Wednesday, June 20, 2012

a few really bad photos from today's festivities

Mac rounding the corner to receive his IB Learner award

Mac and his fellow IB Learners

The PE winners

The Colombian Culture winners

3rd grade "First in Class" winners

so proud of my boy


If you don't like reading braggy mom posts, you should cut your losses right now and stop reading.  This is a super-duper, humongous, child-centric, Mom-bragging post.

I had a great day as Mac's mom today.  If you read a couple days ago, you'll remember that I got to take the day off today to go to Mac's award ceremonies.  It was a very good day to be Mac's mom.

At the flag raising, Mac was recognized as the 3rd grader who best displays and lives the International Baccalaureate learner profile.  In case you didn't know, there are ten IB learner profile attributes.  For your education (and mine), they are:
  • inquirers—their natural curiosity has been nurtured and they actively enjoy learning
  • thinkers—they exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to solving complex problems
  • communicators—they receive and express ideas and information confidently in more than one language
  • risk-takers—they approach unfamiliar situations without anxiety and have the confidence to explore new ideas
  • knowledgeable—they have explored themes that have global significance and have acquired a critical mass of knowledge
  • principled—they have a sound grasp of the principles of moral reasoning and have acquired integrity, honesty and a sense of justice
  • caring—they show sensitivity towards the needs and feelings of others, and have a sense of personal commitment to helping others
  • open-minded—they respect the values of other individuals and cultures and seek to consider a range of points of view
  • well-balanced—they understand the importance of physical and mental balance and personal well-being
  • reflective—they give thoughtful consideration to their own learning by constructively analyzing their personal strengths and weaknesses.

I'm so proud of my sweet boy for this accomplishment.  WOW!

After a great breakfast with some girlfriends, I returned to school for the awards ceremony.  Mac received three awards at this ceremony.  Three awards!  My cup runneth over.

The first award Mac received was the Colombian Culture award for a 3rd grade Spanish as a Second Language student. He also won this award last year, so either nobody in the class cares for Colombian Culture or he just has a knack for it.  (Year 4 to the Brits is 3rd grade to us Americans.)
The second award he won was the 3rd grade boy PE award.  
Now I'm sure you're thinking to yourself right now, "Wow, Susan, you must be super-proud.  He was the best SSL Colombian culture student and he can run the fastest.  Big whoop."  

See Exhibit 1 above for evidence of my well-rounded son.  

And lest you have any doubts, please see Exhibit 4 below for further proof of how SMART my boy is.  

Full disclosure:  Although the award - "a real plaque" as Mac keeps saying in wonderment - says that he's first in class, the school has changed its policy on "first in class" awards to include the top 10% of the class in order to motivate students.  So there were five children who received "first in class" awards for the 3rd grade.  AND MY BOY WAS ONE OF THEM.

Did I mention how proud of my boy I am?  I love that kid and can't believe how lucky Jimmy and I are to have him as our son.  WOW.  

Two more wake-ups and we have a fourth grader in the house!

Monday, June 18, 2012

things that make me happy

1.  We have had stellar weather in Bogota for a few days in a row.  W-O-W!  Mid-70s, sunny, blue skies.  There is no better place to be than Bogota on days like these.

2.  Mac wanted a cactus soon after we arrived in Bogota.  We bought a very generic one, just a plain old ordinary little one with little spikes on it.  A couple months ago we noticed that it was growing a "limb" off the main cactus.  How cool is that?  We've never lived anywhere long enough to see a cactus grow a whole 'nother branch!

3.  The other morning I got an email from school that invited me to the primary school awards ceremony this Wednesday afternoon because my child would be receiving an award.  And then, a few minutes later, I got an email from school that invited me to the year-end flag raising ceremony this Wednesday morning because my child would be receiving an award.  I have no idea what these awards are, but it makes me very happy to know that he'll be recognized for something.

4.  Instead of taking just an afternoon or morning off to attend one or the other award ceremony, I'm taking the whole day off to attend both.  Jimmy has a non-negotiable work trip on Wednesday, so I'm going to both ceremonies to see my kid get awards.  As I mentioned in #3, I'm so proud of Mac for whatever awards he's getting.  But I am so super-happy, monumentally excited to have a day off from work.

5.  I took the Friday before last off to attend a couple school functions.  And I loved every second of my day.  I got to piddle in between functions and it was so heavenly.  I love feeling like the wheels in my brain are spinning again now that I'm working, but I decided after that day off that maybe my wheels are tired of spinning.  Could that already be possible?  (This discussion doesn't technically fall under "things that make me happy" but it flowed from #4 so it's included.) 

6.  On the subject of my working - or not - today and last Monday were Colombian holidays.  Add to that that I'm taking off Wednesday for school stuff.  Add to that that I'm taking off next Monday - more on that later - and then add to that that the first week in July has two holidays.  Add to that that two weeks later I'm taking off three weeks to go home for vacation.  Maybe then I'll feel like my wheels aren't tired of spinning and I'll be more enthusiastic about working.  

  7.  Our very dear friends - Jimmy's longest-term friend (they've been together since they were about 3) and his family -  are coming for a visit.  They arrive Friday and we are all beside ourselves with excitement.  Mac views this family as "blood family", so he's particularly excited to have his "cousins" coming to visit.  We're returning to coffee country for a long weekend (hence my day off next Monday) before returning to Bogota for touring and visiting and catching up.

8.  We are in the midst of the despedida season. The summer transfer season is upon us and so we're saying lots of goodbyes.  Bogota is losing a number of really outstanding people this month, but c'est la vie, right?  Or at least that's the vie in this very transient foreign service life we're living.  The only saving grace is that some of these goodbyes aren't permanent.  We know we'll make the effort to see the folks who meant so much to us here.  

9.    Mac only has 3.5 days of the 3rd grade left.  How can it be that I'll have a 4th grader next year????  That would be intermediate school if we lived in the Moncks Corner of Jimmy's and my childhood.   (Maybe that's still intermediate school in Moncks Corner?)  Intermediate school?  WHAT?  That makes me feel old. What also makes me feel old is that we've calculated and Jimmy will have three more foreign service tours before Mac graduates from high school and goes to college.  That most assuredly does not make me happy, especially since Mac looks at me like I've grown two heads when I remind him how just a few years ago, he said he would never leave me to go to the college.  How did that time pass by so quickly?  In the shorter term, it does make me happy that there are only a few more 5:15am wake-up calls. 

10.  Speaking of foreign service tours, it's time for Jimmy to bid again.  We have just one more year in Bogota and although we won't find out Jimmy's next job until the fall, bids are due pretty soon.  It's all very nerve-wracking for Jimmy, and Mac is pretty hyped up about a return to Africa (his father may have promised a dog as a bribe to get him on board the Africa idea).  I have some definite ideas of where I want to end up for the next 2-3 years (and even more definite ideas of where I don't want to end up), but I know we'll be fine wherever we end up.  "Bloom where you're planted" and all that jazz.

11.  The University of South Carolina is in the College World Series, and this is cause for major celebration and jubilation at Casa Story.  The Gamecocks are going for the Three-Peat (or however you write that).

On that note, I will close because the Gamecocks are getting ready to start their latest game.  I should at least act interested....