The latest blizzard and cold snap haven’t broken us, and neither has our busy list of activities. Though it’s never good for blogging.
Last week, in addition to more blowing, more snowing, and more much-too-cold weather, we had busy days of music lessons and 4H meetings, art lessons, museum meetings, new baby gift delivery, rehearsals, and chocolate making.
We also had a Valentine gala, where Tom and I dined and danced, and where Laura and a hardworking band of 4H members helped the catering staff clear tables. And earlier in the day, the kids each baked an apple pie, for Saturday’s pie baking contest, a fundraiser for a nearby one-room schoolhouse-cum-community center. Tom took the boys and the pies to the contest on Saturday morning (Laura stayed home with me to rest up and rehearse for Sunday’s 4H public speaking), and came home with the good news that Daniel had won first prize with his lattice-top creation, beating out his siblings (Davy made a deep dish pie, and Laura’s top crust was made of overlapping heart shapes) and at least six adults. Tom managed to buy back the boys’ pies at the auction sale afterwards (finding out too late that his own father was bidding against him), but Laura’s pie was bought by a determined bidder and consumed on the spot.
Yesterday we spent all afternoon at the 4H public speaking event and despite some doubts earlier in the week and serious case of the butterflies that had her in the bathroom five minutes before speech time, Laura did a wonderful job with her talk, about her first (and last) trip to New York, as well as with her one-minute impromptu. She took first place in her age category and goes on to the district-level round next month. We are very, very proud (and relieved).
One thing Tom and I noticed, and one of the judges mentioned, is that few of the kids gave speeches. They read essays, in most cases not particularly well, as though yesterday afternoon was the first time they’d bothered to read through their own writing (and the fact that much of it sounded as if it had been cut and pasted from Wikipedia is another matter entirely). In its entirety, heads down and eyes glued to their teeny tiny script printed out in teeny tiny print from the family computer, a far cry from the index cards with prompts they are meant to use.
What I find disturbing is the general attitude that the annual public speaking event is a torturous event meant to be endured, not an educational exercise, and however the kids get through it, well, that’s fine. Which is the mindset that lasted us about two months at the local public school, but that’s yet another matter. I know, I know, I’m old-fashioned and crotchety. And that’s after a good night’s sleep and a pot of coffee.
So that’s what we’ve been up to, and why I haven’t even thought of
doing laundry baking George’s cherry pie. Though I just might have some leftover lattice-topped apple pie later on with some more coffee…
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