Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June recap

I thought it was time for a redesign.  Here are some pictures from the recent adventures we've had.

This is from the cubscout camping trip we did in May.  It was at North Landing State Park and was really a nice site.  I'd go there again - no jets, just roosters in the morning.  (They sound kind of freaky when you don't know what they are!) The sunsets were spectacular.

The kids made and flew kites.  I love this picture.

Sitting at the campfire.

Watching the sunset, which somehow didn't show in this picture. 

W had a really bad windstorm one night and this was the house across the street.  There were trees and branches down everwhere.  Amazingly, we only lost our one shutter that keeps falling off every time there's any wind at all. I was definately scoping out the safest place to hide in our house (the downstairs bathroom.  It would have been cozy!)

Cinderella was named citizen of the month for June, for the quality of "trustworthiness". 

The kids on Tarzan's team got tough guy facepaint for their last game.  Tarzan has struggled at bat, but this game he had two great hits.  The second one was his best of the season...unfortunately, it was also the one where the other team's second baseman scooped up the ball and tagged out the runner - ending the game 4-3.

Cinderella went to the zoo with her class.  This is an empty cage where the kids can pretend to be monkeys.  We had a fun time together, although it was very hot.

Scooby tested for his purple belt in TaeKwonDo - here he is doing some punches.  The ceremony is on Saturday.  After this he only has blue, high blue, red, high red, brown, high brown and jr. black to go!

Tarzan crossed over to Webelo scout.  After Webelo comes Webelo 2, then boy scout.

Tarzan turned 9! He had a video game themed party, with Angry Birds water balloon games, a Wii tournament and a PacMan cake.  The ghosts are frosted marshmallows, the maze is blue licorice and the dots are chopped up Reeses Pieces.

Blowing out the candles.  I can't believe he's 9! He got a couple new DS games which he loves, a big-kid sized Hippity Hop, new swim goggles, a skim board, a swimsuit, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Cheese-Touch game, a Lego set, and several gift cards.  He's a pretty happy kid this week.

Don and Monkey recovering from the festivities.  One more birthday party to go, then we'll be hitting the road.  Pittsburgh from June 19 - July 1, Norwood from July 2 - July 10, Westford from July 11 - July 21st or so.  Don will be with us for the second week in Pittsburgh and the first half of the Norwood trip.  Can't wait to see everybody!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Awesome News of Awesomeness

Forgive my negligent blogging, I've been seeing fast I can make "free time" disappear now that I'm out of classes and the kids aren't! So far, pretty darn fast.  I've started trying to run...again...and have done several four-mile stretches in the past week and a half.  Sadly, I think it's time for new shoes.  Do I dare try ebay, or do you really have to try running shoes on?

I am very pleased with how my second year of grad school ended (although it's not COMPLETELY ended yet, as I'm in a production of Romeo and Juliet that's being directed by one of my professors.  I'm playing Lady Capulet.  It's going to be an interesting production...we're using four different locations in and around the Communications building, and the audience will travel with us as we move.  As we move to the different locals, the costumes will gradually become more and more modern.  This story is every place, every time, etc. The production goes up Memorial Day weekend.) But the OFFICIAL school year ended nicely.

I'm still maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Yay, me! This year's classes included Vocal Production 1 (Linklater Technique), Vocal Production 2 (Dialects), Screen Acting 1 and 2, Playwriting, Meisner 2 (acting technique) and two modular (week-long) classes in Cecily Berry technique and Voice-over acting.  I performed in two shows and crewed for two more, which completed my backstage requirements.

Part of my GA job at the theatre is maintaining a blog about the theatre community.  One of my blog articles was picked up and reprinted in The Cutting Edge, which is an online newsletter for the Society of American Fight Directors.  It's in the issue for May/June 2011. Volume XXII, Issue 3... So that was fun.

At the end of the year we auditioned for thesis roles. I was called back for three of the four "thesis" shows, and ended up being cast in the first show of the season, Beau Jest.  Rehearsals start August 15, and the show opens Sept. 16.  The following synopsis is from the website about the author, James Sherman.

BEAU JEST is the hilarious, heartwarming story about Sarah Goldman, a beautiful young school teacher from Chicago who is involved with Chris, a great guy with just one apparent flaw, he's not Jewish. Sarah tells her parents that she is no longer seeing Chris, but continues to date him in secret.
To keep her mother from trying to fix her up with "nice Jewish boys," Sarah invents the perfect boyfriend and regales her parents with stories of the man of her mother’s dreams. Eventually they insist on meeting the man, and in desperation, Sarah hires Bob, an actor, to play the part of her new beau. Unaware of the scope of the role he has taken on, Bob accompanies Sarah to dinner with her parents and her brother Joel. He quickly realizes that what he has gotten himself into is much more than he bargained for. It will take all of his charm, wit and improvisational skills to pull off the charade. But Bob rises to the occasion, and the antics that follow is only the beginning of a side-splitting tale that will have you rolling in the aisles, and wiping tears from your eyes at the same time

I've been cast in the role of Miriam, the Jewish mother.  Yes, it's true, I just finished playing a Jewish mother in Bye Bye Birdie, but hopefully, even though Beau Jest is a comedy, Miriam has a little more depth.  The first three chapters of my thesis document need to be completed before rehearsals begin in August.  Basically, the first three chapters cover what I think the main challenges will be in performing this role and how I plan to address them, any historical research I deem necessary for the role, a structural analysis of the play, and character background and research.  Since Miriam is a practicing Jew, and partakes in a Passover Seder onstage during the play, and speaks in Yiddish to her husband several times, I've decided that part of my historical/character research needs to be learning about Judaism and learning Yiddish pronounciations.  I went to the library today and got several books to get me started.

In other news, I received approval from the faculty to mount a production of a one-act play that I'm writing about two women in the late 1800's who walk across America to try to win a $10,000 wager.  It's based on a true story, which I stumbled across accidentally and found fascinating.  Another girl in my cohort, Whitney, is going to direct.  It's a two woman and one man show, and we'll start rehearsals mid-November and mount the show in early December.  I'm pretty excited about it, but I  have a lot of rewriting to do over the summer

We're trying to firm up some travel plans for the summer.  It looks like the kids and I will be heading to Pittsburgh from June 18 - 30.  The kids will go to Kidz Kamp at St. Philip's for the first week, and Don will fly up and join us for the second week.  After that, we plan to drive to Norwood for the golf tournament.  Then, somehow, we'll get Don back here and I'll drive the kids to Westford for a couple of weeks.  Hope my laptop holds up, because I have lots of writing to do during this journey! Maybe on the way back here we can hit eastern PA and DC.

So I'm doing a lot of work this summer, but not earning any money.  So if anyone knows of any short term theater work in Pittsburgh at the end of June, or Norwood in the beginning of July, or Westford in the middle of July, please let me know!

Monday, May 02, 2011


First weekend of Birdie went well, and juries went well today.  I looked good in my "new" $5.00 Salvation Army dress, and felt good about my monologues.  Got some good  positive reinforcement, and some good constructive criticism. Anxiously awaiting callback lists now for thesis roles, and my exit interview tomorrow afternoon.  I hear things were eventful elsewhere in the world this weekend too!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Here I am

Bye Bye Birdie opens tonight! I've completed all my classwork, and am preparing for juries next week.  Auditions for thesis shows and exit interviews are also next week, and the second weekend of Birdie.  After that, all I have on my plate is the production of Romeo and Juliet we're doing at the end of May.  I'm playing Lady Capulet.  If Don and the kids can hang on one more week, life should settle down a bit.  Granny leaves tomorrow, which will be very sad.  It's been great having her here. We're considering our summer travel plans and trying to work out getting everywhere we want to go as cost effectively as possible.  As of now, I have no summer work lined up, which means no summer income.  I keep praying some commercial work will come through, but nothing so far. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Sheesh! Okay!
It was tech for Birdie this past weekend. It's finals week.  I'm writing a play and trying to finish a rough draft before the May first deadline for fall lab proposals.  We have juries coming up, auditions for thesis roles, and I'm beginning rehearsals for a production of Romeo and Juliet in two weeks.  I've recently had two auditions for movie roles, but haven't heard about either of them.  Granny is here for two weeks, Scooby got his green belt...it's been a little busy!!!

EDIT: Tonight's extra bonus...dead van!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Bullet Points

Good news: Don has accepted a job offer with HP starting April 18th.  It's in the same location, doing the same job, but it's a "full-time" vs. a "contractor" position, and there's a small bump in pay.  Cinderella has starting cheerleading/pom-pom classes on Friday evenings.  She's over the moon. Scooby has his Tae Kwo Do green belt test this afternoon, and my rehearsal starts late enough that I'll be able to stay for the whole thing. He also really enjoyed his Chesapeake Bay Foundation field trip (3 days/2 nights in a tent with other middle school boys) and they only got rained on once.

Bad news: Scooby forgot his toothbrush during the trip.  Ew.  He also has a plantar's wart that we've been working on getting rid of for about three weeks now.  He also has a rodent infestation in his school.  Double Ew. Cinderella has what we believe to be ringworm on her chest.  Which, in case you don't know, is NOT a worm, but a fungus.  However, the definitive test results won't be in for 28 days.  It can take up to two months to go away, and is contagious in the meantime.  Triple Ew.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


"An SAFD Actor Combatant is a member in good standing who has demonstrated a high degree of skills proficiency in the art of staged combat. Actor Combatants have undergone intensive training in the compulsory techniques required for unarmed, rapier & dagger and broadsword, spending over thirty hours learning to safely perform choreography in each of these three “fight” disciplines, as well as additional classes in other weapon styles."

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is me.  Tested and passed Skills Proficiency Tests in Broadsword, Quarterstaff, Rapier and Dagger, and (last year) Unarmed.  This weekend I took classes in Fight Choreography for Film, Scrappy Unarmed Fighting, Bond vs. Bourne Unarmed, Acting Combat Verbs, saw a screening of "Solomon Kane" and had a Q and A with Richard Ryan, the fight director (also fight director of Troy and Sherlock Holmes) had classes in Knife Fighting and Combat Dance (the Cell Block Tango).  I have bruises in places I didn't know existed, and am really, really glad it's done.  I'm so proud of myself! These were not easy tests to pass, and I've worked very, very hard to achieve this status.  Not that it will really do me any practical good, but still.  It's a pretty cool accomplishment.


Friday, March 25, 2011


Testing today for Skills Proficiency Tests in Rapier and Dagger, Broadsword and Quarterstaff!
Calling on my inner Xena to get me through the day!
(and hoping that leaving for 1/2 an hour to go pick up the kids doesn't jinx my mojo)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Another day

6:15 - 8:15 Get kids ready for school
8:15 - 9:00 Homework
9:00 - 9:30 Get me ready for school
9:45 - 10:30 Rehearse scene
10:30 - 12:00 Class
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch Break!
1:00 - 3:00 Class
3:00 - 4:30 Help kids with homework
4:30 - 5:00 Drive Scooby to meeting
5:00 - 5:30 Drive back to school
5:30 - 7:30 Rehearse fight scenes
7:30 - 10:30 Rehearse Bye Bye Birdie

This is not so much for your edification as it is for my own organization!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I wonder why I'm so tired

Today's agenda: Class from 10:30 - 12:00
Work from 12:00 - 3:00
3:00 - 4:00 Pick up kids at various schools and drive to counseling appt.  Do homework in the car.
4:00 - 5:00 Counseling appt.
5:00 - 5:30 Drive to baseball. Eat in the car.  Change clothes in the car.
5:30 Meet Don and drop off Tarzan and Cinderella at baseball.  Drive Scooby to Tae Kwon Do.
6:00 Drop off Scooby at Tae Kwon Do and drive to school
6:00 - 7:00 Rapier and Dagger practice for fight testing on Friday
7:00 - 7:30 Pick up Scooby and drive him home.
8:00 - 10:00 Drive back to school and rehearse  Bye Bye Birdie
10:00 - 12:00 Homework

Don't you wish you were me?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Update

Made it back from the audition in one piece.  Even got some lines memorized on the trip.  Long way to drive to smile and hold up a Pennzoil container, though. 
Auditioned for the May production of Romeo and Juliet today (same director and group of students that did MacBeth last summer)  I'm hoping for the Nurse - it would be a fun challenge!
Here are a couple of recent pictures.

Science Fair

Little man

Explaining his experiment

Three monkeys in a tree


More pretty!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tomorrow's agenda

Tomorrow I'm going to Wilmington, NC for a commercial audition for Penzoil.  It's far away.  I'm carpooling with two other people and splitting gas money.  I hope I don't get carsick.  I don't know what to wear.  I don't know if this was a good idea.  But, how often do I get to do this kind of thing??

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Gorgeous 70 degrees and sunny today -
The trees are all in bloom and daffodils are everywhere.  Happy sigh.
Yesterday Scooby and I spent the entire day at the Tidewater Science Fair, where around 300 students from 6th through 12th grade were displaying their projects at Old Dominion University.  At the end of the day, over $3,000 in cash prizes as well as medallions and certificates were given away.  Scooby didn't win anything, and was pretty disappointed.  But, he got a T-shirt from the event, and he thought the college cafeteria was pretty cool.  I hope he had a good time, considering the amount of work we put into it.  He did get an A on the final project though, and his teacher asked if she could use his final report as an example for future classes.
Tarzan spent the afternoon at the District Pinewood Derby, where he came in 12th.  He won three out of four heats, so I guess the final results were based on the actual times rather than winning statistics.
Cinderella need some special event of her own - working on that for her.  She's been good about being dragged around to the boys' stuff.
Counseling is going pretty well, I guess.  We continue to struggle with some control issues, but we haven't had the crazy intense meltdowns for awhile.  Still not sure we're making any progress on finding the root of the issues, but she seems to think the change in behavior will lead to new habits, so let's hope that's true.
Trying to catch up on some homework today, but the weather is making it hard! We went for a family scavenger hunt/walk a little bit ago, so that helped, but Scooby and I are still finding it hard to concentrate!
Hope everyone out there is enjoying a taste of Spring!

Friday, March 04, 2011

So things are toddling along over here - coming to the end of my "spring break" which has gone by remarkably fast and been a fairly decent mixture of rest and accomplishment.  I read two books for pleasure (a mindless murder mystery and a collection of Stephen King novellas), read two plays, bought another book of plays that I hope to get to today, finished our taxes, caught up on six episodes of Parenthood, went back to bed three days this week, rehearsed scenes and fights for two different classes, and did all the usual kiddo homework/TaeKwonDo/cub scout related activity.  Tonight I'm going to a birthday party for two friends from school.  Although there were *many* more things on the list that I wanted to accomplish this week, I'm reasonable satisfied.

I'm getting used to the shows for next season too.  I actually think it looks like a pretty fun season, my own personal feelings about Joseph and the Amazing blah blah blah aside.  It will be a fun show, and lots of people will come to see it.  And, I probably won't be in it.  I think it's actually good that there isn't a thesis show that I'm DYING to do, because I'd be really disappointed if there were a role that I was in love with and didn't get it.  This way, I'll be ready to jump in and tackle whatever I get, and bring a fresh eye to it that might not be there if I already knew and loved the show.

Scooby and I had our third counseling session this week.  We actually had a really good week, with no meltdowns and only a couple of close calls.  He said he feels like he has a better idea when he's about to get upset, and was able to stop himself before it happened.  I think it was just a light homework week, and he was feeling less stressed.  I can't imagine that with only two counseling sessions, one of which was spent on ADD testing for half the time, that we've already turned a corner.  The testing came back fine, and he'll do another round of it next week.  He's normal on attention issues so far, which is what I expected.  The test also showed he responds better to visual than auditory clues, which is also not surprising.

One of the things I meant to do this week was run more consistently, but the going back to bed kind of put the kibosh on that.  I only made it out once this week.  But my intentions are good! Hoping that warmer weather will stir me to better committment.

Next week will take me into full-swing rehearsals for Bye Bye Birdie, and the rounding up of my second year.  Time to start thinking about what comes next...gathering info about job hunting, putting together a CV, all that fun stuff.  I like this school cocoon, and I'm not ready to leave it yet!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Next Year's Season

So, next year's shows at Regent are....

Beau Jest (a Jewish romantic comedy...much like Last Night of Ballyhoo, which was this year's Jewish romantic comedy)

The Three Musketeers (swashbuckling ho!)

As It Is In Heaven (a rebel Shaker shakes up the Shaker community)

Tartuffe (Moliere - tights and facepaint.  Religious hypocrisy.  Fun for the whole family)

Doubt (now, this one's cool.  But too late in the season to be a thesis show.  Boo.)

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  If you've never seen it, check out the youtube version for Donnie Osmond in a long wig, a diaper, and no shirt.  Put down the snack food first.

Yeah, sorry about that.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I need alone time

So.  Two Mondays ago Tarzan had a fever and stayed home from school - meaning he came to school with me.  Last Thursday was a snow day and all the kids came to school with me.  Friday, Scooby got the crud and came to school with me.  He was sick all weekend and I sent him to school Monday hacking up a lung.  I'm sure the teachers love me.  Yesterday and today, I've got Cinderella with me.  And, I don't feel so hot. 

Also on Monday, we found out Scooby got into the Tidewater Science Fair.  Pretty big deal, all day event, cash prizes available.  Yay! Oyster land not over yet.

Also on Monday, Scooby had his first counseling session.  Not really sure what is supposed to happen, but I guess it went okay.  She was circling around ADHD - I guess they hear that a lot - but I think I convinced her that's not what's going on.  We left with homework strategies that we've tried a billion times before, and an appointment for next week.

Yesterday, Tarzan, Scooby and Don went to the Planetarium with cubscouts.  Cinderella and I stayed home.

That's about it.  School, fevers, stuff.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

"The Runner Stumbles" reminds me why I love theater

This weekend and next weekend I am running lights for Regent's production of The Runner Stumbles, by Milan Stitt.  It's not a glamorous job.  I'm dressed in black, sitting in a dusty booth, hidden behind a giant light board, pressing a "go" button for two and a half hours.  Tech jobs are kind of a drag.  (but this is my last required one! Yay!) I actually chose running lights because I anticipated that this production would be good, and I wanted a crew position where I'd be able to watch the show (as opposed to running costumes or props, which I've done for the past three crew positions I've had.) Unfortunately, with the way the booth is situated, I can only watch the show if I run lights standing up.  Which I've done several times, because yes, the show is good.  Very, very good.

First of all, the play itself is pretty amazing.  It's about a priest and a nun...and yes, there've been jokes.  My favorite? A priest and a nun have dinner together.  Afterwards, the priest asks the nun if he can give her a kiss goodnight.  She thinks for  a moment, then says, "I suppose so.  As long as you don't get into the habit."

Buh-dum chick.

Anyway.  It's about a priest and a nun, and the tension that ensues as they wrestle with the love they have for God and the developing feelings between the two of them.  There's fire, violence, scandal, and in the end...murder.  And yet, there's hope.  Redemption. A sense that God is in our midst, only waiting for us to pivot towards Him so that He can receive us with open arms.  The play is well-written, funny, clever, and throbbing with pain and grief. 

Secondly, the director, one of my professors (who also directed The Elephant Man) is a meticulous, detail-oriented master of storytelling.  There is not a nuance of the script that's left unexplored.  Characters are drawn in precise detail, and the choices he's made at the end of each act with the lights, sound, staging, music, tell a clear and compelling story of despair and redemption, respectively. And the design work is delicious.  From the smallest detail of the crosses built into the furniture, to the sepia painting of  Christ on the cross subtly woven into the floorboards, to the ghostly draping of the material across the backdrop...yummy.

And then, there's the acting.  This is a demanding play.  The characters explore extreme heights and depths of emotion.  The actors are required to be intelligent, witty, impulse-driven, and extremely emotionally vulnerable.  And, for the most part, they succeed brilliantly.  There are many LOVELY performances, but if I had to single some out, I'd choose the performances of Father Rivard, Sister Rita and Mrs. Shandig.  The actor playing Rivard has the daunting task of moving through time...from the present time when he's on trial for the murder of Sister Rita and the past, where he's reliving his relationship with her from the moment of first meeting, through the crisis of faith, until the climactic night of the fire in the village when he's forced to make a life-changing decision. The actor handles all these changes with ease, charm, and grace.  Charm and grace are kind of trademarks of his, so that's not terrifically surprising.  However, he has also discovered within himself a complexity of emotion which I've never seen from him in any previous roles.  The actress playing Mrs. Shandig, the priest's Polish housekeeper, manages to bring many moments of much-needed humor into the story, but maintains a groundedness and total believability in her role which enables the unexpected revelation her character brings (no spoilers!) at the end to happen in a shockingly organic fashion.  This is the role that I would have loved to play, but she does it magnificently.  Finally, there's the first-year MFA playing Sister Rita.  This girl is one to watch.  Every moment she's onstage, she's alive and responsive.  Each gesture, each facial expression, each reaction and every word out of her mouth seem to spring to life right at that moment.  It's a beautiful, captivating performance and I can't wait to be in a show with her to get the chance to work off of her.

Now, is it a perfect show? No, of course not.  It's still a student performance.  There are occasionally misspoken lines, late cues, a moment of text which hasn't been fully explored.  This is to  be expected.  Not accepted, these things must continue to be worked on, but it is, as all live theater is, a  work in progress.  There are actors who make choices I don't agree with, things I would have directed differently.  Even lines in the script I would have written differently. 

But this show, this show is  lovely. It's a privilege to be a part of it, even in my small unglamorous way.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

And the beat goes on...

I've been doing a lot of reading, and some researching of counseling options.  I appreciate all the feedback from everyone, and I hope you'll feel free to keep giving input - it really helps me clarify my thinking.  I don't necessarily feel any need to hang a label on Scooby, because I don't think they're particularly helpful.  What was helpful, however, is recognizing that kids who behave in ways similar to this sometimes need help coping with things.  That it's not necessarily bad parenting on our part, but that there are certainly areas we need to work on in our parenting skills.  That getting him help has moved up a number of notches on the to do list.

In the meantime...

The pinewood derby for CubScouts was last night, and once again I wasn't able to go because of school stuff.  Scooby got 2nd place for the Sibling category and Tarzan took 3rd place for his Den! Apparently there was a judge error and he thinks he actually should have placed higher, but still I think they were pleased overall.  Thanks Grandpa! next year, Cinderella wants to make a car too and have it shaped like a heart, "not just a plain old car."

I currently in a tech rehearsal for a show called The Runner Stumbles.  I'm running lights (for the first time in many many years) and it's my last required Crew Practicum.  After this, I only have to be at tech for shows if I'm in them.  Classes are going  well.  I'm  learning  IPA (Phoenetic spelling) in Vocal production, working on emotional preparation in Meisner 2, and doing sit-com scenes in Screen Acting.  This week I worked on this scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMuhSKP9Hco
I didn't really want to spend a bunch of money on a turkey, but I ended up getting a large whole chicken.  There was just no way to properly do justice to the scene without real raw meat.  And yes, I brought lots of hand sanitizer and clorox wipes for the floor and lined the counter and oven with aluminum foil.  It was suprisingly disgusting to throw around a raw chicken, but the scene turned out really well and there was lots of laughter!

We're working on the (final?)  phase of the Oyster project.  He got A pluses on the Results and Conclusions portions though! He's applying for the Tidewater Science Fair (although he "forgot" to turn the paperwork in yesterday, which was the deadline.  He emailed his teacher and got special permission to bring it in on Monday.  Grrrr.) It's a big deal if he gets accepted - it takes place on Old Dominion college campus and there are cash prizes available.

Anyone else ready for Spring?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Oyster Update and other stuff

The title indicates my intention to post some of Scooby's oyster project stuff on here, but the formatting got all wonky and after trying to fix it for about an hour I gave up.  Plus, I just discovered there are two more large components to this project and one more medium sized one, and I got quite discouraged.  I thought we were done.  But there's still a "Final" (which is mostly a compliation of all the steps done so far, plus the inclusion of a weekly journal.  Which I knew nothing about, and doesn't exist.  Sigh) and a presentation board with oral report.  And before those, an abstract.  Really, this project is GREAT but holy moley is it huge. 

Facebook followers may have noticed a recent posting that said I was researching Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Gifted Children.  Does this sound familiar to anyone? If it doesn't, you haven't spent much time around Scooby lately.

"Children who have ODD are often disobedient. They are easily angered and may seem to be angry much of the time. Very young children with the disorder will throw temper tantrums that last for 30 minutes or longer, over seemingly trivial matters. In addition, the child with ODD often starts arguments and will not give up. Winning the argument seems to be very important to a child with this disorder. Even if the youth knows that he or she will lose a privilege or otherwise be punished for continuing the tantrum or argument, he or she is unable to stop. Attempting to reason with such a child often backfires because the child perceives rational discussion as a continuation of the argument. Most children with ODD, however, do not perceive themselves as being argumentative or difficult. It is usual for such children to blame all their problems on others. Such children can also be perfectionists and have a strong sense of justice regarding violations of what they consider correct behavior. They are impatient and intolerant of others. They are more likely to argue verbally with other children than to get into physical fights. Older children or adolescents with ODD may try to provoke others by being deliberately annoying or critical. For example, a teenager may criticize an adult's way or speaking or dressing. This oppositional behavior is usually directed at an authority figure such as a parent, coach, or teacher."

Several articles I read said that gifted children are often "mis-diagnosed" with ODD or other conditions such as ADD, ADHD, Bi-polar disorder, and depression.  The earmarks of their "gifted-ness" are often confused with the symptoms of these other disorders.

ODD also is kind of a catch-all diagnosis for behavior that doesn't quite fit any other classification.  It also has very little recommended "treatment" or suggestions, other than certain behavioral "therapy" which I'm still looking into.

We had a couple of episodes this week that were completely horrible. At school, he's fine.  But at home a tiny little event seems to set him off and it spirals into something truly unrecognizable.  I don't feel like going into details about it now, but it was enough to prompt a search for help.

In other news, I had a conference with Cinderella's teacher because her grades, particularly in writing and "Work Habits" have dropped dramatically this quarter.  Her teacher says she's rocking in her chair, and that is preventing her from getting her work done.  No idea WHY she's rocking in her chair, and she doesn't do it at home.  At home, she's the most focused one during homework time, and has no trouble with the material.  Her teacher has given her permission to stand up, move around, lie on the floor, whatever it takes for her to get her work done.  I've discussed it with Cinderella, but she can't give me any reasons for it and just says she'll try to sit still.  We'll see what happens.

Tarzan seems fine. I'm sure his turn is coming.