three family bits from last night

baklavah and hummus, anyone?
liesl had a major project due in school this week — a “country report” with a full display on a three-fold display board. it was a cross-subject proejct for english, history and science. she chose “sri lanka”, because she thought the name sounded cool. she did a great job (with, um, a little help from mom and dad). but a couple nights this week, the different sections of 6th graders have to display their projects in the school gym, and all parents and family are invited to come see them all. each presentation is also expected to have finger food that would reflect the country they studied. so i nibbled on a rather exotic variety of finger food while a strange combination of 6th graders and doting ethnic grandmothers refreshed plates around me.

the country with substantially more displays than any other county? iraq. that’s right. i don’t know if you’d find that in any other middle school in america! but we have a very large chaldean population in our area. i was grabbing a pistachio-filled baklavah-like thing (that was amazingly good) off the display of a little girl who’s father and grandmother were obviously actively involved in helping her — very proud of their iraqi heritage — and the dad leaned over and said to me (about the snack i’d taken): you know what we call those, don’t you? chaldean viagra!

an interesting aspiration
we also had max’s school open-house last night. he was very proud about touring us through all their class projects. one was a sillouette of him with a bunch of comments about himself. one of the lines was “i believe strongly about…”, and i was suprised to see he didn’t say anything about god. another project had the kids write a big long list of things that bug them. one of max’s was, “it bugs me when i have to go to church.” (yup, he’s not too fond of our church.) but then i saw it. hanging from the ceiling was a very fun “crest” he’d made of himself. the front side had four drawings, one of which was a great drawing of a drummer (complete with stage lights, and a roaring crowd). max has been taking drum lessons for a year or so. on the back was an essay that explained the drawings. i was a bit surprised to see, “when i grow up, i want to be a christian drummer” with a full explanation of how cool it would be to be a christian drummer. hmmm. think my kid has been around a few ys events?

the pistil, the stamen, and the useless man
at another stop in max’s room tour, he showed us a model flower he’d made, and explained all the parts in science-teacher detail. best comment: this is the stamen. it’s considered the male part because it doesn’t really do anything.

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