The Greenhills adventure so far

I’ve been at a couple of functions over the last few weeks where I end up talking with friends and acquaintances about their kids and schools. It can be awkward. One of the most popular (and not necessarily in a good way) posts I’ve had here in a long time is the one where I wrote about leaving public schooling behind, and a lot of the over beers/wine conversation at parties has been about how happy friends’ kids are at West Middle School (in Ypsi), or in the Ann Arbor public schools, or wherever.

Now, I mean absolutely nothing bad about these schools at all, and I do think that the different kids/different situations thing means a lot. These other schools are good schools, no doubt about that– though I do think it’s interesting that virtually everyone that we hang around with has nothing good to say about East Middle School in Ypsi. And be aware that I still have liberal guilt– at least a smidgen of it.

But Greenhills has been a mighty fine choice for us.

I was thinking about this because of some of the stuff that Will has been able to do lately and what the experiences has been “like” so far. In no particular order:

  • Will is on the chess team, which starts having meets next week or so, and which practices every Friday afternoon. There are like 25 kids of all ages on this team.
  • I think there are about 65 or so kids in his entire sixth grade. I think there are something like 500-600 kids total, 6 through 12.
  • I believe he is still active in the Manga club, though the D&D game club has yet to get off the ground because of scheduling problems.
  • He and a partner were doing this project in his science class (you will note many of these moments are about science class) that involved building a little bridge out of various household products. He and his partner didn’t pull it off in the time allotted in class, and Will was pretty disappointed about it. But that night, we had a voicemail message from his bridge partner about how he wanted to go in early the next day to finish it. So the next day, we dropped off Will 45 minutes early, and he and his partner figured it out.
  • All of the books he is reading and the writing he is doing in his English class are happily endorsed by Will’s English professor parents.
  • Will’s Latin teacher (and this is a class he is enjoying a great deal) insisted that each of his students bring him one piece of Halloween candy.
  • So far, field trips/special day things have included going to a nature center of some sort, going to a rope course (crossing bridges, zip lines, etc.), going to the SOS office in Ypsi to talk about homelessness and such and to also put together some care packages for homeless kids, and hosting a bunch of “special needs” kids for some kind of event at Greenhills.
  • The other night, Will and the other sixth graders were at the Ann Arbor Hands On museum for an event where the kids did all kinds of various things. Will ended up dissecting a cow eyeball.
  • Will has been pestering lately about how to use a video camera because one of the options for the multimedia project in his science class on plate tectonics is to make a movie. I have a feeling I might have to “act” in said movie, too.

So yeah, things are good. Maybe Will would have had a similar list of adventures at West Middle, and I know that some of Will’s friends who are going there are doing fantastic. But things are good.

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