1st Band Recital

Last fall, in a moment of weakness, I agreed to let my daughter L. play the trumpet in the school district’s brand new beginning band, provided she promised she would practice in her room, with the door closed, somewhat out of earshot. Does that sound mean? Hmm. Well, last year in 4th grade she drove my positively INSANE practicing the recorder day and night, and while I’m all for a musical education, I really do enjoy my sanity. Anyway, it was a condition she agreed to, so we both got what we wanted.

When we went to the music store, I had to sign a one year rental agreement for the trumpet. I was a bit reluctant to sign it, worrying that L. would grow tired of it and not want to play it after a couple of months. She’s had a tendency towards flakiness with other things in the past (piano, dance) but she assured me that she “always” wanted to play the trumpet and be in band. When did this come about?

In September the band sounded more like a dying bird, or a roomful of dying birds, or birds being tortured with hot pointy sticks screaming in protest, or-well, you get the idea. They didn’t bear much of an auditory resemblance to an actual band. Flash forward a few weeks and, what have we here? A real band!

They held a winter concert last night and played several songs, including Au Claire de la Lune, Ode to Joy, and Lightly Row, and they actually sounded really good. The audience, consisting of mostly parents, grandparents, and siblings, would have clapped at anything, but the applause was practically thunderous. These kids worked hard, and it showed.

L. practices her trumpet almost every day. I never have to ask or remind her. She loves band, loves her teacher, loves the band kids. It makes her so happy and it seems it’s not just a whim. Maybe it wasn’t so crazy to say yes to this noisy instrument after all!

Middle School Birth Control

Do parents have no rights at all? As the mother of (almost) preteens, I find this extremely upsetting.

Parents, how do you feel about this? Do schools have the right or the responsiblity to give your 11-13 year old child birth control pills or the patch without your consent???

From Foxnews.com:
School Board Approves Birth Control Prescriptions at Maine Middle School

Thursday, October 18, 2007
PORTLAND, Maine — Pupils at a city middle school will be able to get birth control pills and patches at their student health center after the local school board approved the proposal Wednesday evening.
The plan, offered by city health officials, makes King Middle School the first middle school in Maine to make a full range of contraception available to students in grades 6 through 8, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.
There are no national figures on how many middle schools, where most students range in age from 11 to 13, provide such services.
“It’s very rare that middle schools do this,” said Divya Mohan, a spokeswoman for the National Assembly on School-Based Health Care.
The Portland School Committee voted 5-2 for the measure.
Chairman John Coynie voted against it, saying he felt providing the birth control was a parental responsibility. The other no vote came from Ben Meiklejohn, who said the consent form does not clearly define the services being offered.
Opponents cited religious and health objections.
Diane Miller, who said she has worked as a school nurse in another district for eight years, called the proposal “tragic” and asked “What would God have us do?”
Read the rest of the story HERE