Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Over Achiever.......

 Teenagers these days have a lot on their plates.  A lot more than I did 25-30 years ago.  I give my daughter as much liberties as possible because most of the week her schedule is full.
 This year she is in all honors classes.  She is a straight A student.  This year has been tough on her because of her class load and of her school athletic activities.  She chose cheer over Volleyball for her freshman year because she needed a break from all the serious sports.  Little did we know the commitment involved.  She is still a 15 year old girl, with friendships, blossoming young relationships, a daughter, a sister and a grand-daughter and a cousin.
 She really needed something a little more fun so she could enjoy her freshman year so she let go of volleyball, soccer, dance, modeling, softball.  Dance ended up with 11 classes a week and competing.  Soccer ended in All-Stars and an indoor league in addition to the regular season.  Volleyball, she was on the A team, front line hitter.  Modeling, so many go-sees, she recorded a demo commercial and the requirements were strict, not to mention they couldn't cast her as her age, she looked too mature, so they wanted her for 18 and  Softball was league, then all-stars then a travel team with year round sports conditioning.  For awhile she had three different sports going at once and she would change in the back of the Element while I was getting her from one to the other.
 So when she said, "Mommy, I need a break, I think I'm going to just try-out for the high school cheer squad.  I was relieved.  Now her schedule is School, Honors classes, Monday nights 7-8:30 Tumbling (which we took a break from January because they have tumbling for Competition.  Tues, Wed, Thurs, mandatory cheer practice from 3-7:30 (for her because she is a JV Cheerleader and also made the Varsity Competition Team, and the Choreography Captain of that team) Games during the week and Friday which get her home by 10pm and sometimes on Saturdays which are around 6 hours because she is JV cheer and has to stay to support her Varsity Squad as well.  (And out of 600 cheerleaders in Northern Nevada, Northern California, 80 were nominated and only 6 were chosen to be All-American.  Stevi is one of the 6.)

 I received a phone call from her Spanish teacher who was concerned with her grade dropping from a "High" A to a C in a month.  This is the class she always is excused from 2 days a week to get ready to cheer for the games.  I was shocked because it is not like Stevi to fall behind.  She is the kid, I kid you not, I had her 4th grade teacher call me when it was parent teacher conference time to tell me, "I could come down if I wanted to, but she is the perfect student and she really doesn't need to discuss anything with me other than to tell her to quit turning in extra credit, she could miss a month of school and still get an A."  (That never happened with Jayson, just saying...)
 As her Spanish teacher and I spoke we both realized it started with an altercation between her and a girl in the class.  I knew about this incident because the school called me and Stevi told me the same day it happened.  The girl is the best friend of the girl who jumped Stevi from behind the last week of 8th grade and got expelled for it.  The teacher was unaware they had a history and Stevi begged me to stay out of it telling me I would only make it worse.  Hard place to be for a parent, and a former teenage girl who went to Hug and would beat the crap out of anyone that tried to bully me.  Stevi is a lover, not a fighter.  She also knows if she defends herself with zero tolerance, she will be ineligible for sports for the end of the year and could face suspension.
 Not something a student, who has ambitions of becoming an Orthopedic Surgeon and is determined to get scholarships to do so.
 Ms. Blakely called Stevi personally to talk to her yesterday about what was going on after giving me the assignments she was missing.  They came to the decision together that Stevi was very distracted and uncomfortable in that class and that was the main reason this had started.  Bullying can really affect kids and it can put the weight of the world on their shoulders, but Stevi, like most kids, think they can handle it themselves.  So when I got home we sat down and discussed the situation and what she was going to do about it.  I told her with her class and activity load a B was acceptable but missing assignments were not, even though I now understand how uncomfortable the girls (there are 3) in that class were making her.  I gave her a list of 4 consequences if she didn't bring the grade up to a B and told her to pick her poison.

1.  Lose all cell phone and FB privileges for a month.
2.  Drop Cheer
3.  No friend activities outside of school for a month.
4.  Miss the Homecoming Dance.

She chose #2.  She thought about it and with tears in her eyes, she said, "It makes the most sense to drop cheer because that is why I'm getting so far behind. (As we speak it is midnight an she is in her room doing homework.)  The teacher gave her two days to make it up,  this Thursday because this week is also finals.

This morning (Wed) I got a call from Miss Blakely.  She went to Stevi's counselor and changed her schedule around so she will no longer be in any classes with those girls and they won't even know because Monday is the new schedule change.  I wouldn't have been able to change it and Stevi wouldn't have been able to , but because of a teacher who actually cared for a student enough to call the parent because she was concerned, Stevi will have a new schedule, along with the rest of the school with the assurance that those girls will not be in any of her classes.  I thanked her and told her how amazed I was that a teacher would go through all of that for one student. "She's one of my brightest students and it was my pleasure."  I was dumbfounded.   Miss Blakely..... wow.  I really don't know what to say.  And just to let you know, last night Stevi worked all night and at 11 pm tonight (Wed) we drove to Walmart and got computer ink. She finished EVERY SINGLE ONE  of those 5 missing assignments.  All I could say is "Put you phone down, (she was texting of course) look me in the eye."   She did and as I held her hand,  I said..."I am so proud of you."


Liz said...

I am so proud of her, too! She has set the bar so high for her cousins. I wish she could motivate Willow to do her homework without all the tears.

Elaine said...

So, so proud of my grandaughter! Amd absolutely DELIGHTED to know that there are Ms Blakelys in the WCSD!