Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Frustration (Parenting a high school boy)

I haven't talked about school or my kids or their education in a while, and for relatively good reasons.  I think, primarily, though, it's because I don't want to sound like the whiny unsatisfied parent that expects too much of her kids.  I also don't want to sound envious of my friends and their kids (though there are times that I am).  Recently, though, I've come to the conclusion that sometimes you have to share so that someone else can shine a light on your problem or so that you can find out you're not alone.

So, last school year my son did well for his first semester of 9th grade.  He made honor roll and I patted myself on the back that I'd made the right choice in putting him back in brick and mortar.  Second semester he started off as well as he did first.  Then second half of the semester hit and he decided doing work in Math and Spanish was optional.  I think in his way he thought he had it covered, knew what he was doing, etc etc.  By mid-semester he was failing both.  Thankfully, his teachers stepped up as much as they could and with his dad and I standing over him he passed math without any problems.  Spanish, though, was apparently beyond recovery.

We did a lot of talking over the summer and thought we had it all covered by the time school started this year.  He would be challenged by advanced classes, hopefully keeping him from getting bored.  Up until the last week I was under the impression it was all under control and he was on top of it.  Then I got a reality check.  Failing.  3 core classes.  PreCalc, AP World History, and Literature.  Not because he didn't understand the material, but because he wasn't turning in work.

I've checked in with his teachers.  The best thing for him to do is catch up on what he hasn't done and stay on top of what still has to be done.  So, I had a talk with him.  Then his Choi instructor had a talk with him.   He's making no excuses for himself, he just didn't do it.  I've let his friends know that he's under consequences so that hopefully peer pressure will help him step up.  He has a deadline to get it done by.  I can only hope that this works.

In the meantime, I have to wonder what I've done (or am doing) wrong.  I thought I'd given him a good base for responsibility and getting things done.  He made a comment, though, the other day that makes me wonder what other choices haven't worked out properly.  His comment?  If I hadn't pulled him from brick and mortar for MS, he'd be more social, maybe work better.  Throws your thoughts for a tail spin and makes you double think all of your choices.  I did what I thought was best at the time, but it's the end result you watch for.  So far my end results in this haven't turned out well.

I'm not looking for reassurances about what we've done, just stating what's happened.  Maybe a parent
who's gone through this before can shine the light that will flip the switch for my son, maybe not.  Ultimately, I'm having to learn the hard way that it's HIS life and HIS choices that will change the tide.  I appear to be the parent that's along for the ride desperately trying to steer a teen, that or I'm trying to herd a cat that wants to be on both sides of the door.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Driving Miss Daisy @AuroraTheatre

I was given passes to attend media night at the Aurora Theater in downtown Lawrenceville.  I didn't do what I did last time, which was to have dinner at one of the restaurants downtown.  When I got to the downtown area, most of the restaurants were full and I wasn't sure I'd be able to get in and eat in time to go to the show.  So, instead, I just had a cupcake at Special Kneads.  Not the best dinner, but definitely satisfactory for my night out.

From the theater site:
"This timeless story follows the unlikely 25 year friendship of Miss Daisy, a Jewish widow and her African-American chauffeur Hoke. In 1948 Atlanta, their relationship gets off to a steely beginning, but as they navigate the bumpy road of bigotry together a profound, life-altering friendship blossoms. Full of wit and charm, this 1988 Pulitzer Prize winner takes audiences on an unforgettable journey."

The set is fairly simple, keeping with the story line.  3 chairs were the car, a desk for Boolie, and a chair for Daisy.  The theater was an intimate setting and you're very close to the cast.  Seating is general admission.

The doors opened a little before 8 with the show starting about 8:30.  It's back to the original theater production, so keep the movie out of your minds if you go.  With 3 cast members performing the entire show, it lasts about an hour.  Hoke Colburn was played by Rob Cleveland, Daisy Werthan was played by Jill Jane Clements, and  Boolie was played by Jared Simon.  All three cast members did an outstanding job with their roles.    A wonderful story, but definitely not politically correct.

The show runs through October 19th.  The lead actor will change on September 28th.  Tickets are $25 and can be purchased from the Aurora Theater website.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

#DevereuxGA Annual HOPE Event - The Art of Feelings @IKEA_Atlanta #Win

The youth served at Devereux Georgia are considered high risk and require intensive treatment services. As you can imagine, treatment services for such an organization add up and fundraising is the way to keep the doors open. On October 2nd, we will have an art auction fundraiser featuring pieces designed by the youth at Devereux ages 8-21. The evening will also include a jazz trio, dinner, cocktails and a live auction.

Help IKEA help our youth via #DevereuxGA Hope Event. Get tickets TODAY:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hylian Shield #DIY #cosplay #Zelda #TwilightPrincess

When it came to being able to cosplay Link, my son only actually asked me to make the shield. I did the sword first, then the shield. I remembered to take more pictures this time as well. Supplies needed were foam board (2 pcs from Hobby Lobby for $5), paint (already had), xacto knife (already had), pattern (from youtube), and patience. It took me about 4-5 hours to do all together.

I started first with cutting out the base of the shield from one piece of foam board. It took up most of the sheet (20"x25").

The smaller pieces I got out of the bits left over from the initial cut. The bird will be a stencil that I'll use to paint onto the shield, instead of using extra foam board.

I got one side of the foam board wet (damp cloth) and then put it up so that weights would force the foam board to warp like I wanted it.

While the base dried to it's new shape, I painted all the smaller pieces. Most were silver, the triforce is gold.

Everything pre-painted, but not assembled.

Start of the assembly process. I didn't like the edges on most of it, so I used silver duck tape to trim the edges out. It didn't work as well as I'd hoped, but well enough for now.  This is most of the smaller pieces glued to the shield.

After using my bird stencil, I had this on the shield. I went back a second time without the stencil to clean it up.

The back was spray painted black. The straps are black duck tape. (Duck tape fixes everything.)

The front with all the details.  The rivets are buttons covered in duck tape, trimmed, glued.  The curls are grey marker that I free drew on.

Sword and shield together. For a first time for both, I'm rather happy with the results. I think I'll try other methods of cutting or different foam board next time for the shield.

Friday, September 12, 2014

My first wooden sword #Zelda #Mastersword #madeitmyself

My son has wanted to cosplay Link for a while now. We picked up a metal version of the Master Sword at a con a year or so ago. Unfortunately, you can't wear the sword TO a con as part of the costume. So, I got it into my head to try my hand at making a wooden sword he could wear instead. Lesson learned - don't use pressure treated wood. The lessons online said use 1x4 for the sword and trace the outline on that. That person then had to glue on the additional parts of the hilt that wouldn't fit. I got the bright idea of using 1x8 instead so that the whole thing would fit. It fit, it was just a bear to work with pressure treated wood.

This is after tracing and cutting with a jigsaw. My first time playing with a jig saw, much less trying a craft like this.

I apologize that I didn't take a lot of pictures in between. Shaping took a lot of sanding (fortunately, I have a Mouse sander and a dremel). The knot in the wood required wood putty as well to fill in the gaps that showed when sanding. Once shaped as best as I could get it (I know it's not perfect), I sprayed the blade with metallic chrome spray paint and the hilt with metallic blue. I taped off the opposite area I was painting to make a clean line between the hilt and the blade.  The diamond I tried initially to just paint on, but the paint I used wouldn't "stick" to the paint on the sword already. Instead, I cut a couple of small pieces of balsa, painted those gold, and glued them on. I then resprayed the entire thing with a clear coat acrylic paint.

VOILA!  A homemade wooden Master Sword.  Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

Thursday, September 11, 2014