Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Long Red Scarf

Jane is almost walking officially. Chris is not joining the Air Force. I am no longer the Queen of England.

Would you like any details?

Ok, one at a time. Jane is becoming more and more confident with her foot skills. She has started walking towards inanimate objects, and she can even switch directions mid-trip. Every once in a while, when she falls, she will actually stand back up by herself and keep walking. The funniest so far, though, was when I was trying to get her to walk to me from the middle of the room. Instead of walking straight to me, she walked to the couch (farther away), then used the couch as support to get to me. I don't mind. She was still walking, right?

It took this picture to show Jane wearing the cute outfit Amy gave her. Amy, did I ever send you the picture? Even the shoes match...

Yes, she is standing on the counter. And yes, she is rather short but still has a very large head.

You may recall that Chris and I made the decision a while back that he was going to join the Air Force via the Technical Degree Scholarship Program. If you don't remember, you can read this post. The process was quite involved, including a novel's worth of paperwork (at least it seemed like it), a very thorough physical, a hunt for several letters of recommendation, background checks from many people from the last forever of Chris's life... In short, it took a long time.

Once all the applications were in, we were fully committed to the idea of the Air Force and simply had to wait for the yea or nay from them. In the mean time, Chris was offered the programming job with Pearson's (remember--the Diary of a Wimpy Kid author is going to be his boss). Things were looking up for the present (and future), but the Air Force was still the main plan of action for the long term.

I was surprised when during this last week, Chris received word that he was accepted, yet he wasn't particularly excited about it. I was surprised because of the long time and much effort we put into making the Air Force decision in the first place, and now that it was actually available, he wasn't so thrilled.

The things that we were looking forward to most about the Air Force was the ability to get a very good (compared to standard Logan wages) salary while Chris is still a student, and it would be nice to have some additional health insurance to supplement what I get from the school district. We also very much liked the idea of a guaranteed job once he graduates, despite what happens to the economy in the next year and a half.

With Chris's new job, he will be paid more than what the Air Force was going to give him, and they have a very good (and affordable) health plan for which he qualifies. This job is not necessarily a 100% for sure thing economy-wise, but the company has done very well amidst all the current economic issues, and there is nothing thus far to suggest that that is going to change. Also, Chris has done very well as a student in the engineering program at the university, so he has good chances of getting the job he wants after graduation.

So, considering all the present benefits, we have opted to take our chances with the economy in favor of maintaining the power of choice in where we live and where Chris works.

Lastly and quickly, I am no longer the Queen of England. I have had several people ask me how our colonial unit turned out, so I thought I'd give a quick sum-up. After a few weeks of heavy taxes (my favorite was the recess tax: 2 pounds to go outside, 10 pounds to stay inside), my class was fully prepared to rebel and declare independence from England. We found a website where you can "sign" the Declaration of Independence (it's pretty cool--it actually prints your name at the bottom as though you were one of the signers back in the day). I took my class to the computer lab, they all signed the declaration, and they all breathed a sigh of relief that they no longer had to pay taxes.

Well, there's always a catch, right? We had been promising this huge party all along that they had to save up their English pounds to be able to go to. When we got back to class, I made a big stink about how they no longer had to pay taxes. I then informed them that since they were no longer citizens of England or subjects of the Queen, their English money was completely worthless. One boy shouted out that the party was going to be free! I quickly corrected him and informed them all that there was going to be no party. If they couldn't pay, they couldn't go. And no one could pay. Needless to say, they were not very happy with me that day.

To wrap everything up, we immediately went out to the playground and proceeded to burn all their money. Literally. We had a 10# can and a lighter. It all went up in smoke. No more taxes, and no more pounds.

Some people have given me a hard time about building up their hopes for having this great party, then completely fake them out and take it away. From a teacher's perspective, I know that they will remember this lesson much, much longer and better than they ever would had we just read out of the textbook and done worksheets. Now they know what it feels like to want to declare independence, and what it feels like to have to live through some of the less appealing consequences.

That wasn't as quickly as I intended, but now you all know. Jane can almost walk, we are not joining the Air Force, and all the English pounds are nothing but a pile of ashes.


Tannie Datwyler said...

I'm glad things are working out with a job for Chris. The Air Force idea seemed kind of different for Chris.... Jane is a doll! I LOVE the story about the taxes. By the way, what does it have to do with a red scarf?

Jess said...

nice post.. also, i agree with tannie.. what's with the title?

Chris and Laura said...

It has nothing to do with a red scarf...I just didn't have any other title. "Walking, no Air Force, and Burning Pounds" didn't sound exciting to me.

Jared and Delia said...

That was a fun update. Good luck with everything.

I wish I had more teachers like you. Better yet. I hope my kids get to have teachers like you.

Yes... and I am with Tannie. What is this red scarf about? Oh wait - is it in reference to the air force. Do airmen wear them?

Oh and now I just read your response. Nevermind.

Deborah said...

Love the title, I think its perfect :)

JeriLynn said...

I love that class project. It sounds awesome! I like all the updates. I hope things work out now you're not joining the Air Force.

Sorry, by the way, that I never posted about a purse. To be honest, I don't have one that I'm using or have used in a while. I just keep things in my jacket.