Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Formal Assessment

...and that was yesterday, right there. I had the Mau-Mau and the Elder Son, and we had to go to Launceston so Elder Son could have his 'Formal Assessment'.

That's when the kid sits down with a qualified individual appointed and authorised by the Ed Dept, and they go through a bunch of tests to decide where the kid falls on various curves, and what kind of oddball needs he might have to make school work better for him. This particular version takes a bit over three hours.

So we shunted Smaller Son down to the bus stop. Then we took off for Launceston, and managed to wriggle around through the back streets by the gorge until we found Trevallyn School. We were a bit early, which caused a minor fuss because nobody seemed to know about us -- but only five minutes after we arrived, the assessing officer turned up, and everything was under control. The Mau-Mau and I left Elder Son on the job, and we took off to do our own errands.

  • New socks. What the fuck do children do with their socks? Is there an entire planetoid of abandoned socks drifting silently behind the moon, where we can't detect it?
  • Another Wii remote: yeah, okay. Listen -- any of you lot with kids, the Rayman Raving Rabbids games are pretty damned funny. They consist of a loosely-connected series of mini-games which involve the fullest range of Wii-remote manipulations I've seen yet, and between the whacked-out animation and the happily twisted nature of the games themselves, they're pretty fabulous. But the sequel is actually better, because it includes a full 'party mode' in which up to four people can play these demented games against one another. Imagine four of us there, all trying to boogie along to the cues provided while the Wii thumps out "Jungle Boogie"...
  • Dinner: I got some barramundi. And a squid tube. Just one. Plus some other stuff.
  • New plants: some thornless blackberries -- getting more later, I think -- and a pair of kiwis. (Again, getting more.) The old kiwi vines were placed right next to the deck, which was unbelievably silly. Don't plant kiwi vines anywhere near your house, unless you feel like researching a sequel to "Day Of The Triffids".
  • Books -- no trip to Launceston is complete without a buzz through the secondhand book places.
By the time we were done with everything (there was more, but I can't recall it offhand. Oh -- a long and fruitless search for some insulation material...) it was almost time to collect The Boy. The Mau-Mau and I grabbed some lunch, and picked up a few bits and pieces for Elder Son, and then the phone rocked on (my phone plays "Werewolves of London". Good thing I like the song, eh?) so we went back to Trevallyn.

Elder Son was tired and hungry, but apparently he enjoyed himself. And the assessment officer was really great -- we had a long talk about the whole edumacation thing. She's got a couple kids of her own who fall into the high-end category (possibly why she's doing what she does?) and had a lot of sympathy and insight.

We won't know the results of the assessment for a while, of course. There's another meeting to come with the school as well, naturally. But hopefully, hopefully this will see the Elder Son being officially recognised as having 'different needs', and give the school the opportunity to develop something appropriate for him.

The rest of the day? Ah, well. Natalie made it home a bit late. By that time, I'd already overseen the violin practice, the cello practice, and the typing practice. Loaded the firewood box. Brought in the laundry, put up some more. Stoked the fire. Cooked barramundi and calamari and baked potatoes and green salad. Organised the bathtime, etc.

Heh. The boys were pleased with my calamari -- because I stripped the tough outer membrane off the squid before I sliced it into rings. They were really interested in the membrane itself, and really delighted to discover that the Flinthart version of calamari isn't rubbery and stretchy. I've probably made a mess for myself in the future, though. Now they'll never be happy with cheap chippery calamari again, and I'll have to cook the stuff at home more often, and I can't buy it except in Launceston or Bridport...