So, school is out. Third grade is pretty serious in Mississippi. For one thing, you get actual number grades. Also, they have a government-mandated reading test that you need to pass to go to fourth grade. Since football season is over, this test gets extensive press coverage. Headlines appearing in our paper (only slightly exaggerated):
STATE HOLDS ITS BREATH – THIRD GRADERS TO LEARN FATES TODAY.
DISASTER IN JEFFERSON CITY – 17% OF THIRD GRADERS “DEFICIENT,” “IGNORANT”
FRANKLIN TROUNCES ROOSEVELT – RETAKES COUNTY CROWN, AVENGES LAST YEAR’S DEFEAT
They had an awards ceremony at Rex’s school. The morning of the ceremony, at the bus stop, Rex and Karena had this conversation:
Rex: I think I might have to give a speech today.
Karena: WHAT?! YOU ARE JUST TELLING ME ABOUT THIS NOW? I CAN LITERALLY SEE THE BUS DRIVING UP.
Rex: I forgot.
Karena: WELL MAKE SURE YOU REMEMBER TO THANK YOUR MOTHER.
Rex: Eh, Mrs. Edwards [his teacher] helped me more.
(To be fair, Karena did help him quite a bit by finding books from the library that were on his list. I would like to add that I helped him on two math questions this semester and both times ended up shouting at him, and once, chasing him through the house.)
As far as the ceremony goes, I don’t know how to put this without sounding like a boastful parent, but Rex won every award. There are eight third-grade classes, so like 180? kids. He won the award for most Reading Points (that you get from reading books on the list and taking a quiz on the contents to prove it), highest score on the Reading Test (10th grade level), most Math Points (completing different math units), highest score on the Math Test (the test only went up to 6th grade level), and like six others. (Although this is Mississippi, his school is actually pretty decent by regular – non-Southern – state standards.) Also, is a year younger cause he skipped a grade, and was only in school for one semester, making the points-based awards particularly sweet.
I think he was supposed to give a speech, but despite his extensive preparation, his teacher decided against it. Instead, when she was giving him his awards, she did this:
Mrs. Edwards: …and the most reading points of any student in the grade. Rex, tell them how many points you earned.
Crowd (i’m not making this up, also the next highest kid had like 250): Oooh!
So at home, several times that day, including once on the phone with my parents, I made him “give his speech”
Me: Give your speech.
Karena: THAT’S NOT A SPEECH
Me: Yes it is; I liked the first part best.
Above: Rex winning a reading trophy. He’s the short one in the shirt advertising a Swedish video game.
Below: The trophy has a grammar error. Only in Mississippi. I was tempted, but did not report this to the district.
I am thankful that he didn’t point out that powerlifting trophies are much bigger and decide to focus his future energy in that direction instead.
Much to Karena’s amusement and delight, the school listed Rex’s race as African-American. The cynical side of me pointed out to her that this was great for statistical purposes – if he were breaking windows in the classroom (a kid did this) and reading at a 1st grade level, he’d no doubt be Visigoth-American like me.
In lifting news I stopped doing partial benches & benched 345 which is 5 lbs above double bodyweight; have gone back to a wider-stance low-bar type squat, though still wearing OL shoes; and am doing more reps of deadlift and incorporating rack training, the latter which will please the Swede.