Friday, January 9, 2009

7th Grade Operating Manual

When Zach was in the 7th grade OUR homework assignment (yes, I said OUR - if I remember correctly, Wes and I have already passed the 7th grade - why do we have to do 7th grade homework all over again???) was:

Tell me about your child in a million words or less.

Really?!?! Wouldn't you rather just keep him for a couple of weeks and find out for yourself?

If I recall correctly, (because as most of you know I can't remember what we had for dinner the night before) I was really busy at work so Wes, my Knight in #2 Pencil Lead Armor, took on the task. This is what he had to say:

Zach—One in A Million-More or Less

Here is the operating manual for the 2006 edition of Zach…I hope you find it helpful.

Zach’s a kid with way too much talent and personality; and far too little time to accomplish anything he’s told to do. He’s liked by most everyone as far as we can tell and is a friend to kids much older than himself. He has never gotten into any serious trouble such as fighting, cheating, stealing, or any of the other really bad words, but he does tend to get into the mischievous little adventures which make you wonder what he was thinking at the time. Example: For fun he re-arraigned the landscaper’s marker flags for an underground sprinkler system that was soon to be installed!

Zach’s very smart, but too often his best work doesn’t shine through. He feels the need to race through his assignments in order to get back to his fun time. His parents are working on that, and I’m sure you can appreciate the labor involved in telling a 12 year-old to slow down, and make it look your best.

Zach’s someone who doesn’t have to struggle often with his schoolwork. Because of this, if he’s challenged or given a lengthy assignment, he will sometimes become frustrated quickly. Zach’s mom and dad have both passed the 7th grade already, so Zach’s required to do his work himself. His book reports and hallway posters may not always be the best looking works displayed, but they are always his works. He will get guidance from us, but he doesn’t have publishers, editors, and artists on staff as some appear to have. The Alexander family has had more than a few late nights sticking to the principle of this, even though we could have desktop published our way to an early night’s sleep.

Zach is the oldest of three, with 2 little sisters to help distract him in the afternoons after the school day. He’s a master of the loophole at home. If given a chore or assignment, he will try it, but if the instructions weren’t clear and in the proper order, he has the tendency to sometimes use that to his advantage and stop the process. He’s very talented at creative thinking projects, and given the right motivation, a good storyteller, comic, and writer.

Zach does have a tendency to shut down when confronted or if pressed. He will argue his case, but after the absolutes are stated, he will often glaze over and wait for a better time to express himself. He tends to be a bit on the careless side, especially with taking instructions and keeping up with them. His room’s a mess and it doesn’t bother him, so why should his backpack and assignment folder be any different. Yep, his parents are working on that too.

Wow - the 9th grade version still looks A LOT like the 7th grade version - only TALLER!

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