Ready for her first day of grade four!
She's grown so much over the summer (well over two inches), and the proof is in the skort, which may be a little short! (I couldn't find a new skort that I was happy with. Devon dislikes uniform pants, and there weren't many skorts to choose from. And yes, they must be skorts, and not skirts, since she is not allowed skirts in gym class. The skorts I did find were too scratchy, or had too many pleats, or required ironing, or were just plain ugly.) We found some cute yet sensible little uniform shoes in navy. Devon needed a little convincing at the shoe store, since she had set her hopes on something pull-on, and shiny, and sparkly, and ideally pink; but once she saw the entire uniform with shoes, she decided she loved them. She was particularly pleased that it was cool enough to wear her new dark-wash denim jacket, with her pin collection --- this gave her all the sparkle she required!
She's had a great first week of grade four. She likes her new homeroom teacher, Miss Dona (yes, Devon insists it's just one "n.") and seems satisfied with most of her other teachers, although she is disappointed that she won't have Miss Huot as her English teacher. (She will have her for Ethics, apparently.) She dislikes her gym teacher, M. Fontaine, but then she has since grade one. (Quite frankly, I hated all my gym teachers, for reasons which were both biased and totally justified.) She's also a bit sad that her grade three music teacher, the dynamic young Mr. Chapman, has moved on; but actually, I suspect that EBS moms are more disappointed about that than their kids. (Ahem.)
And Devon is so happy to be reunited with all her friends. There were hugs exchanged at the bus stop that first morning and, apparently, more squealing and hugging in the school yard ---including among friends Devon had *just* seen at a birthday party the previous weekend. Already, of course, there are tense undercurrents running: a triangle between Devon and her best friend Leah, and Leah's best friend Brennan who is also friends with Devon, but --significantly---not *best* friends. I won't go into the details, which are complex and predicable. Suffice to say that the situation is frought with drama, and that it will no doubt reach a boiling point os some sort, and that Devon clearly loves to talk about new developments at length and with gusto, even as she complains that it's stressing her out. Typical girl stuff, I'm afraid, and I've warned her that she'd better get used to it, because this sort of shit will continue at least through high school. :::sigh::: At least she actually has friends. At least she's not bullying. At least she's not bullied.
A smart girl who excels in every class except gym, who wears glasses, who raises her hand a lot in class, wo talks with a lot of big words, and who makes jokes and references to literature and popular culture which most kids her age don't get, who is also fairly popular? Unimaginable in my day. Maybe things have changed. Or maybe it's only a matter of time before her status changes. It happened to me in --- surprise!--- grade four. Let's hope Devon's story is different. Thankfully, she's a whole lot stronger and more secure and confident than I ever was, or ever will be. (Thank you, nasty, mean grade four girls for forever breaking what little self esteem I had.) If she does have to deal with mean girls, she will stand strong, I know.
More frustrating for Devon is the on-going problem of classmates asking, begging, and in some cases almost bullying her for help in class. This year's main culprit is none other than Brennan, who has assigned seating next to Devon, and who is already pumping Devon for help with all class work. Not only is it annoying for Devon, but she's told me that it's interfering with her ability to get her own work done. I'm going to hold off on interfering for a little while, becasue i want Devon to stand up to Brennan and say no. But Brennan seems pretty persistant. It's no coincidence that Brennan sat next to Nate---the second smartest kid in class--- last year.
Good luck Devon, with every challenge you face, academic, social and otherwise!! Here's to a terrific school year!