I had a parent teacher conference last night at Baker Elementary School. This is the first one I have gone and to be honest I was so stressed about it the entire week! Just because I am always hoping that Norah is doing an A+ job in everything. Not only do I hope she is excelling in all her schoolwork, but also that she is around good friends and not getting bullied by anyone.
I was terrified because well, she’s my daughter! She came from me. And to be so honest I only pray that she has better traits than me. To be honest I hope that she has more of Eunkyung’s genes than mine! Sounds a bit harsh on myself, but I can’t hide how I feel regardless of my self-deprecating statement. Eunkyung is definitely smarter than me and works harder than me. Maybe I am more outgoing than her and maybe I get less stressed than her, and maybe I’m better looking than her. That last statement’s a dang lie… I know I married up.
But I know what kind of student I was, and I know what kind of student Eunkyung was. And well, I hope Norah takes after Eunkyung more than me. When I was in her age, I remember my teacher would write the names of kid's names on a chalkboard if they misbehaved. It was an attempt that hoped to embarrass us. But it didn’t really work for me. And if we got in trouble a second time, she would proceed to write checkmarks by our names. I didn’t know what the consequences were about how many checkmarks we were “allowed” to get. Even though I never thought myself as a bad kid, I was a weird kid for sure.
Even though I wasn’t getting in trouble in class, I wondered if we kept getting in trouble that means the check marks by our names would just keep collecting. And then would it be possible to cover the entire checkboard in check marks? I thought I’d experiment. Again, I didn’t know the consequences. So, I got in trouble for talking in class. My name is now on the board. And I decided for the entire day, I would break as many rules as possible but after about hour 2 I realized that in order to cover the entire chalkboard with check marks I needed help. I got pretty far but I know that I can’t accomplish this task by myself. So, I recruited five other kids around me to act up. I told them my curiosity and they were curious as well. Even while I was explaining this, I think I collected like 5 more checkmarks. So now, with six of us hard at work, the checkmarks kept coming. And it came to the point that the teacher got so tired of writing checkmarks she just told us to write the check marks ourselves. We got pretty close in covering the chalkboard. But now I knew. Mrs. Thompson would continue to write checkmarks on the board no matter what. Oh, Mrs. Thompson, if somehow you are reading this, I am so sorry! I was a little monster that day! But now I knew the consequences, it was a parent teacher conference. Yeah, the real punishment for me was having to let my parents know what I was doing in school.
So… when I got the notification that I had to sign up on a day and time for a parent teacher conference for Norah, I was shook. I literally thought, “Oh no, was she testing the teacher by seeing if she can cover the entire chalkboard in check marks like what I did?” It didn’t dawn on me that most likely schools these days don’t have a chalk board, or that there are other more creative ways in punishing students. But I thought that maybe I have to do this conference because Norah got in trouble in school.
For the last week or so, I was secretly interrogating Norah and staring at her to see if she has a “wickedness” in her. It was hard to imagine, but then again, how am I supposed to really know. I had to think, “Is my daughter living a double life? Being so sweet, quiet, polite, and kind at home, while at school just kicking crap all around?” Man, to imagine that she would be such a brat in school was heartbreaking. But nonetheless I just had to wait on that day to hear what the teacher had to say.
The day came, and well, first thing I learned was that no longer were parent teach conferences only reserved for bad behaving kids, actually all kids are doing it. Another is to simply put; I had nothing to worry about. Apparently, Norah is super smart, super curious (in a good way), friendly, positive, and works well with all her classmates. Apparently, she is already reading at a 4th grade level and is able to comprehend more complicated chapter books. Apparently, she’s got talent in number and already understand fractions. Which I must say her understanding of fractions comes with me, because fishing has a lot to do with knowing fractions. Fishing weights and fishing lures all have fractions like 1/4oz, 1/2oz, 3/16oz, and so on. So, yeah, I have nothing to worry about.
The teacher had a lot of positive things to say about Norah. I am so proud of her! She’s not just doing great in all aspect of school life, but she is an amazing help at home. Whether it is cleaning up, playing with Ben or helping Ben, or listening to Eunkyung and myself.
There is one picture that the teacher thought was funny though. Apparently, Norah drew a picture of a family portrait about what we do. And in the picture was Eunkyung, nurse, Ben blocks, Norah on a tablet, and apparently me watching and screaming at the TV. With the words coming out of my mouth, “You got to be kidding me!”
God has blessed her with talent and given her a bright start to her future. According to Norah’s picture that is now hung in her classrooms for all the kids to see, I’m not a perfect father, well, I am probably like every father! But I know she has a perfect Father in heaven. Who can guide her better than me. I trust in him and whether Norah’s knows it or not, it is her Father in Heaven who is guiding her every day and every hour. I like to think that. So now, I know I don’t have to worry about her at all, because she is in God’s loving hands.
Now… I just have to worry about Ben. Gods got this handled, because all I can control is not necessarily how Ben behaves, but my volume when I have the urgency to scream at the football game on TV.
Oh, I asked Norah why she didn’t draw me preaching at church and she said she didn’t know how to draw that. Nice.
Hey this is Rev. Brian Choi's random thought throughout my week. Most of this stuff, will probably be about family, church, fishing, music, movies, food, whatever I think of, hopefully it will have some sort of theological reflection (maybe).