Friday, May 22, 2015

It's been forever. Again.

Last week was [Middle School] Project judging and I've been meaning to blog about that for a week. I even kept a list of the projects. So in the event that I put this off for another 11's the list and assorted comments.
  • Club Feet (this was one of my [Anglo] Sunday School kids, a special request I made since he said it was ok for me to sit in; he didn't tell me he was presenting in Spanish! And he did pretty well--language was not the problem with this presentation; he just didn't do a lot of research, but he did answer questions well--also in Spanish--at the end)
  • Improving Your Singing Voice ("everyone can sing!"--uh, no, not really, but I'm glad you're so enthusiastic)
  • Foster Care to Adoption Process (yes, her family has done this)
  • AMC--Congenital Joint Problems (this was the first time anyone has ever brought in a visual aid that was a person, in this case a sweet 6-year-old boy in a wheelchair who lives next door to the presenter; the presenter is the daughter of one of the secretaries at my therapist's office who came to watch, so that was weird, but fun)
  • History of Soccer
  • Forensics
  • The Color Barrier in Sports
  • Building Trades (a perfect example of a kid who is a lost cause academically who did a good job on this project because of his interest in it...)
  • Extinction
  • Mobile Gaming (...and the obverse: someone who is clearly interested in the topic, but skated through the work and tried to fake the presentation)
  • Interior Design as a Career
Lunch (dash to BK for burger and GIANT diet caffeine beverage)
  • Autism
  • Lego (the presenter is autistic, but his enthusiasm trumped his innate limitations in the speech-making department--and the timing of these two presentations was interesting)
  • Cats (WTF, dude, WTF--so awful, and the kid is so needy and wrecked I just wanted to cry through the whole "presentation" during which he had his back to us for at least half of the time)
  • Depression in Teens (again with the stellar timing, since the previous kid is all kinds of massively depressed)
  • The Northern Lights
  • Becoming a Preschool Teacher (she will be a delightful teacher!)
  • Anesthesiology as a Career
  • Make-a-Wish Foundation
  • Nuclear Power (in spite of a serious speech impediment, this was easily the best, most enthusiastic, most seriously intense presentation of the day; the dude WORKED on it, and had a blast!)
  • The History of Disney (kind of a mishmosh of the company and the studio and the family--not a great presentation)
This is my tenth year doing this, and every year I'm surprised, irritated, thrilled, saddened in almost equal measure by the snapshot of the kids I see. Even the lousy presentations are often done by really decent kids. In ten years, I think there've been less than 5 who have pissed me off to the point I wanted to flunk them on principle regardless of the merits of the project. In general, they are good kids, just trying to get through a pretty massive project and learning SOMEthing (even if it's just 'hey, I shoulda put in more work!'). And the teachers are always enthusiastic and positive; they just want all of them to succeed. It's kind of inspirational.

I'm not making promises about coming back. It seems like the kiss of death. But, y'know, maybe.

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