Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Blue Ribbon Gold Medal Day

Yesterday was a blue ribbon, gold medal day for the #1 son. He began the day by jumping out of bed the first time I woke him, explaining away this fluke behavior with: "Today I have something I want to get up for...the Math Contest."

Newmentia took our mathletes to the local junior college for the annual Math Contest. The #1 son and three cronies represented our freshman class. Mabel had provided practice problems early in the year, but of course #1 tried some of them the first day, and then tossed them aside until Sunday afternoon. He deigned to work through 25 of them, argued with me over FOIL, and that was that for practice.

This year the contest was divided into Big School and Small School divisions. HooRah! It's about time they made things as fair for academics as they do for sports. One school has traditionally dominated the math competition. Rumor has it that they have a CLASS just for Math Contest preparation. The Gummi Mary knows they have one for Science Fair preparation. A student who used to attend there spilled the beans when he was ours last year. He has since moved out of the Newmentia district. One can only speculate on whether his disappearance has anything to do with retribution.

Seeing as how I am a working woman, I was unable to attend the Math Contest festivities. I went for several years when it was held on a Saturday for Elementia students. The #1 son has not placed except for maybe a fourth place and fifth place way back in his tender years of 4th and 5th grade, when they gave more places. Now it is only 1st, 2nd, 3rd. I know how hard it is to sit in that theater and see that one school's kids run up for their awards, hoping and hoping that my child might get an award. And the disappointment when he does not. Not so much for myself, but for him, because he takes it hard. Three years with no award. Yet he's the best of his class. So imagine my surprise when he came back from the Math Contest and strode into my classroom after school with a bounce to his step and a twinkle in his eye.

After the hall traffic had cleared, he joined me outside my door and said, "Guess what?" Taking the bait, and knowing he wouldn't ask if he had returned empty-handed, I cautiously ventured, "You placed?" The #1 son reached into his pocket and pulled out a gold medal on a red, white, and blue ribbon, and said, "First Place, 9th Grade, Small Schools Division." I was ecstatic for him. The 9-10th Grade Team took 3rd Place overall. One of our 11th graders took 3rd Place individual. The 11th-12th Grade Team took 2nd Place overall.

Don't go thinkin' we're a one-room schoolhouse here at Newmentia. We're over 300 in our high school if I remember right. But it's hard to compete with those schools over 1000. Now the playing field is a bit leveler.

We took a quick trip to the optometrist for The Pony's broken glasses (where we couldn't get no satisfaction), and returned to Newmentia for the school Science Fair. I told the #1 son to wear his Math medal, because when else is he going to wear it, except on the evening of its winning. He refused because he thought it would make the judges not pick him for being arrogant. He did, however, show his cronies while waiting on the judging to begin. One said, "Oh, what was that in, the small schools division? That just means the stupid division." Well now. I did not notice Young Mister Bitter Blather with a 1st Place medal around HIS neck, stupid division or not. In fact, I did not even notice him being on the math team that went to the contest. Which pretty much says it all.

Oh, and #1 also won a blue ribbon for his science project, which he plans to rework for the junior college Science Fair coming up in three weeks. He just so happened to beat out Young Mister Bitter Blather, who was in the same category, and won the red ribbon. And for the record, I WAS NOT involved in the judging.

Just sayin'...


Chickadee said...

Woot! Go Pony! The Science and Math stuff goes together!

(And OMG FOIL! I haven't heard that acronym in a looong time but I remember it!)

Hillbilly Mom said...

I am so old that the teachers never even thought to call it FOIL. But they taught us how to do it, and we LEARNED, by cracky!