Saturday, November 14, 2009

Not for nothing

Helena was upset coming home from school Friday. It'd been a rough week on all us, in different ways.

She was home "sick" the first 3 days of the week. The school has been hypervigilant regarding H1N1. Had she gone to school with a touch of fever and light cough, she would've been sent home. The secretary called regularly for news of her symptoms. I dared not tell her Helena was dancing around like a rock star. Meanwhile, I fell behind on meeting some work deadlines because I was helping her accomplish a videogame mission.

She returned to school on Thursday to a substitute teacher and with her chess club assignment incomplete, much to my surprise and contrary to my instruction when I went into the office Wednesday finally to get some peace and quiet (J-F stayed home with her that day). Friday was her first day to see her regular teacher, Marilyne, in a week, and she was still hoping for the sticker that had been promised but forgotten last Friday.

But Marilyne saw fit to award her "yellow" status at the end of the day, down a couple notches from Helena's usual happy green, for disturbing the class (and quite likely being a bit cranky about it), but not slipping into red. It wasn't Helena's first yellow (that was traumatic), and I'm sure it won't be her last. I guess we're averaging one a month.

But she takes these things seriously. At home, she took me aside to tell me the story of the yellow, and she cried and she cried and she cried.

Apparently she has a chatty deskmate. We'll mention it to the teacher when we meet in a couple weeks; we'll get more of the story then. Maybe Helena was lured into transgression, or maybe she was just having a bad day. No big deal either way.

But I cannot doubt the sincerity of my daughter when she exclaims, "I don't go to school for nothing, you know. I go to learn!"

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