I feel like writing about some positive stuff today. It’s not earth-shattering or even all that interesting. But it’s not gorilla-gate or Rapey McDouchebag Jr gets an hour of detention and Rapey McDouchebag Sr is butt-hurt about it. I think we all suffer from a chronic case of shitty news syndrome.
Yesterday was a huge day. Summer camps started around here.
We were worried sick about Stella. Her track record with schools and programs is not a perfect one. This would be brand new – LOTS of kids (45 in her group) and way less structure. She would know one other kid, but the rest were unknown entities. Would she settle in? Would these kids pick on her? Would this be another “we need to talk to you about your daughter” situation?
So far, so good. Stella had a ball. She was pissed when I picked her up. They were watching SpongeBob. She didn’t want to miss the end (because of course we’ve never seen that episode before and our house is a SpongeBob desert). She ate her lunch and snacks. She made friends. A boy hugged her and said they were best friends (dammit). Today they were going on a field trip to a bouncey place. Tomorrow they are going to a water park AND bowling. Thursday they’re going to Chuck E Cheese. This thing is epic so far and it’s only week 1.
In other camp news, I volunteered myself to give lessons on aquifers and contaminant hydrology to the conservation camp groups. It went so well with my Daisy Scouts, I figured I could easily adapt it for a larger and slightly older group. Yesterday was my first time – 2 presentations to groups of about 20 kids, 10-12 years old.
I’m such a nerd. I love that shit. I really do. And the kids were great. They are so smart. Thank glob I’m already a grown-up. I’d be too damn stupid to go to school in this new age. It gives a person hope – to see kids this engaged and into stuff (and this was even before I busted out with the sugary edible aquifer bit).
I had a cool thing happen during my second showing. There was a young man in the group. It was pretty obvious he was on the spectrum. He did not want to sit with the other kids and had a tough time with eye contact. The staff just let him sit by himself and no one made a big thing out of it. He totally got into it. I had a large geologic map of our state to show, and he stood up and helped me hold it. He asked loads of questions.
At the end, I told the staff goodbye, that I would see them next Monday. My new friend said he wouldn’t be there; he was going to the special needs camp. I replied that it was held at the same place as my daughter’s so maybe I’d see him around. He seemed to like that idea and told me I should probably go on the field trips to the water park. I won’t do that but I might visit him when I pick up Stella – maybe bring my Megalodon tooth or pyritized coprolite to show him. He was a really neat kid.
Finally, the principal at Stella’s school called me yesterday. We got the rockstar teacher I wanted!! After suffering through a year with the Harpy, we get someone wonderful. Between the meds – which seem to be doing wonders – and a great teacher, I have so much hope for next year.