Saturday, June 27, 2009

Career planning

Apparently, Bud's been giving some thought to his future.

Last night, as we were sitting together before bedtime, Bud got quiet and seemed lost in thought, then finally spoke.

"When I grow up," he mused, "I want to be just like Rolf Saxon."

I thought I'd misheard. "Who, Bud?"

"Rolf Saxon."

Rolf Saxon?

I quickly thumbed through my mental Rolodex of PBS characters and country music stars. Nothing.

"Who is Rolf Saxon?"

"He's the narrator on Teletubbies. He tells the things the Teletubbies do."

Ahhh. Of course. THAT Rolf Saxon.

"You know, Bud," I said, "I bet you WOULD be really good at that. That would be a great job for you."

And I really wasn't kidding. Bud zeroed in on a profession that capitalizes on his passion (Teletubbies), his talents (an ear for dialect, an uncanny memory, the ability to mimic virtually anything), and his natural inclinations (the soul of a performer, who sometimes needs to be out of the spotlight).

I've advised college students who don't know themselves that well.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Glowing report

Yesterday was Bud's last day of school, which means that it was also report card day. I didn't have high expectations for Bud's report card, and his "grades" were exactly what I expected: "B" for basic skills, followed by an asterisk, indicating that the criteria for "Basic" was modified in accordance with Bud's IEP. In other words... no real indication of how Bud had done this quarter.

Luckily, Bud's teacher is not the type to settle for such an uninformative report and, as she has done every quarter, she attached a narrative to the standard report, summing up Bud's challenges and achievements this year. She wrote:
Bud has grown both socially and academically this year. Walking through the isolated hallways during movement breaks has given us an opportunity to uncover Bud the conversationalist. He makes total eye contact and is fully engaged in the conversation that is topic appropriate. Bud has developed a circle of school friends with whom he participates in short conversations. The most successful setting for this is small groups such as reading group, lunchtime, and recess. He also shares his humor, poetry, and singing with the class. One sharing time, he sang the entire song "Sideways" with a pretend microphone, and yesterday in PE, he sang the entire song with a real microphone to his classmates and they all clapped. Bud endears himself to his peers.

Transitions continue to be very difficult for Bud, yet we see him recovering a lot quicker than last year. At times working with Bud in the classroom becomes unproductive, so Ms. Brett takes the lesson "on the road" and Bud becomes engaged in the lesson again. This particularly works when brainstorming a writing topic and learning facts about a content area, such as the state. He is now able to work for short periods of time independently on math and reading worksheets. Type To Learn has been a very successful program for him and has enabled him to make full use of the Co-Writer program to write his own stories.

It has been a complete pleasure working with Bud this year.

Yes, it's the end of third grade.

And it's the beginning of everything else.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Super connectivity

Sometimes, I think things and Bud says them out loud. I've gotten used to it. But I'm still scratching my head over what happened a couple of mornings ago.

Bud crept into my room in the pre-dawn hours, as he often does, for his last few hours of sleep. I woke, saw him sleeping soundly, then fell back into a deep sleep and started dreaming.

I was sitting in the passenger's seat of a friend's minivan. The van was crammed full of furniture, and my friend had the back open and was trying to fit more furniture in. Just then, the van started rolling and I realized that it wasn't in park. I reached over to try to shift, but discovered that the minivan had a manual transmission, and I didn't know how to work it. The space between my seat and the driver's seat was so full that I couldn't climb over to step on the brake. The van picked up speed and was careening out of control, and I knew that it was about to crash when -

I woke up.

At precisely the same moment, Bud leapt out of bed, bolted to the top of the stairs, and shouted, "Are you okay, Nana?"

We both listened to the silence that told me that everyone else in the house was still asleep. Bud walked back into the room and said calmly, "Papa must have dropped something."

There are probably a lot of reasonable explanations here that don't involve mind-reading. But I have to tell you, there's only one explanation that makes sense to me:

Bud was awoken by the sound of the crash in my dream.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Love you like dishevel

Oh, how I love Bud's mondegreens - those misheard lyrics that are even more fun than the originals.

Bud and I climbed a nearby mountain today, and we had the trail to ourselves for most of the 3.6 mile round trip - so, for much of the hike, the woods were alive with the sound of singing. Bud chose the music - all Dierks Bentley, all the time.

I should tell you that sing-alongs with Bud smack a little bit of totalitarian rule. Bud is a lyrics purist and he has every note of every song he's ever heard committed to memory. (Okay, that's an exaggeration - but not by much.) Anyway, heaven help me if I sing a "so" when I should have sung an "and," or if I substitute a "whoop" for a "yep" - I am stopped, and corrected, and we start the phrase over from the top.

I've had theater directors who were less directive.

But, for the most part, I'm good with lyrics and I take direction well, so our songfest was bumping happily along. Imagine my delight, though, when Bud launched into the song "Lot of Leavin' Left To Do" and got to the lyric that says,

Girl, you look like you might be an angel, so I won't lie;
I could love you like the devil, if you wanted me to tonight,

but the Arbiter Of All Things Lyrical burst forth with "Girl, you look like you might be an agent, so I won't lie."

I loved it! An agent! Coupled with the love-you-like-the-devil bit, it gives the song kind of a James Bond feel, don't you think?

And, really, it's good to know that Bud's mind works this way. With all the worries I have about his future, it looks like I can cross both "tax evasion" and "run-ins with the FBI" off the list.