Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sickness and Third Graders

We are grateful that, despite their coughing that sounds louder and more deep-chested than Hansie barking at the sheep, the sick ones are on the mend.

I was talking to Paul's sister Lois about taking Ben to the doctor and how vindicated I felt when it turned out there was actually something wrong with him. Is this a universal mom thing, or is it just frugal Mennonite moms without insurance who make it a point of pride to never take a child to the doctor unnecessarily? As Lois said, it's the one time when you want your child to be as sick as possible, just to prove your point. Like many moms, I've discovered that the surest way to bring the temperature down, shrink the swelling, calm the cough, and reduce the pain is to show up at the doctor's office. And when it turns out to be just a virus, I pin on the virtual Inept Mom badge.

Different subject:
This morning I once again spoke to about sixty third graders at Spring Creek Elementary School in Eugene about being a writer. It was so much fun. I love this age. They sat quietly, listened well, and asked lots of questions--"Do you write on a computer? How old were you when you started writing??--and got off on a big discussion of ages and birthdays--theirs, their parents', mine, my children's--until Mrs. Fischer gently got the conversation back on track.

Mrs. Fischer, by the way, is the teacher whose testimonial appears in the back of Upstairs, on the page about being available for speeches. I made sure I pointed that out to the kids.

Afterwards one child came up and shyly said, "You inspired me!" Another one made my day by whispering, oh so sweetly:

Quote of the Day:
"I think you're very pretty!"

26 comments:

  1. um, shall i tell them the REAL source of wisdom behind your decision to take son to the doctor???????? :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. So I'm not the only Mom who feels smug when the Dr. actually diagnoses my child with "what I thought she had", and feels very confused and irritated when I take my child to the Dr. for "nothing"?!Ahh, is it the "tightwad Mennonite" syndrome or the "Mommy knows best" pride in me?\"/ Anyway, I love your blog and read it faithfully. And to play the Mennonite game, I'm from Iowa, your cousin Loretta's first cousin on the Bontrager side.

    -Wanda

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think you are pretty, too
    ~gokum

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm a little wary around kids after my experience helping in a first grade classroom around Halloween: I teased a girl with missing teeth by saying, "You look like a pumpkin!" to which she immediately replied, "You look like a witch!" And then I was embarrassed a six year old could hurt my feelings so badly!

    It's funny I was just looking at your little website photo the other day thinking how cute and girlish you look.

    And yes, I do feel the same way about doctors you do. One time I took my kid in and they were like, "Oh, I'm sure you're just overreacting, it's just a virus, but let's listen....hmm, there does seem to be some fluid here." But they never give you the satisfaction of saying the words, "I was wrong and you were right"!!! I felt like I should get a gold star and an announcement over the PA system that THIS mom outsmarted the doctors.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you Dorcas for coming to talk to my class.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Michele Marelli1/22/2008 12:18 PM

    Hi Dorcas! You are an amazing writer! I hope you have fun writing your essays. I am in Mrs.Chang's class.You inspired me to write a lot!


    good bye

    PS we all appreciated you coming!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Dorcas. This is Kelly from Spring Creek. I really appericate you coming to our school at Spring Creek. I really liked meeting you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Dorcas it`s Celeste thank you for coming I had lots of fun! Please come to forth grade next year! I am a third grader at Spring Creek Elementary school room one. I love the story you wrote about us! Hope I see you again!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Dorcas .Thank you for talking about writing to our class.Do you take writing serieously? sincerly,a student from Ms.Chang`s 3rd grade class.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Larissa Maguire1/22/2008 12:22 PM

    Hi Dorcas. I realy liked the story you made. I think I'm going to write a story too. If I do, I would write about my mom. We'll see you next time.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Dorcas. Do you remmber me? I am one of the third graders at spring creek school. We really
    liked it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Dorcas. Thank you for teaching me about writing. From Spring Creek Elamentry School Room1.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Dear Dorcas I relly liked stories.
    Form Isaac Slaton.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I like that you put what I had said on my comment which was " you are pretty"that was me samantha so I want to thank you for putting it on you'r blog. I all so wanted to say that I am a Spring Creek Elementary. I like to tipe for you and other people.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Dorcas. Thank you for coming to Spring Creek Elementary school. My name is Felicity. I liked the story you wrote for us to read. I can right to you on my computor at home.

    ReplyDelete
  16. hi Dorcas I liked you talking to my class about writing. I liked that you wrote about us. I am a third grader at spring creek.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Dorcas I'm glad you came to our class and told us about your books. I'm from room 1 miss chang's class.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I really appreciated about you coming to our school and showing us pictures of your familey. This is Erika I am a third grader at spring creek school. And talking to our class about writing we loved it so much. I would like to see you again one of these days. I would like to buy one of your book one day.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Dorcas.Thank you for koming to therd grade. From torrien in room 1.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Dear Dorcas I am a third grader at Spring Creek. I liked your stories. From Anthony Henshall

    ReplyDelete
  21. we like your new book about sickness and third graders. all us third graders in room 1 appreciated it. from gabby from spring creek.

    ReplyDelete
  22. hi Dorcas I am a3ed grador at springcreek in miss.chang's class it was fun that you came here!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Dorcas, how are you doing you encourage me to wrte more.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Dorcas, how are you doing you encourage me to wrte more.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Dorcas, how are you doing you encourage me to wrte more.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Dorcas! I like your story's! My mom took me to the Library and I saw your books and mom let me
    barrow them! I am a third grader at Spring Creek.

    ReplyDelete