I started the summer semester last week. It's a lot of fun. I'm taking Public Speaking in the classroom, with the same Communications professor I had last summer. We have an interesting class; it includes a ballet dancer, lacrosse athlete, and a guy from Romania who looks roughly 35-40 and whose accent is very hard for me to follow. Our professor made us all give a little speech about ourselves on the 2nd day that included a favorite (or least favorite) song, and our favorite movie or TV show (of course I said Jericho). The Romanian guy said that he does not watch movies or TV because he thinks they are terrible things that ruin your ability to think - or something to that effect. I nearly laughed out loud. It reminded me of what I'd said at the end of my last post.
Yesterday we had our annual Pan-Orthodox service at a state park in Delaware. Members of three parishes attended: ours, a Ukrainian parish, and a Greek parish. It was a beautiful day, and I got to take pictures of Little Bear serving. I don't like taking photos in the church; it seems disrespectful and disruptive. But the outdoor service provided the perfect opportunity. And for once, I didn't have to spend half the service keeping the Princess quiet. She played on the playground only yards away from the pavilion and I could see her just fine. So did many of the other young children. I took pictures of the boys with their best friends, because they all wore similar shirts; it was great! Last year our service got rained out with a summer storm at the very end. This year, the worst we got was sunburn. I should have worn my big garden hat, but I was too busy trying to remember the bazillion other things you have to bring when you have three kids and only yourself, lol. I refused to bring the Kindle, because I knew the temptation to let them use it would be too great and I wanted them to spend time with other people, as well as reinforce the idea that worship is worship no matter where it takes place.
The thing I look forward to most about leaving school and leaving my parent's house is being able to give the kids alternatives to electronic entertainment. They desperately need a place where they can play without being hounded about when the mess will be cleaned up, and I need to be able to devote my brain to whatever needs to be done with them instead of constantly worrying over due dates. I never thought I would let them spend so much time on electronics, but as long as we're here we have no realistic alternative. There just isn't anything else they can do that doesn't create a problem for someone. They can't even learn to ride bikes; the driveway is too broken, and too dangerous with the amount of traffic in and out and the visual barriers. I would have to take them somewhere else to teach them, and I don't have the time for that. My mom refuses to allow any plastic play equipment because she doesn't like the way it looks, so that pretty much rules out any play equipment. Yes, kids used to have no play equipment. They also had plenty of other things to keep busy with, including farm chores, a whole lot more of the outdoors to explore than we do, and often a community of friends to play with them and keep an eye on them. That isn't the world we live in here, and it's stupid to pretend we can create it through wishful thinking.
They'll be in summer camp again this year, and Little Bear is starting to do very well at swimming. I was hoping to sign up for swimming lessons, but the only lessons they offer for adults are very early and very late. Nothing during the day when I don't have the children in tow. So I guess that's out for now, just like Martial Arts. I tried that too, thinking I could do it with the boys. But the program requires 3 nights a week, and that's out of the question. For now, I'm just going to do parent-child swim lessons with the Princess, so she can get independent early on. Whiz Kid has always protested against the lessons, so I've decided not to sign him up for any more at this point. He really dislikes swimming.
I got A's again from the spring, so my 4.0 is still intact, although there was one close call. Here's hoping it survives the summer too!