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test crazy
friday, april 15, 2005

work feel through today, kinda a bad thing because my check will be short as it as already, but good for me in a way that's just a bit more important: i'm using the day for praxis study! that's right the sucker is tomorrow. i bought the downloadable cliff notes praxis I study guide because it has 3 complete, sample tests in it (and it was way cheap and the only complete tests i could find online). i'm taking a bit of break at the moment to make a little lunch, so i figured i could finally put up an entry - even if it may be short.

i'm not the only one in the throes of testing. georgia is apparently quite the testy state. in cali, as i remember, there was only one test the kids take to move on and that's an exit exam for high schoolers - they must pass it to graduate. at least that's my understanding. and it sorta makes sense in cali - there are just too many kids in already overcrowded classrooms to retain kids based on test scores.

but georgia is different. next week my youngest is taking her crct (criterion referenced curriculum test) to determine if she'll get to go into middle school next year. my understanding is if she fails any part of it, she will be retained in 5th grade. all this past week, the 7th graders in the middle schools i subbed for were taking their crct's, and next week is the 6th graders. after that, i presume the 8th graders take theirs, especially since they'll be transitioning to high school. (and i assume that because last week was spring break, and no one was testing the week before.) and with all these grades, you fail one part, you are retained. my oldest says the high schools don't have crct's, but there is a test somewhere in the middle of high school (10th grade?) and there is the gateway exam for graduation.

i'm honestly not that worried about jewel. her grades have all been good, occasionally excellent, and always meeting the requirements we set (we do not demand a's, but we do require c's or higher and we do tell our kids they must a) believe they can do it like we know they can, and b) always do their best). but i am worried about froggy. her transition hasn't been the best. she likes her school, enjoys her teachers, has made friends, but there's something going on with her in terms of the actual learning process that is different out here. some way they do things differently that hasn't translated well for her. and it looks like cali may have slightly lower standards as well because she was behind in both reading and math. she has improved dramatically in reading and writing. passing those look like they won't be a problem. but she has having problems with math, a lot of which have to do with her not taking the time to read the problems and work them through. we've told her this test is important, but can only hope she realizes that and does well enough to move on to middle school next year. she really is a bright kid, she's just an adhd kid that hasn't had the best support up till now - bad neighborhood, not so good schools, and so on. plus her brother has taken up a lot of our attention and energy when it comes to schooling because we had to do a lot of monitoring and fighting with the schools out there for him.

i know she will eventually get a handle on things out here and blossom. i am quite pleased with the schools out here. there's just no sense of the arrogance and combativeness there was in cali. and the other two are doing better than they were, so i'm sure it will trickle down to her as well once she adjusts. and that may be all it is - a case of still needing to adjust. some kids are just slow to warm up and adapt to new methods. granted, we though taz would be the tough one, but it's okay that it might just be froggy (at least she doesn't need all the special considerations he does, with her it is probably just a matter of adapting). i just hope she's managed to get enough of a handle on things to pass these tests and move on to middle school. she should be gifted and it's sad she's struggling so hard to get comfortable out here. i'd hate to see her start feeling down about herself because she got held back a year. for her, this move just might have been bad timing.

and speaking of timing - time for me to get back to my timed sample tests. i'm giving myself the full hour each for the reading and math sections then 30 minutes for the writing multiple choice stuff. not testing myself on essays since i can't really score them. so far i haven't needed the full hour for reading, but i probably will for the math and i have 3 sample tests to go through!

one side and unrelated note: i did do one other thing today. up until 2 or 3 weeks ago, i was one pair of nice pants shy for a full work week - i made due, but barely. of the pants i had, one pair had a hole developing on one of the front legs above the knee - small enough that i figured i could get away with being worn, and another pair, well, let's say they barely pass at all since they're mock denim (no jean stuff for work, i was told, unless teaching elementary school) and a little too big. 2 or 3 weeks ago the drier we have ripped a huge hole in one of the 2 pair of good pants i have; the hole above the knee is, well, developing; and all the working must be doing something if not actually weight-wise then with how the weight is distributed because the barely passing pair is practically falling off and has no belt loops.

so i spent this morning searching for and purchasing some cheap work clothes. i managed to get 2 pairs of pants and a lightweight shirt (since spring/summer are coming and will be hot and humid . . . and going to work wearing only a bra is unacceptable) from silhouettes for about $65 (damn good deal if you ask me - it includes s&h, btw). i couldn't find a reasonably priced pair of pants at avenue, but did find a pair at jms that i liked and came to $35 including s&h. i do have to wait a bit on the jms pants - they're on back order, but at least i've sorta gotten my 3 pairs of no longer usable work pants replaced. linnorm also picked a new blouse for me from silhouettes as well that will be good for the spring/summer season. since most of my usable tops are sweaters (which don't mix well with humid springs and summers), this is a good thing.

i hated having to make those purchases and put them off as long as i could (i may buy books at the drop of a hat, but clothes? i wear them long past when they should be worn and try to buy them as seldom as possible), but even with the school year winding down, i needed them. okay, yea, probably shouldn't have waited on getting them, but they we re all on sale, will last me a long time (hang dry! damn drier), and the timing coincided with actually having a little money in the bank.

and now, off to do more testing/studying. i will pass this damn thing! i must!

only then do i get to worry about the praxis II. :P

word of the moment: posset

to cause to curdle or coagulate; to pamper with delicacies

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