School days

Sio, Monkey and I are all back in school again. Sio is a senior, Monkey is in 4th grade, and I'm...I'm not sure where I am, but I guess I'm roughly halfway through an AS degree program.

On Mon. & Wed. evenings, I have Music History and Appreciation. So far, I am in love with this class. We're supposed to be learning music from the Medieval period through the Baroque, but we've been talking about basic music theory and terminology, which is great for me because I'm a singer first and a not-quite-a-musician* second. This is the background stuff that I've always glossed over. I already feel like I've learned enough to make the class worth the money I paid for it. Plus we've been listening to some cool music - I never knew that Frere Jacques was a Mahler tune!

On Tues. evening, I have Madrigals, and for a change, we're actually singing madrigals this year. Well, motets, since I think they are all sacred songs, but in the madrigal style. My wonderful, adorable, terrific teacher is back again this year, and I'm in platonic love all over again.

Sio has a very challenging schedule this quarter, except for Drug Education, which is a requirement for graduation, and is a complete waste of her time. Although it's called Drug Education, it's actually health class, and 40% of the time in class is spent on CPR training, and Sio is already CPR certified. There is also a "scared straight" component which will be useless for a kid who is happy to be straight (I'm using the term in the context of drug and alcohol consumption...in terms of sexuality, Sio is straight but not narrow). She's taking AP Physics, AP Calculus, AP European History, AP English, Honors French 4, and Chorale. I think that's it, but IMO, that's plenty.

Monkey looooves 4th grade, although she's already received a dreaded green slip for not handing in homework. We'll get through this, I'm sure - her attitude towards school has increased dramatically in the positive direction since last year. We went to curriculum night tonight, and I was pleased with everything I heard. Monkey is also thrilled that she starts orchestra this year. She chose the viola for her instrument, which is great, because we already own one (Sio's first instrument was the viola). It's kind of a stressful year at her school - the 5th graders are staying for another year while a new 6th grade school is built, so there are a lot more kids in the building, and the longtime principal retired so they have a new principal. I think that's more stressful for the teachers than the students, so I hope they can survive the year.

*this is actually a very generous description for what I do.

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