Friday, March 16, 2007

See, I'm doing better: it's only been a week since my last post here. I don't think I've mentioned it in this blog, but again this year I am doing a daily Lenten meditation online. If you're interested in checking it out, go to .

Today I had a second interview at The Catholic Foundation. It was with the head of the communications committee of the board, who is also the Executive Director of the New Albany Community Foundation. I felt it went very well, and I have to admit that I'm getting to that point where my hopes are up for an offer. I know I wasn't the only candidate called in for a second interview, but I did get a very good feeling during the interview. I keep trying to remind myself that I'm just trusting in God to lead me where I should be. It's hard, though, because there's a big part of me that wants to prod and poke God and generally tell him how to do his job.

Earlier this week I had a first interview with a company called Mapsys, and it was surprisingly interesting, too. I take some comfort in thinking if The Catholic Foundation doesn't come through, I can still pursue it. But I'm hoping God gives me some kind of clear sign which one is really the right one for me!

Poor Sam is still having a rough school year. In fact, I'd say it is getting worse. Next Monday we get the results of all that neuropsychological testing we had done, and I'm pinning a lot of hope on that revealing something actionable. If it doesn't, I don't know what the next step will be.

There are several different areas of problems. First, smart as he is, he is not performing well in school. That seems to be mainly about not organizing his work and managing his time, but I am gradually becoming convinced that this is not willful noncompliance. I think he has some sort of problem that makes doing so extremely difficult for him. This is a big area where I hope the tests reveal something, and the doctors know some form of therapy or something that can help.

Then there's the motivation issue. Sam seems to have lost all interest in school work and all internal motivation. To the extent that he does perform in school, it is clearly motivated by trying to keep me and the teachers off his back, not by anything intrinsic to him. He doesn't play music for his own pleasure any more, and he doesn't practice his instruments unless pressed to. He hasn't accomplished anything in Scouts (other than showing up) for months. Sadly, for him lately I think just showing up is an accomplishment. More than anything, I want him to find an inner desire to learn and accomplish!

He is having a big problem with one teacher. He says that he doesn't like the way she teaches but moreover, he doesn't like her. He says he has had other teachers where he didn't like the way they taught, but she is the first one he has ever not liked as a person -- and he believes she doesn't like him any more than he likes her. Today I mentioned this with another of the teachers, one I've known for years and trust a lot, and she said she has never seen any indication that the teacher doesn't like Sam. I think part of the problem may be that this teacher is one of those people whose voice doesn't fluctuate a lot, who is even-keeled to the point of almost placid, and I think Sam may read that as a lack of caring. Whatever, I've come to realize it is very intense and real to him and something must get resolved, as he has the same team of teachers again next year.

Of course, social skills are always a problem for him. I don't necessarily think those have gotten worse, exactly, but with all this other stuff going on he hasn't had any energy left to work on getting them better. Still, I am mildly encouraged that he has had some boys over for sleepovers this year, and they aren't just the kids who've known him since they were tiny.

We've begun talking about what summer camps to sign him up for and where we might want to vacation, but this is the point where my unemployment begins to loom large. I'd plan the summer one way if I thought I was still going to be home, another way if I plan to be working full-time. It is my hope that the answer will reveal itself before we get down to deadlines where I just have to make my best guess.

This weekend holds a Merit Badge workshop day for Sam on Saturday, and on Sunday afternoon his team for a Social Studies project is meeting here at our house to cook. Yes, cook. The class is studying Africa, and his team took on the subject of African food. So in addition to their oral report, they are making and serving some recipes from Africa.

There's never a dull moment here!

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