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Saturday, October 31, 2015

She got wet, coming and going


Emily takes a community service class at school. I’ll skip the WTForks here; suffice it to say they now teach doing good. An aside, though—I once asked a gentleman caller to the house, to pass time waiting for his date, what he did around his house; did he mow the grass? The look was true deer in the headlights and finally he said “No.”  Dummy me; in Hudson the lawn services block the roads five days a week with huge trailers holding industrial riding mowers and crews of men who mow grass for a living.

But, I digress. Two half days a week Emily assists in an elementary school classroom. There’s something hinky about this, too. I paid a $400 class fee for Emily to learn to do good, on top of every other school fee and 49 mills of school property taxes, so the school district can take a pass on a teacher’s assistant for the equivalent of one day out of five.

And while I’m at it, there seems to be an unwritten rule in this school district: anyone old enough to drive a car may. I’m sure the parents pay the additional two grand a year for car insurance, as well as providing Johnny a car and gas money. The point is, almost every one of them has a car. Emily, however, has no license and no car. This was another problem, apparently never encountered before in this school district.

When Emily was registering for her classes last spring she explained the service class to me and asked if she could ride with someone. My rule is unchanged; if she could not walk, she needed to find a different class. The teacher called me. She would select a conscientious classmate who drives. 

“Think again, my dear; she can walk or find an alternate class.”

“But the elementary school is just over a mile from the high school.”

“Not too bad; she can be there in twenty minutes.”

“What if the weather is really bad.” At this point Emily had spent a season working ski lifts in blinding snow and below zero weather. I held my phone at arm’s length, tapped my head on my desk a couple of times, them responded, “We’ll deal with that when it happens. If I learn she ever gets in a car with another student, she will spend the remainder of your class in study hall.”

It rained on and off most of this past week, and Wednesday it was on, all day. I picked Emily up after school, from book club, and asked how it went getting to the elementary school.  The rain was in her face all the way there and the front of her jeans was wet, though they dried before she walked back to the high school. The backs of her legs were wet this time, and she sat through book club on wet jeans, though they seemed pretty dry by now.

We’re building character, here.

This is the class, by the way, in which her little charges are drawing quilt blocks for her to make. I went into the studio tonight to take a picture of the progress.



When she turned it over she said, “Darn, I sewed a row upside down.”



“How can you tell?”



“The names…….oh well.”

39 comments:

  1. At first read I was thinking you were being too rough, then I thought One Mile? I walked at least that almost everyday to work from the train to my office (In the rain I could go through buildings and subway stations for 2/3 of the walk to stay dry...Umbrellas in NYC are useless as the wind roars between the buildings somehow always in your face) Good exercise; your grands will not be soft.

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    1. I walked one mile to grade school, 1.5 to junior high and 2 to high school. One way, of course, through it was uphill both ways.

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  2. I am loving that quilt. Did she do that row over again?
    We too walked. And if it rained we got wet. As my father told us, 'clothes dry and you have waterproof skin'.

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    1. She probably will, but I think after eight hours today she was ready to call it quits.

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    2. Which sounds perfectly reasonable.

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  3. Wonderfully creative project. Good for Emily. About fifteen years ago it started to become more popular to require high school students to perform community service. My son was in the first class that had to meet the requirements. No fee. I called the guy in charge and said, Can he use what he does in church to meet the requirement? The man said, As long as he doesn't preach the Gospel, church work is fine.

    We increased his time helping in the nursery, acting as crucifer, and assisting the elderly. Did some other stuff, too. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

    By the next year, everything changed. Community service became a class. Attending the class was part of the community service. Kids were assigned to meaningless projects. Thank God my son was in the first year before they "figured" it out and ruined it.

    At the daughter's prep school, scholarship students had to do some kind of work at school. My daughter requested the library. She loved working there. The school ended the work requirement after her first year. She kept going to work in the library anyhow.

    Love,
    Janie

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  4. I know that many schools require some sort of community service as a requirement for graduation. That is a good thing. It seems to me however that accommodations could be made for those who cannot make it to the grade school. Why could she not do something at her own school? There should be enough of the others to assist at the grade school.

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  5. My community service was in an old folks home. Sometimes our old folks were no longer there when we arrived...the rainy walk back to school disguised our tears...perhaps that was why there was no transport.
    Jane x

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  6. I love reading how you and the Grandkids get through these things. I wish more Moms (and Dads and Grandparents) showed their kids how to get along in the real world. Unfortunately, i'm beginning to think the "real world" isn't very realistic. You Go, Grandmother! You're my kind of woman!!!!

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  7. There seems to be another development...U.S. universities want students to 'volunteer' abroad. From what I see here in Costa Rica that seems to be a small gold mine for unscrupulous organisations.

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  8. I'm still stunned you had to pay for the class; it does sound like a ploy for "free labor" though it does sound like it would be great "life"experience for the kids. I do admire you Joanne that you continue to remain insistent that the girls don't get into cars with teen age drivers!

    betty

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  9. My only thought about the walking is whether it's a safe walk. If yes, walking a mile should not be an issue for a healthy teen. Paying for the class? Teacher jumping to assign Emily to a fellow student as driver? What the heck is going on with the system?!

    The quilt is looking fantastic.

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  10. You run a right ship there grandma. I do hope that Emily can stay dry and warm for the remainder of her "do good" time in the elementary school. That quilt Emily is making is beautiful. Just beautiful. I see she has the gift from your sister.

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  11. The quilt is looking fabulous! Well done Emily.
    I do hope she doesn't get wet and/or cold too often getting to and from the elementary school this winter.

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  12. One mile is nothing !
    Teenagers taking the duke of Edinburgh award have to do five weeks of charity work. Many have volunteered at the shop & have stayed on afterwards. They are aged 14 or 15 and it's a great start for them. Most move on to paid Saturday jobs at 16 but then we get the younger ones in. Win win situation all round !
    Emily looks lovely x

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  13. Coming from NY, I learned early that if you want to get somewhere, you walked. However, we had sidewalks and the world was a safer place. If Emily's mile long walk is thru a good neighborhood and she doesn't have to walk along the roadside, the trip will do her good. It certainly would be safer than driving with a fellow teenager who just got their license.

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  14. Hari OM
    Emily, that quilt is divine - whichever way you look at it!!! Grandma... these lessons will be treasured. Eventually. YAM xx

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  15. When I was about 15, I could never believe how many kids of my age in American TV and films, drove to school in huge cars with fins and open tops! One boy in my school of 700 applied for permission to ride his little motor-scooter to his final year at school and was refused in case everyone else wanted to. I walked three miles there and back if I didn't catch the bus, and the rest of the time it was on a bicycle.

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  16. you pay for the class and she has to work too, strange indeed but not too bad to walk one mile especially at her age and safer than riding with another student her age

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  17. In the International Baccalaureate Programme, a very high level of high school work, candidates for the full diploma are required to complete several hours of community service. Ours was an inner-city school and some of the students were hesitant about this part of the diploma requirements because until then, the only time they'd heard of community service was as a requirement by the justice system.
    We had to come up with another name.

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  18. That Emily, I admire her so much.

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  19. You make me proud that there are still folks out there with standards. I walked everywhere as a kid and if we didn't live 10 miles from town I still would.
    Can't believe the fees that schools charge. And of course we've been paying school taxes forever and our daughter graduated 30 years ago.

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  20. the quilt looks fabulous. and get her a rain suit (plastic pants big enough to go over her pants and a hooded jacket) and an umbrella for those rainy or snowy days.

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  21. That is one young lady who is going to grow up to be a sensible, caring adult Joanne.

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  22. Thanks for building character! And Emily and her students have built a beautiful quilt top. Linda@Wetcreek Blog

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  23. Yes, many kids are not taught to pitch in around the house anymore. I see it so often in households. But then there are many kids that really know how to work and seem to like working and being a part of a working team be it family, neighbor or friends. All is not lost -- yet! -- barbara

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  24. If they have to teach it, well I'm all for it. It is the one thing I wished I had taught more to my kids.

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  25. I've never done a quilt and it's on my bucket list. Plan to make one for my first grandchild, which is due in March.
    As for weather not drop in Oct, until the end and the clouds just open up and poured.
    Coffee is on

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  26. I tried quilting once not too bad but not to good.
    I admire any one who does.
    Lovely to cuddle up in on a cold day.
    Merle..........

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  27. I truly miss my daughter's Montessori days. The classes were tiny, and often mingled. The older children were mentors to the younger. Now, in her Catholic Girl's Academy, she has to perform one day of service per semester. This semester, she helped paint a day care in a sad part of town. I think she is learning, but it isn't as "hands on" as I would like. We serve food once a month at the local shelter, but I am not certain that this is enough either. I always feel as if we should be doing more.

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    1. I believe we've come from a tradition of helping, but life styles have changed our ability to be so spontaneous and involved. It's not our individual faults--we move to new communities for jobs to support ourselves, we work longer hours to support ourselves--it's a global shortcoming--the refugees looking for a better life for families.
      When they first came here I wanted to show the girls something beyond their totally self centered selves. I found a consortium of churches that served a meal once a week, rotating among themselves. I showed up at the time and place with Emily one Saturday and we helped. We showed up the next Saturday, but at the wrong church. We never tried again.

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  28. No problem with the walking, problem with the 400 bucks for community service. That is crap.

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  29. I will never think you are being too rough. Being a grandma who is raising two teens myself I have to battle every single day with the same type of issues. Both the coaches, the teachers, and the kiddos think I am crazy because I will not allow them to ride with other students. Neither of my kids (ages 17 and 15) have driver's licenses. And even if they did, we only have one car. And I can only afford liability insurance on that car so I can't take the risk of a teenager wrecking my car. If something happens to my car we will all be walking. One day Emily will look back on this experience and be grateful. Maybe! She will at least make it into a tale for her kids. My grandson takes a class where he is the teacher's aid at the grade school too. He goes for one hour a day all five days of the week. Thankfully, for him, it is only a block away. Keep up the good work Grandma!!

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  30. Oh my goodness, where do I start! I remember one of our teenage sons, feeling quite deprived, coming home from school and telling us that Kid X's parents bought him a car and Kid X's parents pay the insurance and Kid X's parents pay for the gasoline and Kid X's parents recently paid his speeding ticket. I said, 'Know what the difference is between your parents and Kid X's parents?' I waited or an answer and finally said, 'Kid X's parents are IDIOTS!!' So I agree with Paula Kaye - Keep up the good work. What this country doesn't need is more spoiled rotten kids who don't know how to do anything but whine and expect the taxpayer to pick up the tab for all their wants. (Sorry, does this sound like a rant?? LOL)

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  31. One way to explain this is she is reducing her carbon footprint by walking and getting some exercise. Good that you didn't give in.

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  32. My goodness, she's doing good stuff with those kids though. And I still like the hairstyle.

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  33. Oh my! What a fabulous project and it looks beautiful, right side up or upside down.

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