Archive for November, 2010

You never forget your first…

…parent teacher conference.

I thought that I would lighten up the mood a little by leading with an amusing anecdote.  I explained to the sixth grader’s parents how their son would arrive early to my classroom each day and spend the ten minutes or so prior to the start of my math class socializing with me or whoever happened to walk through the door.  The instant the five minute warning bell rang the student would abruptly end any conversation he was having and hightail it to his desk and wait silently for class to begin four minutes and forty-five seconds later.

The moment I finished my story I expected to see smiles plastered on the faces of the couple seated across from me at the table but instead I was greeted with the most stern and dour looks I had ever seen.  For the remainder of our meeting I was able to transition to an all-business mode and I finished my first ever parent teacher conference on a more positive tip compared to how it started.

Throughout my eight years of biannual conferences, I think that I’ve almost seen it all.  Students crying because of their low grades in my math class, a parent crying because of the conference she had before mine, an enraged father who had just discovered that his son had forged his signature on a test, a mom who set me up on a date with her coworker, and the absolutely nicest Japanese couple in the world who didn’t understand a word of English but kept saying thank you after everything I said.

With the lone exception of that very first one, I can honestly say that I enjoyed every parent teacher conference that I conducted over the years.  I liked getting to know some of the parents year after year and I am still friends with some of them to this day.  I think the most interesting part for me was getting to see the personality of the children on display in the parental unit(s) for the brief fifteen minute duration of our meeting.  My teacher colleagues are going to say that I am crazy but I kind of miss conferences.

This past Saturday morning,  Fehmeen and I attended our first conference as parents.  Being on the other side of the table was even more interesting to me than I ever could have imagined.  Hearing about what your kid does and how she interacts with her peers and teachers was equally unnerving and insightful.  It was nerve-wracking because she is my little girl and in my eyes she is perfection personified and it was eye-opening for exactly the same reasons.

We were told that Emma needs to be in everybody’s business — courtesy of her mother and her nani — and that she has issues with cleaning up what she was working on before moving on to the next activity — a trait she no doubt inherited from yours truly.  We were assured that she is doing well considering her age and that this is her first experience with a non-adult peer group.

Fehmeen and I left the meeting happy and proud of our baby, excited about future conferences that will follow for the next eleven to twelve years, unless they have conferences in high school then we have to add four more years to that total.

But we will always remember our first.


Read Full Post »

Process Check

While we have already received quite a few excellent questions for Emma during the past couple days, I have a feeling that there are many more out there.

I realize that it takes a little time to formulate THE perfect question for our resident child genius and I can completely appreciate the effort.  I just ask you that when you are done you send them on to Emma’s email account at askemmabug@gmail.com  .

To show you my gratitude for your participation in this project, I present to you a picture that was taken last evening as we watched our family’s favorite movie — Beverly Hills Chihuahua — for at least the fiftieth time.  Thanks in advance for your questions for Emma.

Jason, Emma, and Mary

* The phrase “Process Check” used courtesy of Jerry Traynor

Read Full Post »

An Oracle Amongst Us

Legend has it that Babe Ruth called his shot.  He stepped out of the batters box, pointed to an area beyond the centerfield wall and promptly hit the ball over the wall right into the pages of baseball history and lore.

Fast forward to the 21st century and you would be hard-pressed to produce written documentation by any professional pre-season prognosticator who predicted that the San Francisco Giants would win the 2010 World Series.

However, that is not necessarily true here at The Adventures of ALS Boy blog.  In my April 5, 2010 post, I said that the team would make the playoffs and lose in the first round.  Two days later my friend and longtime reader Suzanne commented that the Giants would win it all.

Check it out here for yourself.

Wow!  Awesome called shot, Suzanne!

What an excellent day for a parade.

Read Full Post »

Goal Orientated

My goal as a kid growing up was to earn all A’s on my report cards so I could get into a good college.  Well, a 55 to 1 A/A- to B+ ratio at Parkside Junior High and a 4.13 AP-class adjusted GPA at Capuchino High School pretty much meant mission accomplished in that regard as I attended UCD in the Fall of 1987.  (College GPA withheld by the author for reasons of embarrassment and shame).

At the age of 25, my goals shifted towards my cardiovascular health as I attempted to kick a ten year cigarette smoking habit by going on the nicotine patch.  My lungs and I are happy to report that no tobacco has entered this body since April 15, 1994.

After quitting smoking, my body staged a rebellion of sorts by blowing up to the tune of 200 pounds.  My new goal became losing 35 el bees by walking every day and eating more sensibly.  Yo Adrian, I did it.

Then I wanted to become a middle school math teacher.  The only way I knew how to accomplish this particular goal was to put in the time to up my game.  I think it worked for the eight years I spent in Room 36 at La Entrada.

Then came the diagnosis of a terminal illness in February 2008.  When I was informed that most people with ALS survive between two to four years, I was forced to reevaluate my goals.  The Bucket List concept is good in theory but doesn’t make a lot of practical sense when my abilities to speak and move disintegrates on a monthly basis.

These days I focus on living to see April First each year in order to celebrate our shared birthday with my daughter Emma.  Then every October I make it my life’s goal to attend the annual Father Daughter Dance with Emma and Fehmeen (with music provided by my dad and the world famous Bay Area Band).

I have yet to miss either occasion and I don’t plan on starting any time in the near future.  Besides, I have a hundred more entries to write if I want to get to post #400 on this blog.

Read Full Post »


Whenever someone asks Emma the reason why she is so cute her response is the same every time:  Genetics. How awesome — and completely accurate — is that?

I know, I know, Fehmeen and I may be more than a little bit guilty of coaching her up on that one but who can blame us?  She is pretty darn cute.

So, the other morning I overheard young Emma talking to her Papa (aka the Italian Man Servant) that when Emma gets older she wants to write e-mail.  I immediately thought back to a suggestion my cousin Bryan made several months ago about how I should offer my readers the chance to ask me questions.  It wasn’t long after that when the two ideas merged into one and the topic of this post was born.

And here it is:

Now you, my loyal and esteemed readers, have the opportunity to ask our two-and-a-half year old daughter any question(s) you want.  Fehmeen and I will choose several of them and then we will read them to her and see what the Bug has to say.  I will post the questions and answers on this blog some time early next week for all to enjoy.

Please send your questions to:  askemmabug@gmail.com

Oh yeah, one last thing.  I had my caregiver Lhito call the 800 number listed in the title but sadly, it was no longer in service.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts