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Apr 04, 2007

The Great American Novel

In Russell's first grade class, the kids have been spending some time writing their own stories for "publication". They write out sentences or (sometimes) chapters, then the teacher goes over it with them (talking about content and spelling and so on). Now she is writing up the text of what they've written (that is, with the spelling and punctuation fixed up as they discussed) and passing it to a few of us parent volunteers to type up (about one sentence per page). Our typed pages get bound into little books which the kids then illustrate, and then they can check each other's books out of their own self-created library. I hope it is as great as it sounds.

I think Russell's books will be very popular with some of the boys in the class, thanks to his obsession with Star Wars. This interest is an offshoot of his Lego obsession; his main exposure to Star Wars is through Lego kits and the Lego website, which has some comics and commercials and things. He also saw a Star Wars show at OMSI several months ago and saw part of one of the movies at a neighbor's about two years ago. Other than conversations with his friends, who are generally operating from the same level of "knowledge," that's what he bases stories on, but when he's short on details he just makes them up (e.g. Darth Vader can decide midway through a Lego story that he wants to be good).

Anyway, since I'm one of the parent volunteers who's typing these things, I'm going to cheat and type up my own kid's story here. How much of this is made up and how much is memorized from someone else I can't tell, but I don't see these words or stories on the Lego site or in Google.

Chapter 1: TIE Interceptor Attack!

A B-wing glides through space toward the hidden rebel base. The fighter carries vital information about the new Imperial attack, but TIE Interceptor is waiting to ambush.

Chapter 2: X-Wing Attack

The Death Star is destroying rebels.

X-Wing launches its missile. It goes into a hatch. The Death Star explodes.

Chapter 3: The Race

Anakin sets his speeder. The race begins.

Anakin's losing!

He gets ahead. He won! The crowd goes wild!

Chapter 4: Droids Attack

The droids fight against the clones. Laser beams fly. The super battle droids battle against the clones.

The clones won!

Warming up

So I thought I would post any old thing for a few days, to get in the habit, instead of trying to think out something incredible and then going months between entries.

Some things we did over spring break:

We went to Ladybug Theater, a small neighborhood theater company that does plays for little kids. They do lots of silly stuff. The kids especially liked the goofy little puppet who kept hitting his head and getting his lines wrong.

We went to Oaks Park, the local old-fashioned amusement park down by the river, with friends Florian and Gael, and the kids rode the Lewis and Clark train, roller coaster (several times), frog hopper, balloon ride, scrambler, carousel (the old fashioned kind with the beautiful carved animals), big pink slide, motorcycles, little cars, and probably other stuff I'm forgetting. It was a great day to be out there.

Russell's friend Eli came over and played with Legos and things with Russell and Silas.

We went to a Lego convention in town (BrickFest) and saw some amazing scenes, spaceships, buildings, mosaics, sculptures, etc. and escaped spending far less money than I expected, but deeply content with our weird little haul. However, next time we should eat first.

We went to the zoo and saw Captain Bogg & Salty again, then saw the Alaskan animals and the new Black Bear Ridge exhibit (and Eagle Canyon too). I can't believe we've watched a pirate band so many times, but what can I say, they're just great. I love their songs and they are terrific performers, too. It was nice to see them outside with such a good view. We were close enough that Silas finally noticed something -- he turned to me at one point and murmured, "Mommy, Mr. Filibuster has no socks and no shoes!"

The kids just messed around a lot (building Lego things, enacting dramatic stories with Lego people, setting up obstacle courses with the sofa cushions, playing outside, etc.), while I plowed through a lot of dumb little cleanup and phone tasks that had been piling up. It felt good. So did getting up at 8 instead of 6. Which reminds me, I'd better go to bed.