Sunday, December 14, 2008

I Haven't Forgotten

...that I owe you a picture of the Plum Lotus Scarf being worn. None of the shots is great, but here's the best of the lot:


This scarf is going to my father-in-law's wife for Christmas. I think she'll like it better than the boring sweater we usually get her :)

In the meantime, I'm still plugging away at Madli's Shawl in my spare few minutes. It's a pretty easy knit, but it looks great. The yarn is spectacular. I can't quite get the color to show up in the pictures. Hopefully I can get a good shot in sunlight when the shawl is done. Here are some shots.

First, the full view:


Looking at this, I'm not sure I like that half repeat on the left hand side. It's not symmetrical, and it may bug me. I guess that it's designed this way to accommodate the edging, but it's very noticeable to me. Grrr. Next, the arty angular look:


And finally, the squared-up close-up:


I doubt it's going to get done too quickly, even though it should. This week is going to be very busy, what with holiday parties, school parties, etc.

I am not at all in the holiday spirit this year. I don't know why, and I can't seem to get myself motivated to do anything about it. I've done a little shopping, but not nearly enough.

Today was our block's annual pre-holiday get-together. It's always nice to catch up with people at this time of year. A lot of talking and keeping up goes on at the bus stop, but I miss some of the moms whose kids have aged out of elementary school.

We here in the T household have been talking about the possibility of sending Sr. Jr. to a private school. Middle school is even less challenging than elementary school, if that's possible. The poor boy is totally bored. He finishes all his homework at school. I've never seen him study for a test.

I've been hearing from people with older middle school kids that things don't really improve. I'm particularly disheartened to hear that the school doesn't step up its writing instruction. I believe that writing skills are of critical importance, not just for college, but for careers, as well. Sr. Jr., as bright as he is, is a reluctant writer. It's the one area where I think he could use some more work. At the block party, our next-door neighbor mentioned that they're looking into private schools for their son for next year, when he starts high school, for the same reason. It didn't inspire confidence in our schools.

Mr. T and I have always been strong advocates of public schools. We've always said how happy we are to live in an area with really good schools. We really don't want to spend a ton of money on schooling for a 12 year old :) We have options, like applying for the math/science magnet school in Fairfax, or the IB high school here in Arlington, but I'm not sure that either of those is a good fit for Sr. Jr. Not a fun situation.

7 comments:

Jeanne said...

The scarf is great - and the shawl is gorgeous - definitely one on my list.

Sharon said...

Greetings (holiday and otherwise!). First of all, your lace work is exquisite. Your knitting is so classic, so "old world"--I really love it. I sort of view you as one of the Old Masters of the knitting world.

Second, as you know, my Jacob too was totally bored in MS. Never studied, made straight A's by merely showing up, etc. I can't speak for Sr. Jr., but Jacob really needed that time to establish himself socially, in that new "teen" hierarchy. He has always been very outgoing with a lot of friends, but the dynamic changed markedly in MS. His individualized reading at home kept him intellectually honed, not anything at school. However, he was really ready to apply himself this year at TJ. He LOVES it there. He has a 12 hour day (leaves the house at 7:00 and doesn't get home until almost 7:00 p.m,after track practice), wolfs down dinner, and then studies for a couple of hours.
But he has never been happier. He complains about the math, but loves the challenge. The school offers a vibrant social outlet for the kids too. He was a great girlfriend, and great friends. I couldn't recommend it more.

Let's chat offline sometime more about it. I really do know where you are with this just now.

Off for a day of shopping with my Mom. Also started a lace scarf with that cashmere I bought at Uniquities this past summer.

Loren T said...

Sharon,

Are you calling me old? Humph! Thanks for the compliment, but I think you're way overestimating my knitting prowess.

I could use someone to chat with who's been in a similar position. I certainly can't discuss it with friends whose kids are struggling. It's driving me nuts, because I feel like we're not giving him what he needs, but I'm not entirely sure what he does need. He's happy, because he doesn't have to do anything!

Loren

kippi said...

scarf is beautiful! She will love it, for sure.

Been there with the school thing. We chose private for that very reason but even that wasn't perfect. Homeschooled for one year (8th grade) at child's request and it was MARVELOUS. One big time out before high school. We went public high school and she graduated in three years. She was motivated as she really hated the public H.S.

So I feel for you in your decision making! What does Sr. Jr. think? It would be great to get him in on the discussion and the review of possibilities.

I'm with you on the holiday thing.

Scott T. said...

it's school; no kid will be happy; if it was more challenging he'd complain about that. At some point, he like the rest of us, has to learn to deal with the cards that are dealt within the context of the system in which he exists

Sharon said...

A year ago I would have agreed with Scott, but Jacob is really so happy at TJ. At Kenmore, seriously, his happiness came from the fact that he could excel without doing anything. He is so fired up this year, as are his friends. The carpool conversations I overhear are so energetic and excited about the schoolwork (I have to admit it's kind of weird--what I overhear is so much more like a college student colloquy). All of the kids are so sharp and intelligent. I have no idea what he's saying 1/2 the time, unless it's the amazing literature they're reading in English class. Think about it.

Loren T said...

I think this is going to be a tough decision. He's so used to doing no work for good grades that I'm afraid he'll be in shock when he finally does have to work for something.

Maybe I'll be more open about TJ. In the meantime, lots of confusion and discussion, and I am off to write a quick new post.