I had my last Uncle Grampa’s Hoo-Dilly Storytime for the season, resuming next spring. There’s another one this Saturday, but I’ll be Giving Thanks elsewhere.
In case I haven’t described this show, it is essentially an improv show for kids. In the green room before the show, we make up four story titles and write them in dry erase marker on a wheel. A child from the audience comes up and spins the wheel, and whatever it lands on is the story we make up and act out.
The cast is two puppets (usually Phinneas J. Monkey and Lil’ Tamo the Robot), the host Larry Lederhosen (a grown man in lederhosen and a Robin Hood hat), myself (Fritz the evil Butler) and a guest character of the week.
The story this week was Tumbleweed Jones and the Cranberry Banditos. The Wheel of Stories actually landed on No More Candy!, which was a title that RocketBoy had suggested the week before. But the host, with a blantant disregard for protocol, spun the wheel back a space to land on Tumbleweed. (The other two titles were The Wizard, The Turkey and the Princess and Moonbase 7: Thanksmoongiving.)
Since my own child had suggested the rejected title (his plaintive cries that it would be a good story could be heard), I made an effort to incorporate it into the story (I played Tumbleweed Jones, traveling do-gooder whose rallying call was “No More Candy!”). Since we had two titles covered, we went all in and made the Cranberry Banditos hideout on the moon, and I summoned a Wizard, a Princess and a Turkey (audience volunteers) to vanquish the Cranberry gang in the end.
No idea why I’m relating this. Just a signoff for the season, I guess.
What I really meant to discuss was RocketBoy’s Mad Reading Skillz. He successfully read Are You My Mother? by Eastman a couple nights ago. I’m differentiating this actual reading from the other form, which is knowing the book and reciting it while looking at the pages. Armed with his recently acquired “sight words” and a fairly strong ability to sound out new words, he made it all the way through with minimal help from me.
I give some credit to my Sight Words Go Fish cards that I made. I ordered some blank Bicycle Poker cards and wrote pairs of sight words on them (an, are, the, see, and, me, he, she, etc). RocketBoy drew pictures in the middle, and we were off in a spirited game of Go Fish. He pretty much had all the words down after a few games.
Needless to say, I’m very excited. Reading is one of those milestones that loom large on my horizon of Significant Events, eclipsing such minor events such as first steps or feeding himself. But I am required to almost feign indifference during the process of getting there, since I don’t want to push him into literacy. The motivation and desire really have to come from him if it is to be a lifelong passion.
And I think he is proud of his accomplishment. But, to own the truth, this pride in reading pales in comparison to his pride in getting the lead in his acting class’ production of Are You My Mother?. The reading comes as a bonus side effect of his excitement of being in the production. He’s been inviting random strangers and family members alike to the show.
The last end-of-semester show was three students including RocketBoy performing “Peter’s Pets”, a go-to piece for small classes. Basically, Peter interviews several pets to see which one he would like. RocketBoy played Peter, so he is 2 for 2 in terms of leads, which requires us to do some ego management and discussion of the no-small-parts truism.
On the me front, I brought my computer back up into a limping, zombie state. It had died a few weeks back, and I’ve been ordering various replacement parts in an attempt to diagnose the root failure. As it happens, it appears to have been the power supply, though it might have also been the processor. At any rate, I have an extra processor (a AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Socket AM2 CPU) in case anyone needs one, never been used, as my motherboard is a socket 939 and these processors are not returnable once opened.
Also, I have a big Spanish test coming up after Thanksgiving. For motivational purposes, our instructor has held a competition this semester, awarding points for homework. At the end, the student with the most points gets a $150 Ectaco C4Sp Spanish Electronic Translator/eBook reader:
Of the 60 or so students, four of us have left the rest of the pack behind. I’m currently in the lead, 101 points to 99 for the other three. But the final exam is 100 points, so my lead is in question unless I nail the exam. If I nail it, then all their efforts are in VAIN. VAIN, I tell you, IN VAIN! Bwahahahaha!
Voy a estudiar estas vacaciones.