Saturday, April 4, 2009

spies among us (a re-post of an earlier story)

I know, you're thinking, "Why is Amy showing me some boring tri-fold board kid project? Borrrrrringggg!"
Well, I have never really been a die hard James Bond fan or anything but I must admit this project that my A did on the subject of ESPIONAGE was kinda cool. I know, now you're saying, "Amy, NO ONE says cool anymore!!" Well it is kinda cool. I learned some new stuff from my 7th grader.

You can click on these pics (if you so choose) to make them bigger so you can read.

A spent 2 months of research on this project which was celebrated at the GATE (Gifted And Talented Education) Independent Study Fair. I have written on this blog before that A's real parents must be searching frantically for her since she was obviously switched for our real baby in that operating room during my c-sec 13 years ago.... we were both average students so how could we produce such a smarty child???!! Sweetie and I joke about this endlessly.

A's first love, when it comes to casual research, is space and space exploration, etc.
And who among us does not like to pick up a 600 page book chocked full of details and facts about NASA and Mars and such for a little light reading. LOL! Too bad though, that other students in other classes had had that subject approved for their research project before it was A's turn to propose her research subject to the GATE teacher.

So any who...A's second love for casual research is ESPIONAGE! And thus began her 2 month quest for all things perfect to include in a report and a tri-fold board presentation for the GATE Independent Study Fair.


When A went with us to Washington D.C. last summer, one of the places we went was the International Spy Museum. Oh if we could have only spent 2 days -or a week- there, A would have been even more in heaven!! Looking back, I agree that we needed more time to see and read everything. You're never too old to learn and I enjoy packing a few extra tid bits into my overloaded Mommy brain.


So the night of the Fair arrived and I tried to talk A into wearing her t-shirt she has that was purchased at the Spy Museum. She just poo-pooed Mom's idea. Ok. Fine. Whatever. We got to the school and she announced that she had forgotten something. I asked if she wanted me to run home to retrieve it. No. Then she proclaimed that she had also forgotten something else. Ok, you guessed it. I went home. But what A didn't know was that Mom had forgotten her CAMERA!!! I know, I know Suzette- you are screaming right now reading this because I even emailed you that I hoped I wouldn't forget the camera!!

Back at the school with all the needed items in hand, I found the huge room full of guests to the Fair all milling about. A already had a gaggle of admirers and nerdy friends- as her little brother N likes to call them- gathered around her tri-fold board.
Mom had to go and spoil everything and start taking photos. Ughh! "Mommmm!", was the under the breath wail. Well it was her fault if you think about it....if she hadn't forgotten 2 items at home I probably wouldn't have remembered that I had forgotten the camera!

Are you still with me reading all this long long post? If you are, I will throw in some funnies along the way to (hopefully)keep your interest peaked.
That's A in the orange shirt. She just got glasses last fall. And gosh did she need them! I was a bad Mom for not believing her when she said she needed them. I wear my "Bad Mom of the Year" award just about every year. She now looks like all her fellow GATE students. On the QUIZ BOWL team she and all the others looked like it was part of their uniform to wear glasses. Remember the old saying?,"Do these glasses make me look smart?" Maybe I would feel smarter if I got some glasses.


A has a lot of boys that are friends from all through her GATE school years. She feels so comfortable around them since they have grown up together, solving the problems of the world together one school day at a time. LOL! Above, is just one of those boys. Notice=glasses!!

Among A's exhibit items were the cipher stick and cipher scroll that she made- in photo above on the table- fashioned after the examples from history's real spies that she saw at the Spy Museum. They are kinda cool (there's that word -cool- again which shows my old age). Here's how they work: you wrap a long strip of paper or cloth around a stick/ pole/tube and write on it. Then the receiver knows (because it is predetermined between the parties) what size stick/pole/tube to wrap it around to make the seemingly scrambled letters spell out a secret message. These strips of paper or fabric were secretly smuggled from sender to receiver, often crumpled up inside something.


The girl with the pony tail next to A is one of her best friends and they email and IM each other for hours every day after school. Sweetie loves to hang over her shoulder when he gets home to "spy" on her and see what she talks about. Did you like the spy tie in?


After taking what A deemed "enough photos", I retreated to the shadows to prevent embarrassing the 13 year old while she held court for the rest of the hour and a half of the Fair..'cuz you know a Mom hanging around can be really embarrassing!!


It's always funny how you can get strange expressions on people's faces when you snap a photo of a crowd. People with their eyes closed or with their mouth open mid-sentence. Or this person (click here) who was just about mining for gold with some drum sticks!! (If you did click back there in that last sentence, did you notice that A happened to have on the same orange shirt? The tragedy of not having a huge enough wardrobe to wear something once and then throw it away!!!)
Anyway, back to this photo...the boy in the center in red shirt is another of the boys that A has grown up with in GATE. He is a really fun kid! Notice=glasses!!!


A brought a box with a lock from home that we bought at the dollar store. It is one that she and her siblings have always had fun with trying to pick the little poorly made cheesy lock. (Am I raising a gang of future cat burglars?) She brought some hair pins and invited or challenged the crowd gathered at her exhibit to try to pick the lock.


N was glad when it was all over with and he could go home and eat. An 8 year old boy needs to eat frequently or someone is bound to find their arm has been nibbled on as a source of nourishment!!!! Besides....he had had enough of all his sister's NERDY friends!! NERDS RULE!

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