Super Genius!

You may remember the post from October 28th, where I wrote about Kevin’s entrance exam for Archbishop Ryan High School. Kevin ended up earning a score of 97, and we were hoping that maybe, just maybe, he would get some extra financial aid for his efforts.

Kevin did better than we imagined…

Congratulations! It is with immense pleasure that I inform you that you’ve been selected to receive the President’s Award to attend Archbishop Ryan High School. Each year, students who have distinguished themselves through outstanding academic achievement, personal excellence, and stellar performance on our Presidential Scholarship & Placement Test are chosen from the entering class to receive this honor.

Kevin scored a 97 on the test. The highest score you can achieve is a 99. Slacker.

Your scholarship is $7,000 per year at Ryan for a total of $28,000

I have to congratulate you on your amazing performance on our entrance test. This is a great honor! You’ll receive an official letter in the mail within the next couple of days with the details of your scholarship and test results. This will give you more time to celebrate and do a happy dance.

Mrs. Earp forwarded me the email, and Kevin – being Kevin – sent me this text: “I JUST GOT A $7,000 SCHOLARSHIP TO RYAN, OH MY GOD!”

I am so totally and completely proud of him. The kid is a super genius.

P.S.Kevin is still in the running for the Neumann Scholarship, which is a free ride through high school.

It’s A Very Busy Day

So, earlier this week, the Philadelphia Phillies – who I despise – had a home series with the Baltimore Orioles – who I love. Kyle had the opportunity to see the first game, and as an O’s fan, he went with some of his friends. Erik wanted to go, but he has school the next day. I couldn’t take him to the final game, because I had training.

So, being the great father I am, I bought four tickets to the Orioles game in Baltimore this afternoon. I figured I’d go with Kyle, Erik, and Kevin… until Mrs. Earp pulled me aside and said, “You know Kevin has the Neumann Scholarship test today, right?

She told me this moments after I told Kevin about the game. F**k!

So, after Kyle and Erik literally called me senile, I walked up to Kevin and told him how badly I screwed up. Suffice to say, he wasn’t pleased, and I apologized more times than I could count. It’s cap day, so I told him I would give him my cap when we get home tonight. Hopefully he doesn’t hate me for too long.

In that vein, the Neumann Scholarship test is very important, and if he is one of the winners, Kevin will get a free ride to any Catholic high school in the Philadelphia Archdiocese. The test last four hours. I have every confidence Kevin will do well, and if he doesn’t get win the scholarship, that’s okay, too.

If you could send up some good thoughts for Kevin today, I would appreciate it.

Hello, Neumann!

So the other day Kevin came home from school with some paperwork. The paperwork was an application for the Newmann Scholars program.

The program identities students with outstanding grades and offers them the chance to take the test and submit an essay. The winners will receive a four-year scholarship to any one of seventeen Archdiocesan high schools.

Kevin’s grades have always been exceptional, and he destroyed the TerraNovas this year, which likely put him on the program’s radar. Now, I don’t necessarily expect him to be awarded the scholarship, but I absolutely believe he will do well on the test. I simply told him to do his best and we’ll see where it leads.

Kevin did very well on the test he took for the private school, but when he saw how much it cost, he told us he didn’t want to go because it would be too much of a financial burden on us. For my part, I told him if he wants to go there, we’ll make it happen. That said, a four-year ride would be a blessing, and with Kevin’s giant brain, maybe it’ll happen.

It’s The Holiday Season…

No one in my household gets more excited for Christmas than Kevin. You’d think it would be Princess P, but no, it’s Kevin All The Way. So today I am waking up entirely too early on my day off so Kevin and I can hit the malls and get gifts for his siblings.

Like every year, I suspect Kevin will go WAY overboard.

When I was Kevin’s age, I would scrape whatever money I had and give my brother a bag of M&M’s and maybe some hockey trading cards. Kevin, on the other hand, will try to get everyone a small gift, a medium gift, and a super awesome amazing giant gift. And the kid really puts effort into his choices.

Last year we were in a sports store and he picked out a lamp for Kyle. Not just any lamp; the base was adorned with the Baltimore Orioles logo. Suffice to say, Kyle went crazy for it.

Kevin saves most of his chore money for this time of year, and he’ll drag his wad of cash to the mall with us today. We’ll spend an easy 2-3 hours shopping, but it’s worth it to see him get so happy with his gift choices. Wish us luck.

This Is A Test

I don’t think it’s a stretch to claim my youngest son is a bizarre little boy; and I write that with the upmost respect.

While Julia is painting The Girl with the Pearl Earring, Kevin is creating wild photo journals about his characters getting away with tax fraud, or derailing passenger trains. The boy is literally a twenty-year old in a twelve year old’s body.

This weekend. Kevin was sitting at the computer and was tooling around on the internet. At some point, he opened up Microsoft Word, and started composing what he termed his “Common Core Test: Standard Sixth Grade Math.”

Suffice to say, this was not your normal, everyday test; it was a peculiar test, and fairly classic Kevin.

You can see the test under the fold. Make sure you read all the questions to earn course credit.

Continue reading “This Is A Test”

Always Bet On Black Belt

In case you were wondering, I was scarce yesterday because it was a very special afternoon for our family. My youngest son, Kevin, was scheduled for his junior black belt test at his martial arts school.

We were lucky enough to have the school to ourselves thanks to the Wuhan virus, and Sensei Dave said it was the first time he ever had one student for a junior black belt test.

Since the virus had everyone – except Kevin – wearing a mask, the instructors had Julia spar with the boy. She’s only a few belts lower than Kevin, and her size is comparable to Kevin’s. As you can see in the top photo, Kevin didn’t take it easy on her, and vice-versa.

Unfortunately, at about fifteen minutes in of the hour test, Kevin gave a roundhouse kick to the dummy – at right – but missed the dummy and his foot connected with the solid base. He dropped to the ground in pain, and hobbled off the floor. The foot squarely hit the hard plastic, and Sensei Dave had him take a few minutes to recover.

Kevin hopped back onto the floor a la Daniel LaRusso and continued his test. Of course, Kevin being Kevin, he got hurt again after his knee connected with Julia’s nose. The tears started, partly from the pain and partly from the stress of the test.

Sensei Dave told Kevin he didn’t come all this way to turn back, helped Kevin with his composure, and continued the test. The pain stirred up some anger, and Kevin started punching harder, moving faster, and blocking Julia’s blows quicker. Near the end, I was asked on the floor, so Julia and I could attack Kevin one after another. Julia would throw punches, then I would grab him in control holds. Kevin worked his way out of them all, and after finishing with 600 punches – all aimed at me while holding a striking pad – he passed the test.

All the sweat, exhaustion, and pain was swept away the moment he knew he passed.

Kevin started martial arts in 2016, passed his first test with a cast on one arm, and climbed the ranks over three and a half years. When Kevin started training, he was the shy, quiet kid who threw soft punches and average kicks. Now the boy is on the Leadership Team, much more mature, and his punches really, really hurt. (Believe me, I know.)

I have never seen him happier, or smile more, than when he received his junior black belt. His name is embroidered on it in “Burnt Texas Orange,” which is apparently a real color. (You can see it on him in the above photo.)

We have never been more proud of him.

Tripping The Light Fantastic

Many of you know Kevin has been taking ballroom dance lessons at his school. A few months ago, the team took gold in the preliminaries, then earned a bronze in the finals. Afterward, the program offered a half-year program which consisted of an hour lesson every week.

Kevin jumped at the chance.

The instructors went over the basic dances – waltz, merengue, foxtrot, swing, and tango – then added a few more – including the salsa – while improving on the others. Of the dozen kids in Kevin’s class, six were from his school, so he was surrounded by friends.

Sunday was the Ballroom Dance Festival downtown, and while I was unable to attend – work – Mrs. Earp was in attendance. With the exception of one partner who had literally no clue about the dance steps, Kevin did very well and had a lot of fun.

Afterward, Mrs. Earp too a photo of Kevin and his friends Alyssa and Bayani. Alyssa always gives Kevin the giggles by raising her eyebrows at him when they dance. She thinks Kevin is too serious.

Congratulations to all!

The Cookie Monster

Those of you who have been here for a while know my youngest son, Kevin, is fifty-percent brilliant and fifty-percent odd. We got a sample of both Wednesday night.

Kevin was assigned a science project where he needed to demonstrate a mixture or a solution. Kevin decided to demonstrate how cookies are made. He and Mrs. Earp made cookies last night, wrote down the steps and added the recipe on poster board.

Kevin brought in the cookies to class yesterday, and during his presentation, explained how they were made. He said the presentation went very well, but he was not yet graded.

The reason I mention this is because he added artwork of stick figures enjoying his creations. As always, the art was hilarious. You can see it below the fold…

Continue reading “The Cookie Monster”

The Bronze Age

You may remember this post from last week, where Kevin’s school ballroom dancing team competed in the city semifinals. In that competition, Kevin’s team – all fifth graders – captured the gold, and moved on to the city finals.

The city finals were held yesterday at a charter school in the eastern part of the city. Kevin’s team – he and his best friend Grace are captains – was going against eight other schools from across the city. The moderator said the competition would be intense, and the judges would be more strict. They weren’t lying.

Kevin and Grace danced the waltz in their first routine, and the merengue in their second. They and the rest of the team were fabulous, in my opinion, and we all felt pretty good about their chances. The judges announced the bronze awards, silvers, then golds.

The first school they called was Maternity BVM – Kevin’s school. You would have thought they were being called to the gallows. The team glumly walked to receive their awards, many, including Kevin, were crying. After a semester’s worth of work, they missed out on gold, and it was a very long ride back to school.

I tried explaining winning a bronze in a city competition is pretty impressive, but he wasn’t hearing it. Hopefully, he’ll realize how well he did after a few days’ thought. Either way, we’re all very proud of him.