Peace Be With You

Nine days into The Jury Trial Which Will Not Die, I am completely and utterly sick of court. After the events of this past weekend, I am completely and utterly sick of humanity. So, I needed to post something which will make me feel better.

My kids’ elementary school holds mass the first Friday of every month. During the celebration, the teachers give out an award called Peacemaker of the Month. It’s given to one child from each classroom based upon that particular month’s featured trait.

This week, my eighth grader Erik received the award for the trait of Fairness. I guess he let the girls in his class stare lovingly at some other boy last month.

Any hoo, Mrs. Earp was able to attend the festivities – since someone was stuck in court with the dregs of humanity – and the post-mass snacks. Erik has won Peacemaker a few times in his elementary school career, and it’s nice to see him win it before going off to high school.


Kevin J. Earp, Super Genius

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The kids are going back to school. Today was Erik and Kevin’s first day in 8th and 4th grade, respectively. They both landed the teachers they wanted, and both had a lot of friends in their classes.

The one exception was Grace, Kevin’s “girlfriend”, who is in the other fourth grade class. It will be the first time they have been apart.

Anyway, when the missus went to parent-teacher night, she received Kevin’s Terranova scores. Terranova is standardized testing used to measure students’ progress in social studies, science, math, and so forth. Last year’s grades were available just now – boy, what a racket – and when I read them, I almost cried.

Last year’s third grade students were scored on reading, language, and mathematics. Reading is not his strongest subject, but he scored an 81. Kevin scored an 87 in language, which was impressive. However, the pièce de résistance was his math score: a 91!

All three scores were listed in the Above Average category, and while Kevin didn’t think the scores were a big deal, we were all very proud of him.

Home Sweet Home

Well, we’re back in Philly after a pretty excellent week in Sea Isle City, NJ. The family went down the shore on Saturday – I came down Sunday because I had to work – and we returned late last night. It’s nice to be back, but since I need to go back to work Tuesday morning, it serves as a reminder to take two weeks of summer vacation next year.

The weather was nearly perfect. Sunny every day, temps in the mid to upper-80s, warm ocean water, and only one fleeting incident of rain. Of course, that didn’t prevent me from getting sunburned. NOTE: Don’t complain about a farmer’s tan when the alternative is scorched upper arms for four days afterward…

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Skating Toward Success

Princess P’s second grade class has been working on a project for the last month or so. The assignment was a wax museum, where the students were to choose a notable American citizen and write a report about their life.

The students were to also dress as the person profiled, and pose in the school’s human wax museum in the gymnasium. When visitors approached, the student would recite certain facts about their citizen.

Julia’s teacher sent home a sample list of Americans, most of which are the same boring suggestions every child receives: Susan B. Anthony (our ugliest president), Amelia Earhart, and so forth. Yeah, we weren’t having any of that. The teacher said we could add our own suggestions, and being a tremendous hockey fan, I asked Julia if she wanted to research Cammi Granato.

Who is Cammi Granato? She is the first woman to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and is a member of U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame and International Hockey Hall of Fame. She was captain of the 1998 U.S. Women’s gold medal hockey team, and scored the first ever Olympic goal for that team. She is the U.S. Olympic team’s all-time leading scorer and received an invite to the New York Islanders training camp.

Granato is also a member of NBC’s hockey coverage and a color commentator for the Los Angeles Kings. Outside the rink, Granato supports special needs children by starting Golden Dreams for Children Foundation. She also runs an annual hockey camp during the summer in Chicago for young girls.

Julia embraced the idea of representing Cammi in school, and wore a USA hockey jersey and brought Kevin’s hockey stick. Mrs. Earp attended the wax museum, and said she did a tremendous job.

That’s my girl.

Video of her presentation is below the fold…

Continue reading “Skating Toward Success”

A Star-Studded Gala

A week or so ago, Kyle received a letter from school – no, it was not his release; that one was mine – stating he would be receiving an academic award at the Honors Convocation.

Kyle, being Kyle, immediately quipped, “Well, that’s gotta be a mistake.” Naturally we agreed, but hey, the school was offering free snacks afterward. Free. Snacks.

Kyle had to wear his school uniform, and the missus made me dress up. I chose ripped jeans and a tuxedo t-shirt – because I keep it classy – and we headed to school.

None of the letters identified the award the students would be receiving, nor the teacher who made the nomination. So it was like the Oscars, without pompous blowhards making political speeches, but chock full of wardrobe malfunctions…

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Good News, Everyone!

Despite the sh*tstorm which has enveloped my life, some really terrific events unfolded yesterday.

First, Kyle’s lacrosse team won their final game of the season, and played in both the varsity and JV games. Kyle finished his season with a goal, two assists, and winning 26 of 58 face-offs (a 45% win percentage). While his face-off stats were decent, he needs to seriously step up his offense next year.

Second, we spent the evening at Princess P’s dance recital. Julia moved up halfway through the year, because her teacher thought she would perform better with the older girls. Her group did a ballet number with the requisite tutu – or as Julia kept saying, “the two-three.” For that she wore the outfit on the right.

Julia’s group also did a jazz number – jazz hands! – and the same outfit was, um, modified. Thee tutu was removed and the cummerbund was removed, turning the outfit into a belly shirt. Daddy did not like.

I did, however, love her performance. She was fluid, graceful, and never once looked off stage for cues. Princess P had both routines down pat, and certainly hammed it up for the jazz number. (Including shaking her hips, which, again, Daddy did not like!)

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Might As Well Jump

The Philadelphia CYO High Jump Divisionals were held last night at St. Hubert’s High School. Erik was one of three competitors from Maternity BVM school, and one of two boys in the Minors Division. Either way, Erik would make the Area Championships tonight, as long as he cleared his first jump.

Clearing 3’6″ is no big feat for him, and I told him he needed to clear at least 4’0″ to be on pace for Areas.

The boy didn’t disappoint.

After easily clearing 3’6″, 3’8″, and 3’10”, he hit the bar at 4’0″. You have three chances to clear each height, and when Erik hit the bar again at 4’0″, I asked him if he wanted me to stop taping his attempts.

His response? “Um, yes!”

I stashed the cellphone, and he cleared his third and final jump at 4’0″. Best jump, evah! Even more impressive since the bar was above his shoulders.

Erik has two more weeks of practice before Areas, and his coach believes he can hit 4’6″ before then. Erik is now locked in to the Area Championships for the high jump, and can earn a ticket there for the long jump and 200m run this weekend.

His clearance of 3’10” is below the fold…

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He’s Right In The Head

Among his other studies, my oldest son Kyle is trudging through a high school government class. Normally that would worry me, because I always worry about the indoctrinators which have infiltrated our schools.

So when he told me his teacher gave out a quiz which would help determine your political affiliation, I worried further. The last thing Kyle needs is to be attacked by a snowflake teacher.

Kyle’s class took the quiz, and there were increments ranging from very liberal – think Harry Reid – to very conservative – think Ronald Reagan. The class took the survey and was split into groups based upon their affiliations.

I am extraordinarily pleased to say Kyle came in just to the right of Goebbels!

When I asked him if the teacher was a liberal, he said, “Honestly, I don’t know. He doesn’t telegraph it one way or the other.”

That’s reassuring… or it will be until Kyle starts failing exams.

The Kid Must Be French

Meteorologist Patrick Ellis from Mississippi’s WLBT News had a musical interlude during his recent live forecast, but not one anyone would want to sit through.

In the middle of delivering Saturday’s weather, a child jumps onto the screen bellowing all kinds of insanity at Ellis. While the weatherman didn’t lose his composure, he wasn’t really sure what to do. “We’ve got a little bit of, uh, interesting things going on right now,” he said as the child appears to direct a fart at the meteorologist’s knees.

Yup, you read that right. “Directs a fart.” The potential fart would appear to be corroborated by Ellis on Facebook, who shared the video while noting, “All I’m going to say is watch out for the ‘toots’ across central Mississippi.”

Honestly, if I heard something like this had happened in Philly, I would have bet my house my youngest son Kevin would be the perpetrator. Bet. My. House.

The hilarious video is below the fold…

Continue reading “The Kid Must Be French”

Prayers, Please

Pink Javelina

Princess P will be spending this evening at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. She has been having throat issues and some trouble sleeping, so the doctor scheduled a sleep study. They think she may be dealing with sleep apnea, a diagnosis which freaks me the hell out.

The other issue is Julia’s tonsils. The ENT doctor said they were unusually large, and after the sleep study we may have to have a conversation about having hers removed.

As of now, I will be spending the night with Princess P, and I expect to get zero sleep. I’ll bring a book and pump myself full of caffeine in case there are any issues. The Princess is not worried about the visit, and hopefully, everything will go smoothly.

If you’re the religious type, a prayer or two would be appreciated.

UPDATE: The sleep study went well. Julia fell asleep – eventually – and I got about an hour’s sleep. We’ll know the results sometime this week.