Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ah. So THIS is Hell.

Well, not really. Somewhere between Purgatory and Heck, in fact.

Summer is here and, while the time is right for dancing in the streets, it is also the time for NOS and NTS to do their respective summer camp-like things. These are invariably not the drop them off at 8am, retrieve them at 3pm for two months. We tried that one year and it went so bad that after all these times TFBIM still hase some facial tic relapses when the memory overcomes her.

NOS and NTS are two different people, and I don't mean that in a merely conceptual sense. They really prefer vastly different things. So, NTS will be doing Surf Camp and NOS will be doing Golf Camp. Which, as our luck would have it, are light-years apart, again not in a merely conceptual way.

There is also some summer school/camp stuff for which they may sign up but NOS is now attending Junior High, so he signed up for the one-week Spanish* Lit course because next term, he starts off with El Cid, which was the assigned summer reading for Spanish. The idea is more one of acclimation to the way they do things at Jesuit Boot Camp, than outright mastery.

He may also sign up for the English Lit course, but we haven't decided. His assigned summer reading for English is Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Treasure Island, Matilda, and The Witches. (Someone is seriously into Roald Dahl.) For those of you scoring at home, he also has to read yet more; one book for religion class and another for social studies.

NTS, besides the surf camp -- the exact schedule of which might interfere with our planned trip to visit Poppy & Co. (yes, I know, again) -- has a horse riding thing, and basketball and some assorted reading and writing school stuff to give his summer the sheerest possible veneer of academic achievement.

Of course, this all entails schlepping like rats all over Creation, buying specialized books/apparel/gear. Some people will look at us and ponder how much love we must have for our boys, but entre nous, there's also a being mindful of who'll select our nursing homes.

-J.

*Spanish at the elementary school is pretty much all simple Berlitz-guidebook conversational stuff..."I have a pencil. My pencil is blue. Give Señor López the blue pencil." and things along that sort of level. So NOS really needs some catching up there.

Posted by Joke at 9:52 AM

14 Comments

  • Blogger Poppy Buxom posted at 12:05 PM, June 21, 2008  
    I don't mean to chuck a spanner into the works, but just so you know, we received an invitation to Sophie DuB's annual bring your own lobstah party for the evening of July 12, and I'm planning on asking her whether I can bring you.

    So you will now be able to follow a day of sailing on Lake Michigan (with a gourmet lunch and all the Mai Tais you can drink) with a dinner party redolent with Chicago's version of Long Island lockjaw. I can safely predict you will spot least two pairs of trousers embroidered with nautical and/or seafood motifs. Also much Lilly. And madras.

    For sociological study alone, should prove mighty tempting.
  • Blogger Badger posted at 3:35 PM, June 21, 2008  
    I'm so glad I send my kids to public school, with all the lowered expectations that entails. (Summer reading? AS IF.)
  • Blogger bluemountainsmary posted at 6:32 PM, June 21, 2008  
    You see - my idea of the perfect summer holiday is to do pretty much nothing at all. The odd trip to the beach. A lot of lazing around. Christmas of course.
  • Blogger Poppy Buxom posted at 7:13 PM, June 21, 2008  
    Badger, we send our kids to public school, and they have summer reading.

    But it's in ENGLISH.

    (Also, they don't always do it.)
  • Blogger Frogdancer posted at 8:58 PM, June 21, 2008  
    I teach and send my kids to a public school, and the year 11s and 12s have holiday homework. It's a beautiful thing... except when we have to read them and mark them.

    Joke. No. Hell is hearing the alarm go off at 2.29, getting up and taking your son to school by 3.30am for his school camp. It was pouring with rain. It's winter here so the air had an antarctic chill. Why do we do these things? Is a week's break from my loud son ample repayment for this?
  • Blogger Stomper Girl posted at 9:52 PM, June 21, 2008  
    Golf camp?!?!?!?! Bloody hell.
  • Blogger kim at allconsuming posted at 5:03 AM, June 22, 2008  
    Three words to any teenager that means they are indeed in hell... summer reading list.


    Holy Moly. That's a reading list and a half.
  • Blogger Badger posted at 10:12 AM, June 22, 2008  
    Correction: I'm so glad I send my kids to public school IN TEXAS, with all the MUCH lowered expectations that entails.

    There, better?
  • Blogger Joke posted at 10:37 AM, June 22, 2008  
    P.,

    That is wildly tempting. I would bring a Florida lobstah, just to be pedantic.

    (the rest of you might be amused to know that once, after TSMPM's 40the birthday party, TFBIM asked Poppy when Sophie was due to give birth...Poppy's answer was something along the lines of "three years ago.")

    B.,
    It was explicitly stated in the paper which contained the reading list that woe betide whomever arrived at School Day One having not completed the summer reading list. When they say Jesuit boot camp, they're not kidding. (Unofficial motto: "Our students learn because they are petrified not to.")

    BMM,
    Mine too. Alas, I have offsprung people with divergent ideas.

    Froggy,
    These are (sadly) day camps. So the decant-and-fetch takes place daily.

    SG,
    Yeah. The kid likes golf. There's also lots of willowy blonde girls at golf camp, hmm...

    Kim,
    My beloved agreed with you. she was ready to bawl out the people responsible, until I managed to persuade her she stood a better chance of having God repeal the law of gravity.

    Thus endeth the lesson.

    -J.
  • Blogger MsCellania posted at 1:20 PM, June 23, 2008  
    Well, Idle Hands Are The Devil's Workshop - I'm living proof of that having never been to a summer camp and being left to my own devices in my youth.
    So, our sons are firmly entrenched in summer camps of all sorts. Luckily, youngest, being a very SPECIAL special ed type of guy, qualified for English Language Learners 6 week summer camp. Cry hot tears of envy; the school bus fetches and decants daily - at the cul de sac. If I told you where my young scamp was going for a field trip today, you would beat your breast in envious rage. Okay, I'll tell ya; it's here:
    http://www.coloradomusicfest.org/
    Click on today's date and you'll see the children's concert.
    And yes, the big yellow bus is doing the driving.
    And Holey Smokes on the reading list! What's he going to read next year? Calvino in Italian?!
  • Blogger Joke posted at 1:45 PM, June 23, 2008  
    That's an excellent notion...I ought sleuth around and see what next summer's reading list looks like. (I suspect it doesn't get any easier.)

    -J.
  • Blogger Caro posted at 8:46 PM, June 24, 2008  
    I'm keeping mine busy too.

    When the natives get restless, it's not pretty around here.
  • Blogger Tere posted at 10:36 PM, June 24, 2008  
    UGH - that reading list reminds me of my good old days at CEA.... *shudder*
  • Blogger Joke posted at 8:43 AM, June 25, 2008  
    Maybe instilling fear and dread is part of the thing of it...

    -J.
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