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Everything posted by kokotg

  1. IIRC, grouping documents is no longer formally a thing, but it can still be a helpful technique to use when planning/organizing the essays.
  2. I keep it simple with just a letter grade, no pluses or minuses.
  3. I do letter grades. Any outsourced numerical grades I convert to a letter grade and put on my transcript. And I think it's completely fine (and very common for homeschoolers) to give your grades based on completion and/or mastery.
  4. She won't be expected to quote, but it can be helpful to have a few phrases in her head that she can use if needed; think "alright then, I'll go to hell" from Huck Finn or "borne back ceaselessly into the past" from Gatsby--the kinds of lines that are integral to the works as a whole. But in general, she'll need to be able to cite specific details about plot, characters, etc. to support her thesis but not have any passages committed to memory.
  5. We borrowed this (the both parents accompanying groom and then bride) from Jewish weddings, even though only my FIL is Jewish of the four parents, because we liked it better. One nice thing about having a bunch of different religious traditions among close family is that you have a great excuse to mix and match without anyone (well, in our case at least) getting upset.
  6. hmm...I still get most of my stuff in 2 days; when I don't I can usually see that it's a USPS issue and not Amazon. What's the shipping like for non-Prime people these days? I used to manage to survive on free shipping for orders over $25; is that still a thing? I do use the free cloud photo storage...but I think I might have everything backed up about 3 different places at this point. I pay something for apple cloud storage, too.
  7. I have a throwaway generic 70s middle name, and I never use it unless I'm asked for it specifically. I love my kids' middle names, on the other hand, and will give them out at every opportunity 🙂
  8. Didn't change my name, no regrets. The kids' have both of our last names (no hyphen. I just preferred no hyphen aesthetically). In everyday life they usually just use my husband's last name (which is the last of their last names), but they have both on anything official. That was probably the only time it's caused anything approaching trouble...as they got older and started doing drivers licenses, sats, etc. we had to make sure they were consistent about using both names on everything (and both our last names are long, so the last one often gets partially cut off on online forms). I can't imagine marrying anyone who would take advice from Matt Walsh, so what he says on twitter is just a source of entertainment.
  9. I don't think my 18 year old was technically eligible, but he has enough exposure that I definitely wanted him to get boosted (and there are plenty of appointments available around here, so I was confident he wasn't taking a slot away from someone else). He went by himself and I left it up to him what to say if they asked: "you can just say you play a wind instrument in orchestras so you have high exposure and see what happens, or you can lie and say you work at a grocery store." But they didn't ask. I think it's silly that you can be a healthy young adult and in a high exposure setting, but you're eligible only if you're getting paid for it. If you're in the exact same setting for free, you're not (in this case, if he were one of the 2 or 3 years older college students WORKING with his youth symphony, he'd be eligible no problem because it's at a school). So there's my rationalization. But no one asked 🙂
  10. The EFC is mostly going to make a big difference at schools that meet demonstrated need. Merit aid is rarely if ever going to bring the cost of a $70,000/year school down to $20,000, but a school that meets need will close that gap (according to their own formula. They won't just take your FAFSA EFC; they'll take things like home equity into account). You can find a list of schools that meet demonstrated need online and try some of those NPCs. The trick with those, of course, is that they're generally the hardest schools to get into. There are also quite a few schools that come pretty close to meeting need that are generally somewhat less selective. Those are a bit harder to find without just playing around with NPCs; a few that come to mind from my own kid's college search are St. Olaf, Hendrix, Knox, and Lawrence University. I have no idea how the GED plays into it, though, or whether private colleges might have more flexibility to call your kid a freshman and not a transfer?
  11. That would be the reason, but I've done CVS for both booster appointments I've made so far, and they don't ask for a reason (or any confirmation of eligibility). It just says in fairly small print that by making the appointment you're saying you're eligible.
  12. Got my Moderna booster today (after 2 doses of moderna in the spring). Very quick and easy at a CVS inside a Target; I had to drive about 15 minutes to find Moderna--there were several closer places with pfizer. Slightly sore arm so far (I had nothing but a sore arm and some mild fatigue after the second dose). My 18 year old had his pfizer booster the other day; he had a sorer arm than with the first two and felt a little tired the night after, but otherwise all good. I'd have waited to schedule if I'd realized he'd be able to get a moderna that way, but not a big deal. DH already had a third dose awhile ago because he's on an immunosuppressant, so that's all the antibodies we can get around here at the moment. My 20 year old who's in school in Minnesota might go get a booster on his own, or he might wait until he's home for winter break.
  13. Here's a list of every open choice question through 2019: https://mseffie.com/iOpeners/Open_Questions.pdf the "pick a work from every genre" thing sounds like a strategy a teacher might suggest, but you won't ever be asked to write specifically about a play or whatever (there was a bildungsroman question a few years ago, but when you think about it that's really pretty broad, too. Hamlet--still works! And Washington Black would be perfect for that one, of course).
  14. my fasting numbers are always high (at home I get in the high 80s/low 90s usually, but it's generally a little higher when I get blood work done for whatever reason); my NP says not to worry about it because my A1C is fine. (I tended to fail the 1 hour/pass the 3 hour when pregnant, too, and I have a strong family history of diabetes, so I watch it pretty closely).
  15. I joined the AP lit teachers facebook group this year, so I know from that that readers are instructed to grade any text the student chooses the same way....but most people who have been readers also say that good essays rarely come from poorly chosen books. I've actually read all three of the examples you give, and I think any of them would be good choices. The Iliad or the Odyssey are fine, too, and would likely work well. And most any Shakespeare is good, but you really would be hard pressed to find a prompt Hamlet wouldn't work well with. I'd have her go through the free choice question for the past several years and think through how she'd answer each question with the texts she has in mind (and, of course, actually writing the essays for practice would be a good idea, too); that will give her a good idea of if she's choosing works with themes complex and wide-ranging enough. I wouldn't say she needs to have written about the text previously as long as she's very familiar with it (remembers plot/characters/etc well) and has thought it through in terms of what arguments it's making/themes it's grappling with/etc. And thinking about those kinds of things can certainly be part of preparing for the exam. I'm not sure why the exam scores are relatively low (my 10 minutes was more how much time you might have to think through your answer and come up with a thesis before you start writing; I think you actually have 40 minutes total or maybe a bit more for the open choice essay. There's also an essay where they give you a poem to analyze and another about a short prose passage); if I had to guess I'd say that most students haven't encountered a lot of poetry before their actual AP lit class and probably not a lot of serious close reading of literature in general...and those aren't the kinds of skills you can develop easily in a single school year.
  16. Does she have a strong background in literary analysis? My oldest got a 5 on AP lit, and it was the one exam that I felt like I could just teach literature and didn't need to spend a ton of time on official test prep. But my background is in literature (I put in three years towards a PhD before I had kids), so it's the subject I'm the most comfortable teaching by far. It is, objectively, one of the hardest APs (lowest rate of 5s of any exam), and I think it would be tough for a kid without a strong background in literature (including poetry) to self study for it. On the other hand, I think it's probably one of the easier ones for a kid who DOES have that background to prepare for, because it doesn't call for the same kind of specialized skill set that the history exams do (and there's virtually no memorization required beyond basic literary terms). As far as preparation, I'd get access to AP classroom and go through those videos and questions. Beyond a basic comfort level with analysis (and with doing it fast and on the fly--for the most part I like the AP lit exam, but I do think coming up with an interpretation in 10 minutes and selling it is probably not a very transferable skill), she'll need to pick a couple of complex longer texts to be VERY familiar with so she can use one of them on the free response question at the end (they ask a very open ended question and you write an essay based on a work of your choice--they give examples, but you can pick anything with "literary merit.") Hamlet works for the vast majority of questions 🙂 The idea is that you want to have a couple of works in your head that are very rich and will work with a variety of questions. I think my son reviewed Huck Finn and Hamlet but ended up writing about Invisible Man, which he'd read very recently (his question was something about a character who has a specific worldview that's challenged. Huck Finn or Hamlet would also have worked very well in that case).
  17. We have a couple of things we need to pay using money from our HELOC before we do the CSS. It seems so silly how you need to move money around like that, but also silly NOT to, even though it will likely only save us a couple hundred dollars, if that. Anyway, that's my project for this week! I think DS has decided not to apply to Bard. He was dragging his feet about finishing his application, even though most of what he had left was the "why Bard?" supplemental essay. It finally occurred to me that maybe he was having so much trouble with that one because he doesn't actually want to go to Bard and he agreed that this was probably true. They require a 5 year dual degree for conservatory students, and he really just doesn't want a dual degree. So I guess that's that. Which means Vanderbilt is all that's left for applications and that he only has 5 schools total, which makes me a little nervous. (Plus he'll probably apply to the place he's currently doing dual enrollment and where his private clarinet teacher is the clarinet prof...but he'd REALLY rather go somewhere farther away that's not...just like what he's already doing). But the options are just really limited when you factor in places he has a good shot at being accepted, the kind of programs he's looking for, and what we can afford.
  18. My son who's applying to colleges now just took one WTMA class; I used the course description from the website, but not the entire syllabus (I think that would be too much unless someone asks to see it). That was pre-accreditation so I just included it on his homeschool transcript and noted that it was completed through WTMA. My 10th grader is taking two core classes this year, so I'll likely submit whatever documentation I have that he took the classes somewhere accredited and what grades he earned (in addition to including them on his homeschool transcript) (I'd assumed I could request a transcript from WTMA, but maybe the course certificates are how they handle that?)
  19. Yeah, I just looked; there are about 2000 deaths a year worldwide (down from 8000/year in 1990); it's virtually unknown in developed countries with high vaccination rates.
  20. I get REALLY frustrated when people invoke "all those people who couldn't work from home during the pandemic" to support their anti-vax/anti-vax requirement stances...as if the vast majority of those people aren't like, "yes--we took on all this risk last year; now PLEASE take basic steps to protect us now that there's a vaccine." All the "hero" talk rings incredibly hollow when my husband is going to work every day with anti-mask protestors holding rallies and filing lawsuits, and it's impossible to even talk about requiring covid vaccines just like they require a whole bunch of other vaccines.
  21. My teacher husband who worked through the pandemic would like to be thanked by people getting their vaccines so he doesn't bring a breakthrough infection home to his unvaccinated 8 year old or worry when he visits my immunocompromised stepmother with stage 4 cancer. But I guess that's not as important as how a small minority of unvaccinated teachers, nurses, etc. might feel.
  22. Really?! The FDA likes to keep people guessing!
  23. (did you see the link I posted to the myocarditis booster numbers from Israel? I edited to add it, so it wasn't there at first)
  24. I haven't heard that that's up for discussion at the moment....it's only 18 and up right now; I'm hoping there will be more information/guidance by the time my 15 year old (also a wind player. Didn't seem like such a dangerous hobby back when they started!) is 6 months out in a couple of months (Israel is already boosting everyone 12 and over, it appears...so there'll be more and more data at least)
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