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Monday, March 25, 2013

Mind Blown

Farrah is smart.  I mean...reeeeeeally smart.  In fact, she just read what I wrote.  Just now.  And then just now, again.  And she's laughing while she reads this out loud.  I'm going to have to make her stop reading this so I can keep typing.  (She just asked me, "Why?")

Okay, so obviously she can read... with very little to no help.  She can do her homework and read the directions to herself, she'll grab books and read to herself when she goes to bed, and she can even read a book silently while riding in the car (without getting car-sick!)  We'd been working together on reading the classic Dick and Jane books for a few years.  The school she goes to has worked very hard with her since she started attending, and helped her harness her skills even more.
With her reading, comes writing.  She's learning to spell words and write sentences on her own.  That's two different abilities that come hand in hand.  The fact that she knows how to spell the words and formulate a complete sentence freaks me out!!

Um...she's 6.

Math.  She can freakin' do math!  Not the basic 1+1=2, but 10+4+5=19.  What?!!  And 10-4=6!  Holy shit!! Are you kidding me?!!
I told her I was going to probably stay in Issaquah while she's on her spring break.
Farrah:  "Where's Issaquah?"
Me:       "It's near Seattle."
Farrah:  "Oh, Seattle is in North America."
Me:       "And it's in Washington."
Farrah:  "Washington is next to the Pacific Ocean."

What the hell?!!  Why?!!

Yeah, she's still only 6.

For the longest time, Farrah has wanted to be a paleontologist.  Her desire to know more about dinosaurs and fossils hasn't so much faded as it has simply been put on pause as she puts her focus on living and breathing animals.  She now wants to be a zoologist or ethologist.  Essentially, they're very much the same.  But why the hell do we know that?  Because she wanted to know!  She doesn't like telling people that she simply wants to "study animals and their environment" but what that title of occupation would actually be called.  I mean, what 6 year old wants to sound silly when being asked what they want to be when they grow up?

Most don't care if they sound silly...because it's not silly.

Farrah has memorized pretty much every episode of Wild Kratts from PBS.  She's learned everything from colossal squids to the basilisk lizards.  She and I have watched several shows on animals from NOVA, Discovery, and National Geographic.  Why?  Because she wants to.  She has watched shows on Tigers and has been extremely upset when learning that they are endangered.  When her class spent time learning about them, she interjected and provided more information that her teachers didn't have.  Mind you, her teachers don't hold back with their teaching styles.  When learning about bears, they don't talk about them like they're cuddly little brown bears that like to eat honey, but rather about their habitat, what they hunt and eat, and the dangers they face such as poachers.  Why?  Because they do.
Tonight, Farrah turned to me and out of the blue said, "Did you know that cheetahs can run up to 70 MILES PER HOUR?!!"  Yes, I did know that, but how the hell does she know that?

She's 6!!!

Not only is she learning about these things...she's retaining the information.  It's fucking weird to me!  Awesome as hell, but weird too!  She tells me stuff and I'll say, "YOU'RE FREAKIN' ME OUT!!!" and she'll just laugh at me.  She corrects me when I pronounce an animal wrong. Sorrrrry!  When getting ready in the morning, it takes twice as long now because she's sharing about something she's recently learned about...like planets, a country, a type of tree, an animal and it's lifespan, why the damn sky is blue, how to spell her favorite words, math problems, the difference between mass and liquid, and all the other stuff that has been crammed into her brain.  Oh, and she speaks Spanish, too.

Still only 6.

I'm not bragging (well, yes...yes I am), because she isn't the only child attending this school.  It is a small school so the curriculum is strong with only 12 students in her class.  I'm just floored every time she opens her mouth and something brilliant comes out.  And then...I laugh!  I laugh at her!  Not because I'm making fun of her, but because it's blowing my damn mind!  She just shouted down the stairs something about termites and how important they are and Africa and blah, blah, blah...I have no idea what she's talking about.  However, I trust that whatever she just said was correct information being shared.

The funnest part about her being a smarty-pants is her maturity level is pretty high for her age, making her absolutely rad to be around.  She understands jokes that would go over most kids' heads.  Other than the shows she learns from, she loves the same shows as me.  Not because she wants to like what I like, but she'll watch and actually laugh at the same comedy I watch.  When we laugh at the same time when watching a show, my heart feels like it's going to blow up with pride.  I love that my girl has an incredible sense of humor that she and I can actually shoot the breeze and make each other laugh until we cry because we're enjoying each other's company so much.  We have fun!  There is yet to be a day or night that she and I haven't been in stitches from laughing hysterically with each other.  How freakin' cool is that?  So cool.

Her latest trick?  She gives me directions to places.  She's paying attention enough that I'll let her tell me how to get home, how to get to her school, and how to get to the store.  All I can do is shake my head and smile.  I'm so grateful for such an amazing little person in my life who happens to be my favorite person in the world.

Just now...

Farrah:  "Do you like lions?"
Me:       "Yes, why?"
Farrah:  "Well, people say that lions are nasty, but they're just trying to survive and feed their cubs."
Me:       "Okay."

I love my rad kid.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Awwwwkward

I am doing some research for my book.  Part of that research requires me to look up pictures of men or women who may give me inspiration for a character's "look".  I like to drag a picture or two of the beautiful people out there and put them in a file on my desktop with the character's name on it.  That way, I'm able to go back from time to time and know where some ideas originated from and to provide me with new and fresh ones, too.  Well, since I do most (if not all) my writing at a very public coffee shop, it's very likely someone could walk by and see what is on my computer screen.

Did you know if you looked up "strong male models" you get a whole lot of "naked"?  In many of the pictures, the models are discreet enough to hide their goods, but anyone walking by has to be wondering why on earth I decided to look up porn while here.  I can see that the man business is covered for the most part, but if some passer-byer glimpses at my computer they have to be thinking "Dirty, dirty slut." Maybe not, but that's what I'd be thinking and I just assume everyone thinks the way I do.  Mind you, there is a post in here when I was doing a search for 3" pens and what popped up was a whole bunch of 3" penises.  My computer was not in viewing range at that time...but, still.  Awkward.

So, I've been looking at a whole bunch of half naked or almost completely naked men while in public and SOLELY for research purpose.  And I have found some that have been useful.  However, I look like some filthy perv that is mischievously hunched over and hovering over their computer trying to hide the screen from looky-loo eyes checking me out checking out hot half naked men worth checking out.  It's actually funny how guilty I feel when I'm looking at this, but I am WORKING!  Believe me, I know which sites to visit if I really want to take a peak.  What I'm looking at is not even close to any of those sites.



Now, I am writing my blog to appear that I am "working" on something rather than gawking at the bodies on my screen.  I HAVE to get back to looking at these pictures and I hope no one looks over my shoulder.  Then again, whatever.  So what if I'm looking at nakedness.  I'm not a naive prude.  The point is I don't look at that shit in a coffee shop...that's for the library.

Just kidding!!!  I don't go to the library.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Helping Out at School

Today, I came to Farrah's school to put together a class project for them.  Farrah asks me on a daily basis the following:
Farrah:  "When is spring?!!"
Me:  "It's March 20th."
Farrah:  "How many days until spring?!!"
Me:  "Let's count how many days until...MARCH 20TH."
Farrah:  "WHEN IS THE SNOW GOING TO MELT?!!  WHEN WILL IT BE SPRING, MAMA?!!"
Me:  "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD...SOON!!!"

So, I came up with the idea of having the kids in her class each color two flower petals about the size of their hand.  Each day, one of the kids will take a petal and add it to the outer lining of the center of the flower (which has all their little signatures on it) until they reach March 20th.  At this point, they will see how close they are getting to spring...and the questions will stop.  This was possibly a selfish move on my part to get the questions to go away and stay at school, but at the same time ended up being educational, too.

When I was there, I had to go over the reasons why were doing it and ask the kids questions:

Me:  "What does it mean when it's finally Spring?  What happens?"
Child 1:  "Flowers bloom."
Me:  "That's right!  What else?"
Child 2:  "Flowers start to come out."
Me:  "Yep. That's right. Anything else?"
Child 3:  "Flowers on trees start to show up."
Me:  "Yeah, everything starts to blossom.  You want to know what else happens in spring?  Bears come out of hibernation!"
Everyone:  "GASP!"
Me:  "Oh, and bees start to fly around!"
Everyone:  "GASP!"

Hahahaha...I'm awful.  But shit, c'mon.  These kids need to know that they could be leaning over to smell a flower and notice that there is a bee getting it's pollen and has its stinger pointed right at their nose at the same moment they look up and see a black bear charging for them.  They must be prepared!

Anyway, the project was a huge hit and it will assist in getting the kids ready to actually be excited for upcoming outdoor activities.