Okay, right now I'm FRUSTRATED b/c I wrote a long entry in regards to M, her academics, and her recent (only!) assessment testing she's ever done....... Sigh. It didn't save even though I pressed "save!"
I was interupted by a call from M's school, being asked to chaperone a Going Out (mini-field trip). I don't have a lot of vacation time, but gosh, I love doing these:) I'm doing one for M and some other 6th graders to the Smithsonian for the study of African masks, somehow the day AFTER the class travel fair. This one is to "the" zoo. Two of the girls are repeat-requesters, who I've chaperoned a couple times before:) I love how mature they grow over time. This third girl for the zoo trip is the one who called me. She asked me if I preferred to drive or take the metro. I've always wanted the metro b/c of the mass transportation idea, but they have a SmartTrip card thing, I call the stupidcard, which I HATE. I told the girl if anyone had not taken metro before, that I'd prefer to do that, as they're all old enough now they should know how to use it, but otherwise, I might prefer driving, but for them to calculate the costs for everyone and perhaps just see which is cheaper. Hehe:) Hey, it's polite to ask me, but they can do this. Hmmm, wondering if it's driving for the Smithsonian trip...... I wasn't asked my preference for that, but I know driving is part of that one.
I came in last night from walking Daisy, while M was finishing up feeding the cats and Daisy-dog. We were talking, while I undid the leash, and stayed scanning the "home report" results of the 6th grade standardized assessment test. M said that she and others were tested yesterday on their math abilities for proper placement in next year's Intermediate class (combined 7th and 8th graders). "I'm sure I'll be in with general math and not the algebra group b/c I'm so bad at math." It irks me when she thinks that way, as she's actually always been very good at math. I'm starting to learn that she feels more socially accepted if she's "not very good" at it, and if she comprehends a concept before anyone else in her group, she'll then turn around and go, "Huh?" and "lose" her comprehension, claiming it was a momentarily lapse of smartness. Sigh.
"Well, M, I think you'll be in algebra. Look, this shows you're not bad at math; you're good at math." The graph showed what percentile a student placed, so I explained to M how that differs from percentage correct on a test. There were 12 overall scores shown; M was in the 99th percentile for 3 of the 12. I'm still feeling a bit dumbfounded, proud, going okay, so what do I do now for her about this, a bit vindicated for having done all I have for her over these past years (everything from breastfeeding to having her in private Montessori schooling), and heck, I always knew she was smart, but wow. The 9 other scores were also very very good, mostly also in the 90's for percentile. (I also am reminded how I know M has not really been challenged-challenged in her schooling, even if encouraged. We'll have to change that!)
Her dad's girlfriend called M from Sh's cell phone, to congratulate M, which is fine, I don't care, but a bit odd. If anyone called, I would have thought that her dad would call, yanno? Guess Si got on the phone, too, briefly. Si is having a dance recital coming up, naturally the same day as M's next actual (school/low key) horse show, but probably still doable.
So, I asked M if she wished to call Grandma and B about it, and she did, and they chatted a while. I wasn't going to make it such a big deal, but maybe it should be made a big deal of, sort of. When I had IQ tests done, routinely in school, I wasn't told the specific results I don't think, or told generally, something. Not made a big deal of. I do think, ultimately, for a preteen girl anyway, that anything to help boost self confidence in a true, real way, can be good.
Later on, I told M that I always knew she was smart, but now she knows that she should never except someone telling her she's not smart enough for something. She can be anything she wants. It may require physical skills, or, say, stage presence which she has but someone else w/ her exact same set of scores might not, or having studied a certain subject or having certain experience, but she is smart enough to do anything. M responded just as seriously, "I want to be a neonatologist."
M's been interested in many things, including medicine, but never medicine for people of any age, only medical-related fields for care of horses, animal rescue animals, or for marine creatures (from dolphins to mermaids! once when little), among other potential career interests. She'd been part of an interview panel when a neonatologist doctor, and other career women, visited her Girl Scout meeting Monday night. The woman brought thee tiniest diaper and pacifier, and had worked w/ a 14 ounce baby that day. I responded to M, "Yes, you could do that. If you want to. You can be a neonatalogist; you can be President. Well, obviously, as you're smarter than he is." LOL. We talked about how the current President might get flustered on camera b/c of how garbled some of his grammar and English gets in his speeches.
Then she asked me questions about immigration, and why people are so against Mexicans. We talked for a while about immigration, racism, illegal and legal immigrants and "legal" ways someone might come here, about Jesus even, and how some including "Dubya" want immigrants to the U.S. to speak English. I told her that it was easier for my grandfather, as he'd learned English as well as Gaelic when growing up in Ireland and was good with languages. Many immigrants don't have that advantage. We talked more about him, including how he learned calculus in 6th grade, was done with his formal education at that time, and didn't wish to be a farmer or priest, so left via South America, to Ellis Island, and went right on to college. M asked me about calculus, and in talking about various math courses, I mentioned to her that calculus was the first class of any type I'd ever had to study for. "Study for MATH?" LOL. That's my girl:) Yep, math is way easy for her and she just wishes to appear as "average" as her friends, but she finds it sad that anyone would do so poorly she'd have to study MATH. (I'll talk w/ her teachers for next year about this social aspect keeping her back, as I know she dropped the higher level literature classes for social reasons, too.) M mentioned later that she must get her language skills from my grandfather. Ah, perhaps, but somehow she totally overlooked his math skills. (She really gets her genetics from multiple relatives, but hey.)
Natalie Merchant is who I'm reminded of now -- the song about the prodigy baby which always reminded me of M, and makes me smile:) With love and care, she can be anything, eh? :)
When M walked back out towards her room and let me change into night clothes, she said, "Hmmm, neonatologist or President."