Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer 2

So, a few days before the end of Summer 1 my caseworker called me. The campus caseworker, not the county one, they never do anything. She informed me that if I took both my Summer 2 courses online I would lose my child care subsidy. Oops. So I had to drop one of my courses and sign up at the last minute for a classroom course. I wound up with Macroeconomics. NOT what I wanted. It's like math and politics all mixed up together with a whole bunch of graphs. And if you remember how much I hate MLA format? Well, I feel the same way about graphs.

Actually, it's not too bad, now that I'm in the middle of it. The professor is passionate about teaching it, and not in a traditional way. He teaches from the standpoint of international business and a global economy, which means there is a lot of talk about foreign policy and trade. He explained some of the graphs, but shuns them for the most part. He made us all watch IOUSA, and the exam we took today was all essay questions. I know this makes many of my classmates cringe. It makes me appreciate my mom's good teaching in making us read, write, and summarize, and my family's passion for politics. Although I didn't understand any of the concepts when I started the class, I think I grasped enough to answer adequately.

Shortly after the class began, I was looking for Simon Baker movies to watch and came across Margin Call. I rented it on Amazon and watched it over the weekend. I'm dying to ask the professor how accurate he thinks it is. I have a feeling he might scoff at the idea of learning economics through entertainment, though, and not without good reason. I'm also dying to know what he thinks of the recent escalations in the Gaza strip, but he's been mum. Also for good reason, no doubt. Personally, my sympathies are with the Palestinians. They've been kicked around, lied to, and bullied long enough. The fact that they are Muslim in no way makes that okay. The Israelis have acted no better.

We each were told to choose a foreign country and find out all we can about its culture and economy. I chose Turkey. Not sure why. It just seemed like a good choice. I'm looking forward to the rest of the class. It might not be a subject I wanted to learn about, but knowledge is always useful, and at least it's outside the textbook.

The Princess has been potty-training. It's going fantastic - at home. She has repeatedly told me, in very clear terms, that she does NOT want to tell the teachers when she needs to potty. Only mommy. And according to the teachers, "She's a woman of her word." *sigh* I guess I'll be doing a lot of laundry for a while. I'm saving on diapers, though! That's about $40 every month.

We were finally able to get cards to the children's dad. He's been in the state penitentiary in the next county for a while, and they don't allow minors to visit because he is there temporarily. Yesterday we got an envelope from him. He drew pictures for the kids, but didn't actually write much, and he jotted down some screwed-up existential nonsense on the back, probably for my benefit. It made me angry, although I didn't say so. The kids want to hear from him, not get some pencil drawings. Maybe he feels he has nothing good to say, but still. They were happy, though. So I may just be over-thinking it.

I've decided to keep a journal of their activities for him to have. Just little snippets about their day and their behaviors, the kinds of things he can't see in a photo or hear in a phone conversation. By the way, he's called them once. ONCE. In six months. For about 60 seconds each. But I'm doing this for them, not for him. I want to hold on to any connection he may still feel with them, so that they don't feel like strangers when he gets out. Whiz Kid will be 13. Little Bear will be 11. At the earliest. That's going to be a very hard bridge to cross. I think they are most afraid of him never coming out. I'm afraid of him coming out the same person he went in.

I've started reading to the kids at night from the Kindle. It's great. Since it's backlit, I can leave the lights off and it provides a sort of night light. This Kindle has been one of the best family items I could have gotten. I'm thinking of purchasing a Bible to it, since late evening/night is really the only family time we have, and I need the lights out so they fall asleep. It used to seem silly to me to have a digital Bible, but I'm rethinking that.

This weekend we are going to a BBQ and fireworks with their godparents. I can't wait. We're so blessed to have met these people.

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