Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Friday, July 21, 2017

Acorn Testing

This may sound like bragging.
Okay, it is . . .
Our second son was in grade three.
He loved it.
He was a good student and the teacher, Mr. Knall, seemed to like and appreciate him.
The time for our first parent-teacher interview of the year approached.
Usually a time of apprehension for me.
But there were smiles on both sides as we introduced ourselves and shook hands.
Whew.
We discussed Erik’s behavior and accomplishments.
Then the teacher brought out a little stack of papers. “Now,” he began, “You are allowed to look through these, but I’m letting you know now that I'm keeping them.”
I stared at him. “Ummm . . . okay.”
He then laid out Erik’s spelling tests to date. Like his father, Erik was a good speller. He had even been known to correct spelling for others. (ie. my brother, completing his degree in Engineering.)
Erik’s only difficulty lay in the fact that he usually finished writing the word almost as soon as the teacher had said it. Leaving—seconds—before the next word. Time that lay heavily on his hands. That needed to be filled with something.
And he filled it.
With illustrations.
In the margin beside his words, he would draw tiny, exquisite figures illuminating whatever it was he had just written. Thus, beside the word: Space, was drawn a tiny astronaut floating in space on an umbilical. A couple of words later: Fire, had an equally tiny cannon, firing at the spaceman.
And thus it went. The entire margin was littered with these pictures.
I could see the teacher’s reasons for wanting to keep them.
This was a truly unique spelling test.
I should probably let you know I allowed him have the tests.
Because I kept the boy.
Moving forward several years . . .
A few days ago, Erik’s second son, just out of grade three, was completing some math worksheets for his mother.
A “keeping up the skills” exercise for the summertime.
He excels at it. Math, that is.
And, like his father before him, finds himself with time on his hands.
And, without even realizing it, has completed the circle.
And ensured that another acorn has dropped immediately beside another great oak.



18 comments:

  1. You've got quite the artist there!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Alana! I thought it was so fun!

      Delete
  3. How marvellous to see that talent threading its way through another generation!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From father to son to father to son. What a chain!

      Delete
  4. So cute, and as options go for keeping yourself occupied in the classroom, drawing is probably one that will not get you in trouble so there's that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm . . . you make a powerful point!

      Delete
  5. Let's hope it continues down the generations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is definitely one I'd like to see passed down!

      Delete

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