That last post title was a repeat

By Mir
September 25, 2007

I am going senile. Not only did I use “Meanwhile, back at the ranch” as a post title once before, I used it only about a month ago. I never would’ve even realized this, except that I happened to notice that the permalink for yesterday’s post had a “2” at the end, and being the bright human that I am, I went, “Huh. I wonder why that is?”

Now I’m afraid to title anything, for fear that I’ve just plain run out of titles. Please look for my next book, coming soon (and by “soon” I mean “never”) to a bookstore near you. It will be called “Insert title here.” It’s riveting stuff, I tell you.

Anyway, despite my best efforts to forge a believable story arc out of three cups of coffee and some string, today is just going to be a One Of Those Days. I can tell. Nevertheless, I shall soldier on, making with the words and then maybe some more words, because I’m a giver. I care. Oh, wait. Maybe that’s I’m a talker and I talk. I always get those confused.

Proving once again that the squeaky wheel gets the grease after a month of testing, both kids have finally been officially placed in our county’s gifted program. Huzzah! This is good news, because if I had to listen to one more day of “Mom, this is SO BORING, I think I learned that in KINDERGARTEN,” from the two of them, I was going to hurt someone. (Please note: This does not mean my kids are geniuses. This means only that the curriculum here is different than the curriculum at their old school, and also that they have mastered the fine art of hyperbole.) They got off the bus yesterday with thick envelopes addressed “TO THE PARENT OF” and I was tempted to tell them that they hadn’t gotten in, but that seemed mean. Instead, I told them that they’d gotten in and I was very proud of both of them, but that I would not be showing them their test scores.

That drove them absolutely insane. Especially Chickadee. How in the world are they supposed to COMPETE UNNECESSARILY with each other if I won’t even tell them how they did??

(Actually, their scores were identical—which I find very… um… interesting—on all major indices. The one area in which their scores are vastly different was not a surprise to me but probably would be to them. And as the point was merely to get into the program, I stand by my decision to withhold their scores. They have enough ammunition to use against each other already.)

I had to sign and return a form which gave me the option to either check “Yes, please, for the love of God, put my kid into the program” or “No, I refuse to let my child learn up to his/her potential,” which I found interesting. I mean, I don’t know why ANYONE would NOT want their kid in an accelerated program if that was the school’s recommendation, anyway, but I already had to sign a permission form for them to be tested. Who grants permission for testing and then decides not to do it? Perplexing.

Of course, I may change my mind about all of this once we see the new workload. Just from going to the new math class (which Chickadee has been attending for a couple of weeks, now), Chickadee’s got about twice as much homework as she used to have. It’s homework she LIKES, at least. Plus she gets a problem every week that parents are allowed to help with, so we get to do things like sit at the kitchen table and talk about algebra, which I am surprised to learn I really enjoy.

(Right up until calculus, I liked and was good at math. Calculus broke me. By the time I limped into grad school statistics, I was a mess. Remembering that once upon a time math was fun appeals to my geeky side.)

Anyway, I also find it very charming that on the same day when my kids come home with pieces of paper that basically say “Hi, your kid is smart!” they commence going about their after-school routine in their new fashion, which is to interact via LOLspeak.

“Hi, Mom!” Chickadee began. “I can has envelope for you! I be having some snacks now, okay thanks bye!” She tossed her envelope in my general direction and headed to the kitchen.

“Hi Mama!” followed Monkey, while flinging himself into my lap for a hug. “I can has envelope TOO! And you can has snuggles. And I can has Cheez-Its? Hungry Monkey is hungry. Okay, bye!” Off to the kitchen he went.

Chickadee tried to hand Monkey a box of cereal instead of the Cheez-Its. I know this because he screeched “DO NOT WANT!”

Yes. I can haz smart chilldrin.


  1. janet

    i can has laughing. you can has smart children. okay bye!

  2. All Adither

    Math? Fun? Math. Not fun. Math. Torturous. Why am I writing like a cavewoman. It reads nothing like LOLspeak.

  3. Leandra

    Oh, I’m so glad to know that I’m not the only one who loves Algebra. I think it’s the symmetry I love. You know, making both sides equal. It was trig that broke me. Calculus did NOT help.

    Yay on them both getting in! And wise move on withholding the test scores. I was in the gifted program from 4th grade on and once in the seventh grade a girl in my class got the bright idea that we should sneak and look at our test scores while the teacher was out of the room. THAT did not go over well. It took some of us, ahem, a while to recover!

  4. tammy

    I can haz nothing to do wit maths in future. We has People for that around here.

  5. Kimberly

    Very good move on witholding the scores. There are just some things kids don’t need to know about themselves–or each other.

    Um…my parents refused the gifted program, actually. And I’m still kinda bitter about it.

  6. Contrary

    I got accepted into the gifted program and then…we moved. Back to Louisiana where apparently, no one knew I was gifted. Maybe I was just gifted north of the Mason Dixon line?

    I can has better edukation and also maybe a cookie?

  7. Jenn

    My parents didn’t even have me tested for the gifted program in our district, not because they didn’t think I could get in, but because in our district, it didn’t really entitle you to anything except allowing the kids in the gifted program to gloat over everyone else. Like Kimberly, I was bitter about it at first, but eh. It hasn’t made any difference in my life one way or another. I was in already in the advanced classes, so what was the point?

  8. Fiona

    Math is fun. Math is about practice. Maybe Math will stop us worrying about how hairy our legs are.

  9. jess

    I did calculus in high school and enjoyed all HS math, honestly. (My HS calc teacher wanted me to be an engineer. Yeah, right. I majored in English.) I hated my statistics class in college, even though I did very well in it (and this was the first math class I hated even though I kinda disliked geometry. I loved algebra and trig and calc, though.) Strangely, I’ve never had any problems understanding mathematical concepts and I like doing it, to some extent, but I don’t LOVE it like I love words. And talking. And writing. And reading.

    Words are yummy. Yay for and congrats to your children!

  10. Dawn

    Man, I am so with you on the math. Up until calculus? LOVED it. Then differential equations made me cry. They still do, sort of.

  11. Anne Glamore

    I is lucky to have economics major for best friend to call when sixth grade maths are ril hard for me to figger out, espeshully dividing decimals WTF are calculators for?

  12. BOSSY

    Bossy can has big affection for wouldacouldashoulda.

  13. cce

    Gifted programs….sigh….such mixed feelings on this one. We moved away from a school system that did the accelerated program thang. Now my kids are happily mixed in with all the other kids, no one really knows who is exceptional and who is not at this level. I kind of like the new school’s policy. I can’t help but think that grouping children by IQ, obviously and loudly, hurts the self esteem/motivation of the others. While it’s totally inspiring to be labeled “Gifted”, it must be soul crushing to understand that you, in fact, are “NOT Gifted.” Yikes!

  14. Mir

    cce, while I understand what you’re saying, two things:

    1) The program isn’t CALLED gifted. Though of course I guess everyone knows what it is.
    2) In a poorly-rated school district where a huge portion of the students require remedial instruction, I think it’s arguably negligent parenting to not avail yourself of resources available which are more appropriate for your children’s skill level. So, yes, it may be a problem in terms of self-esteem for the other kids, but that—for me—is not reason enough to keep my children from getting a better education. Sorry.

  15. Flea

    Man! My kid’s getting tested for the challenged group. The dysfunctional group. Maybe I hate LOL Speak because we live it here. :( All my kid’s papers read like those stupid cat sites. ARGH!

  16. RuthWells

    Linear Algebra is what did me in, but I still like math.

    My 6th-grade kid is going to a meeting today regarding what his middle school tries to pass off as a gifted program. On paper, it looks like a total crock, consisting of occasional after school “seminars” (in such scintillating topics as Calligraphy and the Math of Sports) and optional field trips to places my kids (and most of the others, I’m sure) have been multiple times in their young lives (the Camden Aquarium is fun and all, but as an enrichment program?! for gifted kids?!). Why the hell bother, sez I? Can’t the “normal” kids enjoy learning about pen nibs and New Jersey’s aquatic life, too?

    He is in the advanced math group, but we chose not to put him in the advanced writing group for fear of crushing workload. Starting to regret that decision.

  17. AmyM

    Good, it’s NOT just me that wants to talk like that! I have wished for speech bubbles more than once since finding that site with the cats and the cheeseburgers and such…

    i needz halp fer mah adikshun.

  18. Amy-Go

    WAITjustaminute. You’ve lived in Georgia for two minutes and your kids are already placed in the gifted program? I’ve lived here for almost four years (sob) and I’m STILL fighting to get my oldest tested? Which I’m told will take another YEAR?

    I can has bitter. Want blow up skool.

  19. Rachel May

    I has wasted much timez on other website. Urgh.

  20. Megan

    I’ve done both – I refused Gifted in California and kicked and screamed for Gifted in Our New Place (well, new place minus one since we’ve… sigh… moved since). Why? Well, in California at that school Gifted meant that the lucky IQ geeks got EXTRA SCHOOL! Whee! What fun guys – you get to stay late once a week! Doncha wanna? Huh? Doncha? Dunno… seemed like punishing my children for being bright. In New Place though the schooling was so abysmal that I was going to do anything – anything at all – to get something better. Did it work? Not so much that you’d notice. We just got massive thick folders of paperwork and I had two extra meetings a year to see if we were On Track and Giving Our Special Needs Children What They Require.

    Fortunately now we’re in the happy land of AP and honors courses and all is well!

  21. Visionsister

    I too was broken by calculus. My step-daughter is in 6th grade and is in the “enrichment” program at her school. Having been a child who probably should have been in such a program I’m thrilled that she has the chance to have learning be fun instead of boring.

    A couple weekends ago my hubby and I were having fun showing the kid how to convert between decimal numbers and binary. Then we threw in octal and hexidecimal. It was a blast. There were moments when she whined that it was hard, but as soon as she ‘got it’ it was totally fun. :-)

  22. Cele

    Math equates to Chinese water torture to me. I got A’s in basic high school math and quit while I was ahead. Algebra is jibberish to me, geometry actually means something to me. Calculous? Isn’t that what rocket scientist do?

  23. saucygrrl

    Ooo… I love math… it completely satisfies my Virgo driven urges for straight lines and logical answers. Until calc. Hated calc. And then Bio Lab… the course that had mathmatical symbols that I had never seen before. I believe I did cry in that class… right before I decided to change my major to 19th Century American Literature. Stupid Biology…

  24. Kellan

    Okay … I have 4 kids. My two oldest(twin girls, 15) have been in GT since they were in first grade. My son (age 10) did not test in. My youngest (age 6) has not yet been tested (but most likely will be). I am ALL for the GT program! The programs are different everywhere, but here in our city and in our particular school district – it is a wonderful and highly supported program! I contribute much of my oldest daughters success’ to the GT program and all that it offered them. They are currently sophomores, in Pre-AP and AP courses (all highly challenging) and if they continue on the path they’re on (above average GPA, challenging courses …) they will gradute highschool with not only college credits (will save us $$$$$$$$$$ – on college tuition) – but it will have provided them a unique and priviledged school experience! They would tell you as well – that is has been huge in their academic and social life. It has helped them to stay on track, hang with a specific group of kids that have the same sort of goals and motivations and given them a huge sense of pride. It can affect other children – I agree – but, these are “the cream of the crop” kids and they need to be identified and taken care of. If a kid is lucky enough to go to a school that offers and supports a GT program – and then he is able to be chosen (test-in) – that is a lucky kid. Pulling these kids out of the “normal population” is not only beneficial to the GT kid – it nurtures that student (group of students) to achieve success’ (above that of the “normal population”) for the school, their peers, their community, for society and for the future. I have learned that any child should be put into as many “advanced” or “gifted” type classes/programs as he/she can handle. It pays off – come time for HS (BELIEVE ME!) – and college. It is huge! Maybe they need to change the name from “Gifted” – I think it’s a hard name for those that are not – to live with – but also difficult for those that are. I generally refer to it as GT because I find that I am embarrassed to say “Gifted” – like the moment you say the word – you are bragging. I know MANY gifted kids and most of them are idiots, socially retarded or strange – but just do math really well or write really well. Most people don’t understand that a GT kid is merely a kid that thinks outside the box. A kid doesn’t have to be identified as gifted to be brillant (my son is an example). The name is deceiving. Most of the gifted children I know (including my own) are not geniuses – they are merely smart and know when and how to apply their efforts. They are rounded. They are over-achievers. But … so aren’t a lot of “normal” kids. “Smart” is relative. I can’t do algebra or calculus and I can’t spell worth a darn – but I consider myself to be smart. “Smart” is relative – and “Gifted” is probably not the best term. I think it does suggest a “disregard” for a lot of other brillant kids. We need to form a committee and come up with a better name. Congratulations on your kids!

  25. Sara

    Okay, I know I will raise the ire of cat lovers everywhere, but I have to say it: give me a dog any day. (Could you tell that I completely diverted attention from all talk of this math stuff? Clever, no? Because me + math= meltdown)

  26. Lori

    Back in the olden days (*grin*) when I was a kid in California they used to call it MGM – which we thought meant “mentally gifted minors”, but of course we all called it “mentally gifted morons”. They then changed the named to GT – Gifted/Talented which we all promptly changed to Gifted Toads. I was in the program and all I can remember was being pulled from class every once in a while to go to a different school to do cool things with light and prisms or other science things. It was fun, it got us out of the regular work and we felt like we were playing. I now live in a state that does not have a GT program so I don’t have to worry if my kid qualifies or not. Besides, we had a rough experience with the public school last year and now kid #1 is thriving in a Montessori Elementary school. Thank-goodness and pass the financial aid.

  27. Pamela

    Uhmm. What do you want your child to be? That’s the most important thing as goal for parenting.I study calculus and algebra and higher maths. But I never used it at work at all! The only thing I get out from Math is the logic and sharpening of my analytic sklls. BTW, are school system there in your country very focus on tiering different children based on academic at such young age ? It does here in Singapore and I hated it. I was one of the tested product of the Singapore education system. My nightmare till now is still remembering the stress of examinations.Pamela.

  28. Lauren

    Im all about the gifted program. Gives you something to work toward. It all comes down to bringing kids UP to a standard, not lowering the standard to meet the kids. Ok. Enough on the soapbox. Woohoo for Monkey and Chickadee!

  29. Shalee

    Ah, yes. Remembering Math… such good times. I actually was pretty GT with math during school, but something between then and now hindered my ability to think straight.

    1 marriage + 2 Kids/18 years after graduation = one woman who is lucky to find matching socks in the morning after she has had several cups of coffee in the morning

  30. Delton

    Since you went from gifted to Lolspeak, let me take it a step further and switch into my best Beavis and Butthead voice…. Heh. Hehehe. She said perplexing!

  31. Heather Cook

    Flip that is funny! I can haz klenix to wipe tear from i.

  32. Tree

    Mir can has smart kidz for help find new werds for blog titles nex tym. I can has laffing at Mirstuf on lunch brake. Rainy day, sun is shining in my cube.

  33. becky

    i liked calc the first time. not so much the 2nd time, after a 10 year absence from it. i couldn’t even remember trig, much less what they wanted me to do in calc. ugh.

  34. Petunia

    I have long feared that we would be the last generation that could hold and write with a pen, that could write in complete, grammatically correct sentences and tell time using a clock with hands on it. Now, it appears that we will also soon lose the ability to speak properly. We lose more ground every day!

  35. udge

    Oh, you do has smart children.

  36. Kellan

    Boy … you got me goin’ on this one. Sorry about the long comments! But … I re-thought something I said in my previous post. I have decided that the program should NOT be renamed. Renaming the program was only my PC answer to soothing hurt feelings of parents/kids that are not in the program. I know … that’s harsh. But, the program needs to be recognized for what it is! It’s no different than if a kid was in football or basketball, tennis, art, band, ROTC, Drama – any kid “capable” to getting into those programs – usually does. Those that aren’t – don’t. Same is the case for the Gifted programs. It should NOT be hidden any more than any other program is. It makes people uncomfortable to suggest that gifted kids are somehow “above” “normal” kids – but why not suggest it. It’s just a fact of life. It’s a standard. It’s the hierarchy. There are leaders and followers (many levels of each). Not every gifted kid is a leader – but that is certainly one of the identified qualities of gifted students. And, just because a kid is in “normal” classes, does not mean that kid will not excel and set the (academic or leadership) standard for that group of kids – also. And just because a kid is gifted, it doesn’t mean they can’t also meet or exceed the standard set for athletics, art, band, etc. They might and they might not. It’s hierarchy and standards (not the only standard or the most elite – but a standard none-the-less and we have to have standards). Leave the name (Gifted) – I was wrong.

  37. Haley

    I’m 14 and in the “AG” program at my school (Academically Gifted). It’s nice because I get challenged, and in my opinion, we get to do more interesting things. It’s not so much a label, because in some subjects, you may be ahead, and in others, you may be on grade level. It’s better than at my middle school in Florida, where the kids were classified as “Gifted”, “Advanced” (don’t ask me why, they sound the same to me), and “Regular”. I didn’t mind the gifted and advanced titles very much, but regular really got to me, and I wasn’t even in it! And of course, in that school, gifted was a pretty relative term seeing as many parents paid for private testing to basically make sure their children got into the gifted program.

    Anyway, congratulations and good luck to both of your kids! I’m certain they’ll do great :]

  38. Haley

    P.S. LOVE math. Algebra is my favorite so far :]

  39. dcfullest

    My mom refused to show my sister and I our scores and hid them from us. I found them (hidden in a cookbook of all places!) and discovered my IQ was two points higher than my sisters. Of course, I proceeded to tease her about this for a good three years.

    Moral of the store: Hide the scores well.

  40. ScottsdaleGirl

    I flunked mathology.

  41. carolyn

    My 14 year old is taking geometry this year. I have warned her that this is the year I stop helping with math homework. If she needs help, we will have to find a tutor. I can not do geometry.

  42. Dawn

    “math was fun”

    I can not haz understanding.

  43. Heather

    “You can has cuddles.” Hee. I thought I recognized the title, but attributed it to the fact that I totally overuse that phrase ;-)

  44. Nancy R

    Consider…Sending those pesky smart kids out to gifted/accelerated/whatever classes makes more time for the teacher to focus on the rest of the class.

  45. tori

    My older daughter is in the accelerated program. I also found it funny that I needed to sign a form saying it was ok for her to go to the proper classroom for her level. What I found even more shocking though was that my other daughter needs help with reading (but is a whiz with numbers) and they had to send home a note that I had to sign to give permission for them to get her extra help. Who in their right mind would say “no thanks, please leave her struggling”???? And then the sad part is that I bet some parents don’t want their child labeled as needing help, so they don’t allow the extra help. The reading teacher my daughter goes to is the most kind helpful wonderful woman I have ever met. My daughter is totally in love with her, and has started bringing books to bed with her because her teacher would like it. I just can’t imagine passing that up!

  46. Terri

    At least they give you the kids’ scores. After the battery of tests we (meaning my son) went through last spring, all I received was a packet of information about the program and congratulating us on his acceptance into it. I haven’t the faintest idea what any of his test scores are, aside from assuming that they’re all over the minimum acceptable (which are included in the handbook). Other schools in our cluster do provide the parents with their scores, so I think this has to do with our administration’s philosophy that test scores “label” the child, so we don’t need to know them. Not that they’re labeled by being in the gifted program or anything… ;)

  47. Jenny

    My mom, who actually *enjoys* things like those horrid logic puzzles (you know, “The tall man in the red shirt lives in the blue house. The short man lives two doors away from the green house…” ARRGH DO NOT WANT) never could understand why I didn’t think algebra was FUN. I think I’m more of a visual, spacial person — loved geometry, graphing — MUCH HATE for the equation-y things. I’ll correct grammar out the wazoo, but spare me from the numbers. That’s why God invented calculators.

    Congrats on the test results! And dear heaven, hide those scores well — bury them in a locked filing cabinet in the bathroom in the basement with a sign on the door that says “Beware of the Leopard” if you have to, but hide them! My sister and I STILL give each other hell. I’m 30. What?

  48. Susan

    I wonder if commenter Hayley would come babysit for me?

  49. Ariel

    We made a movie called “Dork Trek” in my gifted program in the 7th grade. Then they played it for the whole school.
    The other kids would ask if we were going to Dork classes after that…

  50. KK

    OMG! My kids and I discovered back in April. You’d think that, by now, they’d tire of LOLspeak, but no. From my 10 year old daughter: “I can has monies for new Webkinz! K Thx. Bai!” and from my 13 year old son: “Oh hai! I be in ur bed, leavin’ yoos a dutch oven.” to which I promptly responded, “DO.NOT.WANT.”

    Glad we’ve discovered such quality family entertainment!! ; )

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest