Monday, February 18, 2013

On the Good Ship Lollipop

At our elementary school, third grade is a big deal for lots of reasons, but the Famous Americans report ranks right up there near the top. You might remember that Smunch became Jackie Robinson a couple of years ago. It was a huge deal, not just because he stutters, but he had to memorize a five-minute presentation, come in costume and have a certain number of props. It was stressful, both for him and me.

This year, Mam chose to be Shirley Temple Black. I'd never really thought of Shirley Temple as having contributed that much to American society, so it was fun to learn more about her. Not only was she a very, very famous little girl, but she did some interesting things as an adult too. She was a delegate to the U.N., she was an ambassador to Ghana, she was ambassador to Czechoslovakia and she was the first female chief of protocol in the United States. That's kinda cool.

Know what else is cool? The third grade teachers finally decided this year to turn this into a real third grade project. The kids wrote almost all of the presentation themselves, they didn't have to memorize anything, costumes were optional and props were mostly absent. So much more low key and so much less stressful for everyone involved...unless you're sick on the day of your presentation, as Mam was. Then it's kind of sad to lay your curly little tresses on the sofa all day.

But Mam got to perform on Wednesday instead of Monday...and that was just fine. We got to do a "dry run" on the curls and make sure they worked out. She had fun sleeping in foam curlers and she did a great job with her presentation, despite only just being well enough to be back. She made good eye contact, read slowly and clearly and had more poise than I've seen her have before.

This one is super hard-headed, but she's going to do whatever she wants to do with her life...whether you like it or not.

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