Some people have asked why Max isn’t saying The Pledge of Allegiance in school, so here is my answer: Because he is a smart, independent, awesome kid.
Here is the pledge: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands: one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
He feels that the government is being hypocritical by denying liberty and justice to some of its citizens and doesn’t want to recite hollow words.
Max came to this decision on his own and only told us about it after. We didn’t start this, but we do support him. To this end, Do not give him grief over this, capiche? Or I’ll have Tiny and Fat Tony visit you while you are sleeping…
Max has such a defined sense of right and wrong and is so sensitive to the plight of others. During free time he makes banners opposing surgeries for intersex children and rants about big business strong-arming governments into less ecologically-friendly policies.
So, that is my kid. Well, a part of him. I want to keep him as hopeful, loving, and blessedly naive for as I long as I can.
Story #1: When we moved into this house, the kids were sharing a room so we designated the biggest room, aside from the master, as their room. Both twin beds, two small bookcases, a reading chair, a toy box, and a set of drawers fit in there with room to spare. I love the big rooms that houses have! It is so unlike our townhouse in Virginia where a twin bed would barely fit.
A couple of months later we decided to splurge on a queen bed and set up a nice guest room so that older family members (read: grandmas and grandpas) would be comfortable when they visited. A short while later, Max eyed the big, deliciously comfortable guest bed and decided he wanted his own room. Even though it housed a bunch of homeless office boxes, Max was pretty happy to be in there.
Now Brian has the bigger room, with even more space to himself since Max’s stuff has been moved out. The extra twin bed is still in Brian’s room, for when Max gets displaced by visiting relatives (which he agreed to before the move occurred). It just makes me laugh that somehow the youngest ended up with the big, pretty room. I thought that wouldn’t happen until Max’s college years.
Story #2: Report cards were issued this week and awards handed out. The kids did really well on their report cards. When he handed me his report card, Max said, “I didn’t make the Honor Roll…” He kept a straight face and then said, “I made the High Honor Roll.” What a stinker.
They both also received a citizenship award for embodying the different touchy-feely themes of the month, like Respect and Integrity. This award is only given to two kids per class and BOTH of my kids got it. Wheeeeeeeeee. I am more proud of this, in some ways, than I am of their academic achievement. I am also impressed that Max’s teacher awarded it to him since he has been abstaining from saying The Pledge of Allegiance. That she could see past his ‘not going along with the flow’ says a lot about her.
Brian also received a Perfect Attendance Award, which is silly. At his age, he is not in charge of whether he goes to school or or if he stays cold/flu/vomit-free.
Max also received an award for meeting his Accelerated Reader points goal. His goal was 10, which can be achieved by reading one book, but usually takes two. This goal was so beneath Max’s abilities, he completed it within the first two weeks of school. I told him I thought he could do better than that. However, I am not going to push him on this. He has enough going on, plus he reads way above grade level for fun and without any extra credit. I wonder what the procedure is for determining what a student’s goal should be, because I feel like a teacher or two got played by Max, ha.
Max and I had a great time at Geekend
, and I had a blast presenting some thoughts on building reputation systems. It was fun partly because I don’t have all the answers yet and there’s a lot way to go before I actually have a system I’m happy with. But, it was great to hear good questions from the audience and consider new stuff.