Today was our fourth "pair event" with the iMentor program at James Lick High School in San Jose. Every time we have one of these events, I grow a little bit. I get exposed to different things, things outside my usual sphere of existence, and things slightly outside my comfort zone.
Tonight, we mentors got to see our mentees' unofficial transcripts. I'm not sure I've seen such dismal report cards or such low GPAs. I've heard of them, but this was for real. It wasn't just my mentee's stats, but many of the other mentors were sharing a very similar story. Mostly, the male mentors, who have male mentees, were reporting what I was seeing with my own charge.
And today, the goal in mind shifted tectonically. No longer does the medium term goal include getting this high school junior into college. It has urgently moved to that of the first goal he listed when we first met back in November: to graduate high school. A school counselor tonight explained to us mentors how to read the transcripts and provided ideas on how to help the students get to graduation. The GPA along doesn't seem to matter too much toward the goal of getting a diploma. What really matters is how many credits they have earned. Failing grades in classes earn no credits.
Since there is another half of the second semester left of his junior year of high school, there is still time. If he were to pass all his classes next year, he could graduate. However, given his history, that's a tall order, and that's cutting it way too close. I see summer school. I see seven periods next year. I also see no sports, which should be the rule since the counselor, as a response to my question, stated that the student may have no F's and at least a 2.0 GPA to be involved with sports. That's a good thing for him, though he won't see it that way.
It's time to get serious. Clock's a-ticking and we have work to do.
Not sure if I mentioned it wide and far enough, but for 2017, I met my running goal. The goal, same as for the prior year, was 400 miles, and this year, I came in at about 403. Last year, I hit well over 500.
Works for me, I hit my goal! Happy new year, everyone!
Earlier this summer, soon after returning from our two week RV adventure to Yellowstone and the Tetons, we planned to take Harold to the Beach Boardwalk to celebrate his birthday. But the RV broke down, we got stranded, and we had to promise him another time.
This weekend, we finally made good on that. Saturday morning was clear and cool, with a promise of a warmer day, even coast-side. We arrived at the Boardwalk to claim our wristbands, only be to pleasantly surprised not once, but twice: It was bring-a-friend-for-free day, and we also were just in time for the annual chili cookoff. Nice, there's our lunch!
Overall, we had very much a satisfying day, riding rides, spending lots of times at the shoot-em-up Terminator game, eating and rating lots of chili, and even kicking up some sand on the beach. By the time we left at about 6:30pm, it was already getting dark and we were all pooped.
It's a good thing we got to bed early on Saturday, because Sunday was another busy day. I went for a run at Almaden Quicksilver County Park with a few people from work, a trail run, a five miler. When I got home, Rita and Harold took off to do errands while Penny and I stayed back and finished installing Halloween decorations. Ol' Skelly Bones finally got himself a home, swinging from a high branch of a redwood tree out front. Harold got home, and got a little spooked when I animated Ol' Skelly as he exited the car. Harold likes being scared, but he does get scared.
In the afternoon, we cleaned up to head up to Concord to celebrate Aunt Jean's 99th birthday. Though she's slowed down, has lost some hearing and still battling some dementia, she is in generally good health. And from the looks of it at the all-you-can-eat Country Buffet restaurant, she hasn't really lost her appetite. Lots of family were there from Cousin Betty's (Grandpa Rex's) side of the family.
And I didn't even mention Friday night at the Grand National Rodeo at the Cow Palace. Another busy weekend.
Last weekend, I hit the two hundred mile (322 km) mark for my running for the year. That's pretty good. Last year, I did 212 for the entire year. If I'm doing my math correctly, I'm on track for 500 miles for the year.
Nice side benefit is that I've lost 15 to 20 pounds (6.8 to 9 kg). And people notice, too. I'll take it!
Walking up to the front door about twenty minutes ago, I see what looks like a cat walking past the door outside. As I start to open the door to scare it away, I realize it has a ringed tail. Raccoon!
The sound of the door opening spooked it enough so that it ran to the nearest tree and climbed up a few feet before stopping to stare back at me. Pretty masked face looking back at me.
I won the staring contest and it climbed up the redwood, disappearing into the dark branches. Then I see another shadow skirt by toward the same tree. Two coons!
I went inside and grabbed a flashlight and looked all around up in the tree. Finally I saw bright, round yellow eyes looking back down at me. Moving to a better vantage point, I saw both of the pairs of eyes, then the bodies. Went in again to get Penny out of bed; she wasn't asleep yet. We go back out, spot them, and she finally sees them. But there's not just two, there are three of them up in the tree. Wow, what a find! That's pretty cool, having raccoons out front.
Got me thinking later, though, that they might be coming around here because they are running low on water and/or food further out in the wilds. There has been some chatter in our neighborhood Nextdoor circles that coyotes have been spotted nearby. And there have been cats found dismembered after being out after dark.
If the reason we're getting such wildlife so far into the suburbs is because of the drought, then that's just sad. I really hope we all make it through, the human families as well as all the families of critters out there that depend on the rains, all the same.
Photo courtesy Flickr user Nico via CC BY-NC-SA 2.0