Sunday, January 24, 2010


I am quite excited, perhaps more so than circumstances warrant. I just edited my very first Wikipedia entry ever! It's the entry for Cindy Oh Cindy, a 1956 hit by Eddie Fisher and later apparently sung by the Beach Boys, though I don't know anything about that.

My guess is that a Beach Boys aficionado originally wrote the entry and just pulled in a link to the Robert Barron entry that already existed on Wikipedia. There is a Robert Barron who was an actor, and there is a web page out there that claims him as the author of "Cindy Oh Cindy." However, I think it's a mix-up. Robert Nemiroff, aka Lorraine Hansberry's husband, co-wrote the song with a friend. It's pretty much documented in Philip Rose's memoir.

I got intrigued because I learned that when Nemiroff wrote a hit pop song that made him rich, Hansberry was able to stop working and concentrate on writing. "Cindy Oh Cindy" was written in 1956, 3 years before "A Raisin in the Sun" debuted on Broadway.

We wouldn't have "A Raisin in the Sun" if not for "Cindy Oh Cindy."

AS and Wii

My son tends to get frustrated with computer games. He has gotten angry and frustrated with Webkinz games, but now it's gotten even worse with the Wii. Sometimes he makes Miis using instructions from the Internet, and this can take a while and it's very calm. But when he's playing several kinds of games (the Wii Carnival games are his bete noire now), he gets increasingly frustrated. It's even worse when he's playing with his (older) sister and loses. So, for the second time in about 2 weeks, I just unplugged the Wii and took it away. He's in his room getting some control over himself.

He's been having a lot of trouble all week. In school, he's had trouble with two auxiliary teachers (phys ed and library). He normally thrives in library, but this week he crawled under a table and was making the other kids laugh and couldn't stop what he was doing when rebuked. I'm not sure what's going on in phys ed, but he has had negative comments on his report card before (doesn't listen, doesn't take turns). The thing I hate about AS is that I don't have a frickin' clue what to do. I sense that there is some sort of sensory overload issue happening both in phys ed and with the Wii. At the library, I am clueless. His teacher said he seemed to be getting something positive out of making the other kids laugh, and he couldn't extricate himself from that loop.

On Wednesday evening, my husband and I went to a panel discussion sponsored by AANE. The panel featured a neuro/behavioral pediatrician, an educational lawyer/special ed advocate, a social worker with the Groden Center, and a school psychologist. It was all very interesting, but I find myself just needing to know What To Do. I don't have enough of a toolbox. I feel the way I did when E was diagnoses with asthma. It took over a year for us to be able to manage his asthma effectively.

I think this week's problems may be related to one or more of these factors:
1. He's not getting enough sleep. We are having a lot of trouble getting these kids to bed early. This is partially due to our own hours. We don't eat dinner till 6 or 7, and then the kids want some play time after dinner.
2. He's eating poorly at school and at home. He has been eating hot lunch at school, but on days he doesn't have hot lunch, he insists on eating Lunchables. He won't eat anything else, and I'm about 70% sure he doesn't eat the actual meat and cheese in the Lunchable, only the jello and cookie. We have always had a lot of trouble with managing the kids' food intake. Furthermore, it is nearly impossible to get E to ask for some specific food. He says "I'm hungry" and will never ask for a specific food. It drives us insane, but it seems to be part of some sort of communication issue. He is indirect about just about everything.
3. The Wii. Sensory overload can lead to all sorts of emotional imbalances.

We've been seeing Dr. Lovecky, but I think I need to be more forthcoming or direct about what I feel like we need. I need him to be able to ask for what he wants, directly. I need for him to be able to eat yogurt at school (he refuses; he will eat yogurt at home, but not at school). I need for him to be able to control his frustration when he's playing Wii. I need for him to be able to do his evening bedtime routine without too much prompting. I need him to not let his sister provoke him into getting mad.

And I'd like to be able to walk into the school, run into his teacher, and not have to hear about the latest problems. :(

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Juggle

I've been on the run almost constantly since the holiday vacation, and I don't really see it easing up very much.

The work situation is somewhat stable/predictable. I had a tough week this week because I had grading to return to students, plus I had conferences with about 8 students. I basically am at work from 9:20 to 2:40 4 days a week (20 hours), and 12 of those hours are in class.

Normally I can get a bit of work done at home, but there is where things got complicated.

First, I agreed to write two encyclopedia entries. Normally, when one signs up for such assignments, one has several months before the deadline. Much to my surprise, the deadline was in December. I missed it and got an extension till January 15. I missed that deadline by a few days, too.

Second, because my schedule is more flexible, I tend to be in charge of ferrying the children about. Tuesday at 5:30: My daughter goes to dance class. Wednesday at 3:30: my son has a psychologist appointment. Thursday at 4:30: Cub Scouts. And now I've added in Lego Club on Fridays at 3 pm.

Third, I mistakenly got it into my head to start reading The Girl Who Played With Fire, by Steig Larsson. I had been waiting for it on hold at the libary, but I suddenly was overcome with the overwhelming desire to read it immediately, so I downloaded it to my Touch via the Kindle app. I had several late nights staying up reading, but I'm done now and have decided to give myself the early birthday present of the UK edition of the third and final book in the series, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.

And then there are the one-time things this week: finding a costume for my daughter's dance solo (performance next Friday night); the elementary school art show; an AANE panel on Wednesday night (very interesting); a Cub Scout cake auction for which I baked and decorated a cake as a baseball field (my idea--and probably the one truly fun thing I did all week).

Now my body aches all over, but I have to think ahead for next week and make sure next week's juggle doesn't end with me tripping over a bunch of balls I've dropped.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Name change to "Inside Providence"?

Gah. I don't want to move to Rhode Island. Please don't make me move to Rhode Island.

Vote Coakley.