Saturday, April 30, 2011

Go The F to Sleep.

Adam Mansbach is a mind reader!

Seriously - How did he know about the times when my son was young when I would say to myself, over and over again, "Just go the ^%$# to sleep!".

Mansbach has written a book called "Go the f*k to sleep" - written for adults, not children. It's not due out until October but it is definitely on my want list.

Sample:

The cats nestle close to their kittens now.
The lambs have laid down with the sheep.
You're cozy and warm in your bed, my dear
Please go the fuck to sleep.

You can check it out on amazon here:  Go The F to Sleep

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Dreaded IPRC Meeting

Yesterday morning I went to an IPRC meeting for my niece, just so she had another voice on her side. (An IPRC is an Identification, Placement, and Review Committee that decides whether or not a child should be labeled as an exceptional student and places them in a program to meet their needs.)

Several years ago I started doing research on how the school system was failing children with invisible disabilities. The meeting was the first time I had ever really seen anything happen for a child who doesn't appear to have anything "wrong" with her.

I will not lie. I went in geared for a fight.

When I was growing up, I watched my parents fight with two school boards to effectively get my sibling the education that she deserved. I learned, very quickly, that if someone didn't want her in the school, she would be spending most of her time at home. What has happened in the past with my niece has not been very different.

Last year her mother had to beg for the doctor to do something. The child's grades were in the toilet, she was running away from school because the kids were bullying her, meeting after meeting with the administrators proved fruitless. The doctor referred her to the epilepsy classroom at the Hospital for Sick Children.

If a child can change overnight, I believe we witnessed it.

She was placed on an IEP (Individual Education Plan) - which we had requested numerous times from the original school and been denied.  Her marks improved. Even more importantly; she improved.

The meeting yesterday was to determine where we can place her next year as the program she is in will not be suitable - she grades out this year.

There was a lot of discussion about her 'home' school and whether or not they should just send her there. That school, they said, may be able to meet her needs. I am sure I turned a ghastly shade of white. I almost had a panic attack for the poor kid.

In the end, they decided to place her in a program not unlike the one she is in now. One with a smaller teacher to student ratio where she can stay focused and get the attention and accommodations that she needs.

One of the things that the board worker repeated to us a few times was that we needed to let the past remain in the past and basically give them a new slate.

In this case, saying that all goes to plan, I think they may have bought themselves one. Hopefully it doesn't get scribbled on.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Walk Around 18th Century Scotland

I spent a week or so reading the third installment of Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series called "Voyager".

The books chronicle the life of Claire Randall/Fraser, a WWII nurse who accidentally travels back in time to 18th century Scotland. She falls in love with a Highlander named James Fraser who, as history would like her to believe, gets slaughtered at Culloden battling the English for Charles Stuart - the "Young Pretender". Right before the battle, he sends her back to the 1940's, pregnant with his child.

Twenty years later she learns that he did, in fact, survive the battle. She then must decide whether or not she will leave their daughter in 1968 and go back to 18th century Scotland to be with him.

Since January, I have been doing some light research into my family tree and have traced one branch back to the mid to late 18th century Scotland. The books have given me a flavor for what life was like at the time; somewhat a history lesson without me wanting to poke myself in the eye out of boredom. They have also left me wanting to know more.

You can visit the Culloden home page at http://www.nts.org.uk/culloden/ for more information on the battle.

Research with joy  :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

WOW. That is all.

I have been taking a break from people and allowing the people in my head to keep me company the last few weeks. A bad idea, in retrospect, because now we are sick to death of each and yet the book is not done and the people still haven't moved out...

Holly Lisle of hollylisle.com sent an email newsletter out on March 29th with a link to a book review on The Greek Seaman. All I could say as I read the comments was WOW. The email was Holly's version of a drivers' ed movie - for writers. 

http://booksandpals.blogspot.com/2011/03/greek-seaman-jacqueline-howett.html