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Knoxville STEM School Excites Students

The student/parent orientation and final tour of the STEM school before major renovation begins was this week. Noah received his official acceptance letter and will be one of 43 students in the sophomore class. A graduating class of 43! My graduating class from Germantown High School in 1988 was 672 people. I can only imagine how unique and special Noah’s education will be. The orientation was akin to a family reunion. Everyone seemed to know each other and be very like minded with regard to the goals of education. The principal is extremely enthusiastic. I have high hopes and think the Knoxville STEM Academy will do great! Oh, one of the highlights was the announcement that all students will be issued an iPad 2. There will be no textbooks. I’m thrilled and I’m thrilled for Noah.

Video source: WBIR.

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From the mouths of babes

Dad: "Have a good day!"
Noah, walking to the door: "Will do."
Dad, noting that Noah is wearing a thin long sleeve shirt and no jacket: "Stay warm."
Noah: "I hope so."
Dad: "You do understand that staying warm has less to do with hope and more to do with attiring yourself appropriately in layers, right?"
Noah, continuing to walk to the bus stop: "Yup."

This feels familiar almost like an 8th grade winter ritual.

If you’re gonna to be dumb, you gotta be tough. [Source]

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From the mouths of babes

I dropped the milk. The cap popped off and poured all over the floor.

Evan, 4 years old: "Dad said dammit."
Mom: * gives Dad eyeballs *
Amy, 7 years old: "Moooom! Evan said dammit!"
Evan: "No, Dad said dammit."
Amy: "Don’t say dammit."
Noah, 13 years old: "Evan, don’t say that. It’s a dirty word."
Evan: "No! Dammit. Dammitdammitdammitdamitdamitdamitdamtdatmdaaaaammmmmmmit!"
Mom: covering her face in towels to hide her laughter.
Dad: hiding in the fridge unable to breath laughing.

Uncle already! I get the message. Mouth meet soap.

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We have a new baby in the house!

Dear Knox County Schools, If I beat your fancy $500 electronic baby, does my son lose points because abusive granddad was raised in the 70s? Sincerely, I have 5 children I know what a baby crying all night sounds like and so does my son I thought I was done when Cathy said we couldn’t have a 6th

Yes, we have an electronic baby in the house this weekend. The irony is that Noah has probably changed more diapers and spent more baby time than many of his schoolmates ever will. If this is demented sex education lesson on abstinence, I give the schools an F because we don’t educate through fear and making the wonder of life a thing to dread. If the lesson is truly about the responsibility of caring for a child, I give this gadget an A+. This is a cool toy and Mattel had better step up because my 7 and 4 year old children are loving it! The diapers even have to be changed! Oh, I like the fact that there are no Caucasian electronic babies because I’m sure my son’s absentee interracial girlfriend is going to be quite the buzz at the inlaw’s church. I wonder if Noah will have the wherewithal to actually turn electrobabe into the daycare instead of carrying he/she/it into the teenager’s sanctuary.

Update: I just learned that the baby and Noah are more than a certain distance apart that the baby’s head explodes because Noah has an electronic wrist band secured to his wrist. Side note, you really should secure the bands a little tighter because I’m quite certain that I could slip it off Noah’s wrist so that he could help Evan get to sleep but no, we will be honest and I will take over for Noah tonight. Of course, I could get Evan to sleep easier if your do dad had a mute button! I must say that it is amusing watching Noah try to put electrobabe down long enough to play his video game only to have crying drag him away from the keyboard with a grin and an eyeroll.

Update: Electrobabe turned off about midnight. I have the sneaky suspicion the program was set up wrong and we’ll be seeing this child again.

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From the mouths of babes

One of neighbors is named Betty. The children address her as Mrs. Betty. Recently Evan started calling her Mrs. Betsy. I would correct him placing emphasis on the second T.

Evan, 4 years old: "Mrs. Bet see."
Me: "Say Bet-T"

This Betsy-Betty back and forth has gone on for weeks. So Evan has taken to really adding pause and emphasis to the second part of her name "Mrs. Bet TEA." Today I understand why.

Evan: "Noah won’t take me to Mrs. Bet Tea’s house."
Noah, 13 years old: "Evan, it’s Bet SEE."
Me: "No Noah. It’s Betty. Bet TEA."
Noah: "Oh."

The boys leave to visit with our neighbor and I chuckle having one more mystery in my life solved. They promptly return.

Evan: "Noah still won’t take me to Mrs. Bet TEA’s house."
Noah: "Mrs. Bet SEE isn’t home."

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From the mouths of babes

Looking down at the trampoline I see one child drawn and quartered by four other children. They waddle to the edge of the trampoline and start rocking the captive child back and forth as if to throw her from the trampoline to the ground. Then they release sending the captive nearly to the other side of the trampoline with a flop.

Me, opening the window and softly calling down into the valley: "Hey Noah! Do me a favor and make sure we don’t go to the hospital. I don’t have time for that today."

Earlier it was:

Me: "Evan. We have guests. They don’t want to see your penis."

You know.. there should be a book they give to new parents titled, "these are the ridiculous things you will say" with a list of the absurdities you will utter. I’ve said them all!

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Swine Flu May Be In The House

We have a child in quarantine. Several scouts in our troop have come down with Type A flu. Type A flu is not necessarily H1N1 but likely to be. More details after I finish my programming. This has caused great soap opera quality drama. Cathy will likely post information before me at either Domestic Psychology or on Twitter here.

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Boy Scout Camp Ends Early

Two of the scouts in our troop fell ill. In swine-flu paranoia, our troop was quarantined and are being sent home early. Instead of taking the two sick children to the local hospital for confirmation of the nature of the illness, the camp isolated them in the health lodge and confirmed our scouts to their camp. I do not know if today’s activities were canceled. I suspect that Noah only gets 1 out of 3 days actually riding a horse, an activity he paid extra for participation. I feel Noah was cheated. Not over the horse but for potentially losing all of today’s activities, for being separated from the rest of the camp unable to dine in the mess hall or participate in the week’s ending ceremonies, for losing all of tomorrow’s activities, and for losing Saturday’s morning. I understand risk management. I understand the need to prevent a flu outbreak. I also understand the importance of living our lives in a non-reactionary, logical way. My initial feelings are this was handled wrongly. I’ll learn more tomorrow.

There is reason for the paranoia. The WHO has declared that the H1N1 virus is "unstoppable" and that every country needs to vaccinate its citizens against the swine flu. Interestingly enough, the WHO is no longer counting individual cases. Anyone need a mask?

Update 17 July 2009: The quarantine has been lifted. The temperatures on the two sick children came down which is not typical of h1n1. Those boys went home last night and this morning no one else showed any symptoms. Good call CDB!