Brains

Apr. 2nd, 2011 05:20 am
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It was 3rd quarter teacher conferences this week, and we had a good conversation with Casper's teacher and the Spectrum teacher.  She's really a fascinating creature, Casper is. A mix of things - brave in some ways, fragile in others (we had an awfulizing meltdown Wednesday night), capable of focus and extremely detailed work but often careless in her schoolwork. Spectrum teacher, whom I like a lot, noted that Casper does tend to march to the beat of her own drum, in terms of classwork as well as socially. She's unsure how to negotiate group work, and will sometimes wander off and just start getting things done by herself. When working alone, she is usually quite focused and confident.  Both teachers noted that she tends to approach problems in unusual ways - Mr. H noted that she almost always solves math problems through methods that none of the other kids use, and methods he hasn't explicitly taught, and Spectrum teacher noted the same sort of thing.  This is interesting to me and makes me glad she's in Spectrum where they can appreciate this - I think a lot of "gifted" kids at her school are like I was - wicked smart, precocious verbally and good readers and adept at processing and incorporating new information - whereas Casper in some ways really does "think different," even different from the average smart kid.  This could be a great benefit in her life, if she can turn it to her advantage.

Her reading is going fine - Fast ForWord does seem to be helping.  Mr. H talked about the program a bit - he's actually gone and used the software to see what it is like - and it generates reports that show things I've instinctively known for a long time - that she does often miss common and fairly simple words like when and were. She definitely has trouble with long vowels, too.  The program does some ear training exercises, with different tones, and also promotes focus.  I think there have been definite improvements.  I still worry that neither of the teachers were able to really have a conversation about what Casper struggles with about reading - what is it that makes this hard for her, and how can we specifically target strengthening it?  Spectrum teacher noted that most of the interventions for struggling readers are geared towards kids who are less generally intelligent than Casper is, and who often have other language problems alongside reading problems (Fast ForWord, for example, is especially recommended for kids with auditory processing problems, who often have limited vocabularies and are slow to talk - NOT Casper!!)  I'm almost to the point that I'd like to talk to a reading specialist, who has the background and experience to help me understand and explore what are the factors that make Casper struggle.  But, again, she's doing fine, grade-level work (except most of her Spectrum peers read well above grade level.)

I am having a week of depression and social anxiety, feeling isolated and generally low and anxious.  I cut all my hair off yesterday and didn;t even get much of the usual post-haircut boost that I do (you know, where you spend the rest of the day walking around going "I'm so cute!") It's spring and houses are going on the market and it's the time when Universities are making hires and people are planning moves and changes over the summer, and we have no idea what the plan is for the future.  Well, signing up for summer camp starts today, so I guess we just trundle forward.

mantra

Dec. 29th, 2010 10:28 am
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"I hate myself
I don't like myself
I don't believe in myself
I'm not a genius."

This is Casper's negativity mantra.  Guess where it came from?  From the positive mantra the school counselor taught her, just turned around.  Greeeeeeeeaaaaaaat.

Casper is attempting to sew shorts for her barbie-sized doll out of a scrap of slippery silk satin left over from my wedding dress, a task I would be doomed to fail at.  Boy are we having fun here.

Also, what they hell kind of school counselor teaches a kid a positivity mantra whose last line is, "I'm a genius"?  No she's not, and it's not heal;thy to tell her she is.
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Both kids are having vastly different issues right now.

Read more... )
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I went to the very nice oral surgeon for a consult and came away with plans to have my wisdom teeth (all 4) out next Tuesday. Um. (So, Hec, perhaps lunch downtown is not so much an option.) They have prescribed me valium for night before and morning of; I am not sure whether or not this is customary, or they could tell from my wild-eyed look that I was sure as hell going to need it.

(Shall I note, in passing, that former bad dentist proposed to take my wisdom teeth out under local anaesthetic in his office? Apparently by brute force. One shudders to think. I mean, my wisdom teeth are erupted and look decent, but the oral surgeon says you never know for sure until you're in there, and often even erupted teeth have root complications and so forth that require actual incisions.)

My ongoing complete mental breakdown about my teeth is, well, ongoing. I'm still keeping it together, mostly (although I did agree to an appointment without remembering the lunch date and afternoon meetings I had penciled in), but after the appointment I couldn't face going back to work (also it was 90 degrees and a half-hour walk) and so purchased root beer, potato chips, and Cherry Garcia and devoured them, then napped heavily. I'm having a hard time with the fact that I'm having such a hard time with all this; I am now happy with my new dentist, and the oral surgeon seemed very good too, and I'm using fucking Listerine daily to counteract the beginning signs of gingivitis - I should be starting to feel better about it all, damn it. And yet this afternoon I was seriously worried that the teeth were only the first step, and in a few years I was going to end up unable to leave the house and subsisting on organic free-range bananas or some other elaborate form of Not Coping With Life. (Let us conveniently ignore my pre-existing major non-copage, the lack of driving thing.)

My self-image is all about the competence and matter-of-factness and coping. When I have to work this freaking hard to barely cope, I start freaking out.
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Is it okay to go off birth control pills in the middle of a pack, or should I wait until the end of the cycle?

Because when the radio has a snippet about deaths due to a cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, and my brain goes, "I'd like a cholera outbreak so I could die," I'm thinking it's time to stop the pill.
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My counselor recommended guided meditations for anxiety today, but until I can find the time for that, maybe dumping some of the things in my head will help.

-talk to realtors and pick one
-get approved for financing
-make list of dream house, what we'd settle for, necessary features (dishwasher)
-consider buying a cheap house and taking out extra loan $ to build screened porch (tens of thousands, I am told on good authority)
-schools: Montessori vs. public, visit (talk to Mrs. B about Casper's temperament)
-visit!!
-develop hard time frame with mr. flea (this really needs to come FIRST)
-yard sale (to coincide with Mother visit in May?)
-stop thinking about whether or not we'll have a third child until after settled in new location
-go ahead and sell the damned baby stuff at yard sale - as B. said, you can always buy more on Craigslist if you do have a 3rd child, and none of our stuff is fancy anyway
-seriously purge our stuff - anything not worn/used/opened since we've lived in NC (six years, people!) has got to GO. (Exception: family heirlooms). Get rid of crappy furniture. Not worth paying to move things we don't want to own.

Seriously, the mental burden of our hypothetical future yard sale is IMMENSE. I have detailed mental lists of which items we are keeping, which we are selling, donating to TROSA, Goodwill, how to give away food and cosmetic items so they don't have to go in the trash and be wasted. If I could use this mental energy for good, I'd be Mother Teresa by now.

double ugh

Aug. 14th, 2007 10:01 am
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I don't know what's wrong with me, but I am completely on the verge of a stress-induced freakout for, rationally, no reason, for the second day in a row. I mean, I have some shit at work that's piled up, but it's not huge, and nobody is clamoring for it. My boss is on vacation, for crying out loud! I could sit here and buy things on ebay all day and nobody would care!

I don't know how I am possibly going to manage having a new job with greater responsibility, as well as take even one measly online class if this keeps up. I just feel completely on the edge. Must put rationality in the front seat and consider taking a mental health day later this week.

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