and could get past your remarkable beauty, one of the first things we had to teach you was to say thank you to the total strangers who would stop to tell you how pretty you were every where we went! You carried on adult level conversations from the age of 2 1/2 When the first of many nice magic test people tried to tell me that your older brother was a creative genius I kept brushing them aside with, "tell me about Valinda".
"Valinda is very bright but we need to discuss Brent" They left out the rest of the sentence...
"and the living hell your life will be as a result of his genius and inability to fit in with 99.99% of the beings on this planet". (At this point in time I am beginning to suspect I comprise that .01%
I would like to point out that when you were in "normal" classes your freshman year in high school you were ranked 7th in your class. Problem is all of your friends were like your siblings, the yardstick by which you naturally measured people, and consequently they were gifted and in IB and you took the classes they took to be with them, and tried to emulate their casual study habits... which is where the very bright* bit you on the butt, vb* has to study more than gifted and you weren't going to miss out on the fun times, thank you very much!, so you 'only' pulled B's and C's with A's in things you really liked because you were in international baccalaureate level classes! ! ! Yeesh girl! ElCid wouldn't have married an average person, ask him! He'll tell you I am right!
ANYRATE, that aside, I am thrilled for Fred. I hope the program is something she will take to and thrive in AND that it will inspire her to pursue interests in a more active hands on way on her own outside of the GATE's classroom. I am NOT really wishing "experients" on you but be ready!
And she WOULD make a very attractive lump if it comes to that, btw.


Wil said...

You know, I came to the comment page to defend myself against being anything close to "well-adjusted" but after mom's comment, I see that she has illustrated that impossibility more than I ever could.
I won't tell you all about my ideal school in the "perfect" world, dreamed up after too many ed classes, but the basic part is that with a talented teacher (who is naturally well-paid and really only works 40 hours a week so that he/she will keep teaching) and a class with either a maximum of 15 students or has several regular volunteers/para-educators, virtually all the kids should be in the same classroom and they'd all be better for it. I know it will never exist, don't worry, but even now a good teacher should be able to help some.
Oh, and students in bilingual classrooms (as in instruction in both languages) *all* do better in school - any subject. I'm surprised LV hasn't gone to that, most Yakima schools have the option now.

The Lowes said...

I was that special class too but I always felt like I was the dumbest one in there. Jake's my smarty poo too, he's in it and i see a lot of myself in him.

wonder why i'm the one who never finished college??

Brent O' said...

I love you Ddonn! I have _always_ been jealous of your "well adjusted" (In quotes 'cause there really is no such thing) life. I would never trade my insanity for a normal life, but I always point you out with pride when talk turns to my wyrd family. Ddonn is the one who MADE it! Too bad your kids are doomed...