Life changing decisions already? Part 3

We had our meeting with the new principal and the GT supervisor. After all that build up, the meeting went very well. We sat down and after introductions, the principal said, "so, Marc will be starting in third grade with us this year." She was very supportive and said they would do all they could to make sure he is successful. Now we just have to hope both our childrens' transitions to their new school go smoothly.


Life changing decisions already? Part 2

The other night, I was talking to my dad and he asked "how would this decision be good for Marc?" I realized Amy and I always discussed the matter in terms of what was best for Marc but when we shared the dilemma with others, it sounded more like a power struggle between the parents and the school. From the beginning, Marc has been very involved in this process. He enjoys being challenged and dislikes the attention of being expected to get every answer right by his peers. He is very much in favor of acceleration and was disappointed by the principal's decision. We understand that Marc does what is expected of him. If a teacher expects him to do 2nd grade work, that's what he'll do. If they expect him to do the fourth grade work he's capable of, that's what he'll do. He's mature, has a very god sense of humor, and is tall for his age. He's not into competitive sports (it's funny to me how many people have suggested not accelerating because he'll be a year younger than his competitors in sports). We really feel he'd be bored and unchallenged in a second grade class.

Last evening we got the test results. Even we were surprised by what they showed. Marc's IQ was extremely high. His Math ability was "Very Superior" and his English was Superior. The psychologist actually wrote "it would be detrimental for Marc to be placed in second grade classroom next year. Across the board he was advanced in all subjects.

As a parent, it's interesting getting results like this. It's not like A's on a report card. He didn't accomplish some great feet. He simply is what he is. It doesn't make him better, it makes him unique with special needs. It means it's going to be a great effort over the next 10 (yes, we probably lost one) years for us to make sure he gets the challenges and education he needs and deserves.

So now we have to go back to battle. Hopefully the tests will speak for themselves and little will need to be said after the results are shared. We'll just have to see what the next few weeks bring.

Castrating My Truck or The Death of a Small Portion of My Identity

Due to the ridiculous rise in the price of gasoline and it's effect on the price of everything else, the great distance to any place to you can legally drive a vehicle off road, and the wear and tear I've put on my truck; I've decided give up offroading. I'll eventually sell the truck for something more eco friendly, but for now I'm just removing 400 or so pounds of steal and 2" of extra rubber. I figure I should pick up between 3-5 MPG which is a lot these days.

Sunday night I listed my parts on the classified sections of my Xterra club forums. By Monday morning I had sold my CB, skid plates, sliders (steel step rails), steel bumper, one of three oversized tires, and my hi lift jack. I should clear about what it costs to get Marc's testing (see next post). That's almost exactly half of what I paid for the stuff so I definitely got my money's worth over the past 8 years.

I spent all evening Tuesday and all day today removing parts. With a small tear in my eye, sweat rolling down my face, and a combination of dirt and grease covering my entire body, I loosened rusty dirty bolts while laying in contorted positions and holding up heavy parts. I Dremmeled away broken bolts and even helped one of my buyers install the parts on his truck. By the end of the day my truck had gone from the beefy behemoth to the piddly mall crawler. I even put the stock step rails and bumper back on.

The final step is the tires. I blew one out offroad last weekend. I figured that was the sign that it was time to quit before I broke something really expensive. I decided to go with small economy tires. They should have been put on Wed night but Mr. Tire broke my wheel lock key. (If you are unfamiliar with wheel locks, they are lug nuts that require a special socket to remove. If you have them, I suggest you throw remove them now and dispose of them. The chance of your wheels being stolen is much less than the chance of this thing causing you a huge hassle.)

So anyway, they tried a special tool but had no luck removing the wheel locks. I called two Nissan dealers who were no help. One wanted to charge me $100 a wheel to chisel them off. Finally I was able to find the company that makes them online. They told me that I could send the broken key to them and they'd send a replacement free of charge. So, as soon as that key comes, assuming it doesn't break as well, the castration will be complete. My truck will no longer have any balls.