Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back to School

Today was the first day of school for both of our boys. Mr. Third Grader dropped my hand when we got to the corner and refused to pose for a picture, so I had to settle for a blurry Bigfoot-ish one. Mr. Preschooler was much more cooperative, as were his classmates – they stopped a rather spirited game of field hockey to pose for playground pics. (Preschoolers and field hockey? Yes, it’s as bad an idea as it sounds. I just missed getting a photo of the [inadvertent] high-sticking incident that sent Julia to the sidelines, a fact for which Baylor All Saints Preschool, and its in-house counsel, no doubt are grateful.)

I’m reprinting below the e-mail that I circulated at the end of the last school year, re: Connor and creative writing. Third grade promises to be even more productive in that department, as our teacher is the Drama Club sponsor. (Yes, our elementary school has a Drama Club. No, the members don’t wear black and smoke cigarettes outside of the cafeteria – that comes later.) The theme for her class is “Mission Possible,” and everything is spy-oriented – the computer center is the KGB (Knowledge Gathering Base), etc. Needless to say, the boys in the class are beyond excited!


The Wednesday before classes adjourn for the summer is always entertaining, because it’s the day that creative writing notebooks get sent home from school. This year, I particularly enjoyed Connor’s response to the assignment, “Draw a road sign and explain why the sign is important.” He drew a jeep pulling up to a “BUF XING” sign with two lines of text: “My sign is important because your car may get hit by a buffalo. And I’m sure you don’t want that to happen.”

There’s more – a letter to Mayor Moncrief suggesting that the City of Fort Worth build a water park, and a letter soliciting a job with the Fort Worth Zoo (“Dear Mr. Manager, I would like to work in your zoo. I could help feed the animals. I could also help heal the animals. I could even help clean the exhibits. Sincerely, Connor McGlinchey. P.S., I hate cleaning the exhibits.”). But this last one is my favorite. End notes are mine . . . .

Elvis the Unhappy Elf

Twas the night before Christmas, and the elves were working hard. Except for one, one Elvis the elf.1 When Santa came around for his daily inspections he saw Elvis. Santa got so mad he fired Elvis. And his replacement was a nutcracker. Elvis was ordered to leave the North Pole immediately. Or he could slave over a hot stove all day helping Mrs. Claus make Christmas cookies. He chose the cookie thing.2 But he goofed off and Mrs. Claus fired him as well. So he left the North Pole in Santa’s sleigh. 3 On his way to a new home he saw a unicorn. And it gave him the courage to stand up to Santa. So he ordered Rudolf4 and the other reindeer to turn back. Once he got back to the North Pole he demanded his job back. He got it back, but he had to promise to never goof off again. And he was excited. And the nutcracker got fired. And everybody lived happily ever after.5

1,2 “One Elvis the elf”? “He chose the cookie thing”? Yes, the child really talks this way. God help us all.
3 With Santa’s permission? Or can we add sleigh misappropriation to Elvis’ list of bad acts?
4 I’m guessing that this is Rudolph’s German cousin – or an extra from a World War II movie?
5 EVERYBODY lived happily ever after? I asked Connor about this last sentence (technically, a sentence fragment), and he responded, “Oh, I probably should have mentioned that the nutcracker wasn’t very satisfied in his job.”

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