Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Found My Purpose

This morning, after being shushed just minutes earlier, I was summoned by Colin.

"Mom, there's a bug in my room!".

I waited a minute or so to respond and then asked the obvious.

"Do you want me to get it?"

After being given coordinates (on the floor, directly below the light switch). I went down with a couple of sheets of toilet paper in hand. I found the tiniest of spiders curled up in a ball and picked it up. I showed my find to my son who flinched and backed away as he nodded in the affirmative. 

I guess I have found my purpose in life!

The Joy of Listening

Having my son vent to me about others has been another job I take pride in. The upside to Colin having issues is when he vents to me about them. The trick is to mostly listen and not to try to offer up solutions, although the "mom" in me can't help making a few suggestions.

A few weeks ago, my son told me about a group project for science. The assignment was for each group to make a video related to biodiversity or a similar topic based on ecology. Colin mentioned that two boys that he would not normally have picked as teammates, asked to be in his group. They were not the best of students but my son felt they seemed nice enough and would make an honest attempt at pitching in with the work. I had a not so good feeling about this.

The first week of the project, Colin was beginning to be concerned. He was worried that the other two boys were in no hurry to get started. He had a difficult time getting meetings set up and there appeared to be some "artistic" differences. Most of Colin's ideas were being rejected and the other boys' ideas were a bit off-topic. It was clear they had not done the required reading.

There was a section where my son wanted to do a Steve Irwin bit and needed a hat and clothing to look like an Australian wildlife expert. I was able to pick up a few things at Walmart while helping my middle-son with finding envelopes for his graduation invitations. I also loaned my tripod and helped with a few props. 

The reward was being able to hear about his presentation and being allowed to watch the video in his room.
I was surprised and delighted to see my name in the credits. When I asked about that, he told me that the other boys' moms did nothing to help. He also gave credit to his middle-brother who helped not only with ideas but appeared in the video as his acting skills were needed.

It was clear as I watched the other two boys fumble through their lines, that Colin was clearly the one who did the majority of the work. Colin was more than a little pissed-off at one of the boys. It got back to Colin that this teammate was bad-mouthing him around school. He was also claiming to be the brains of the group, although Colin's friends say that the boy was clearly joking. Unfortunately my son did not think the boy was joking and was not amused.

In the credits, Colin listed himself as the producer, the writer, the directer and that he did all the work! The other boys were given credit as actors and teammates, although both roles were small.

There were a few life-lessons for everyone. For the lazy students, they will think twice before ever wanting to work with Colin again. My son might seem nice and congenial but in reality he is a control-freak who will exact revenge for those who try to take unfair advantage. The lesson for Colin is to be a bit smarter in choosing future groups.

I am trying to keep my distance and let Colin work through this situation. He still is planing to talk to the teacher to make sure he knows how little the other boys did, especially the more difficult of the two. Colin does not think the boys should get the same grade as him. He is also upset as he feels that if he had a different group, the project could have been so much better. The scores have not been handed out yet, but I thought it was a solid effort and should be at least a B+. Colin has a 95% before this grade so he should remain an A. The other boys have Cs & Ds  and should only be helped.

Should be interesting to see how this plays out.....

As always, we are a work-in-progress!

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