Sunday, June 3, 2012

Alex On SAT Day - June 2012


Song:  Free Bird (Piano Version)

Original Performers:  Lynyrd Skynyrd

Performing Artist:  Unknown



Alex had gotten up early as the testing center opened at 0730 hrs.

We had gotten there and waited outside the High School until it opened up.

By the time the doors had opened...
there were several hundred, mostly High School Juniors and Seniors, lined up.

The SAT is to ensure High School students are up to a certain standard 
to enter a College or University.  

The scores are looked at closely by Universities to help determine admission
desirability for each student.

The students were divided into many classrooms, each with its own proctor.
There was one classroom which was just for three students...
7th and 8th graders advanced enough to take it.

There were two students from the Davidson Academy...
and Alex (Coral Academy Of Science).

At just 11 yrs. old...
and having just finished the 6th grade...
Alex was the youngest.

Alex was a little nervous...
but he was more excited than nervous.

I could see his great pride in his being there with much older and larger children.

We walked Alex to his testing room...
checked him in...and then went home to wait until the conclusion
of the 3.5 hour test.

At noon, we returned to the campus to await Alex's arrival at the front entrance.






The proctors had let the young students out first...
to ensure they wouldn't be overrun by the much larger 
and more numerous mass of High School students in the other class rooms.


Alex had come out and smiled saying that he thinks he had done well.

We told him that he had done such a good job just to make it here at his point in life.

He had studied without complaint...
and as he is pursuing a dream to one day become a University Math Professor...
he has been studying with a passion.

We will be finding out the score results in about a month.




I had already told him that we would be doing a Bar-B-Que at home in his honor.

However, as it was going to be near dusk when we began...
we told him to take the rest of the day off.

He had a big smile as he went to the backyard to enjoy the weather...
some frozen cherries...and his iPad.



 Alex had done so well in preparing himself for the SATs...
and here I am struggling to put together a simple Bar-B-Que grill  :)


Here I sit...
scruffy looking in my attempt to grow a beard...
looking into the flame.

Am I pondering the magnitude of Alex's achievements?
Perhaps, the nature of drive in human beings...what motivates them?

NO

I am merely thinking if I should have gotten a larger Bar-B-Que grill!  :)



As a person who never cooks...
and one who is not even qualified to Bar-B-Que a simple meal...
here I sit, thinking that watching the food cook will speed things up.  :)


 Ah yes...
the lazy man's Bar-B-Que technique...

grill in front of chair...
sit in chair...
listen to iPod...
flip meat at end of song  :)

Actually, the salmon in the foil had turned out very well (Alex's meal).

As for the rest of the meats...
I learned a couple of things.

First of all...

If hamburgers, when flexed...snap like a dill pickle...
they were overdone.  

If hotdogs and sausages curl up to form a "C"...
they were overdone...   :)

-----------------

 Although I am a very plain and simple man...
and in all appearances...I seem very reserved...even boring...
I tend to dramatize events in my mind...almost constantly.

I am frequently in the movie theater of the mind...
watching a made up drama or comedy...
or listening to great symphonies from the mp3 player of the mind...
as dramatic events unfold before my eyes (in my mind).

Well...
as we were waiting at the campus for Alex to emerge from his testing today...
this particular song kept playing in my head.

As so many baby boomers can attest...
this song had (and still has) SO MUCH meaning.

Free Bird!

Well...
for me, it has taken a whole new twist.

I am a Father
(I am sure so many of you can relate as you feel the same way)

As a father who loves his son so much...
one who constantly scans the surroundings for possible dangers to him...
one who dreams of potential and possibilities for his son...
one who sees the pureness, innocence...
all the goodness the world has to offer...
in his son...

I could not help feeling proud at seeing my son growing up...
yet...knowing Alex was on the campus taking a test designed for College Entrance...
I could not help feeling a deep ache in my heart knowing that in a very short few years...
he will actually become that free bird.

He will fly free from his nest...
testing his wings and exploring new territory...
to one day stake out his own territory and to establish his own nest.

All I can do is to treasure my time with him now...
to not waste opportunities to teach him what I can of this world...
to prepare him for battle if need be...
but to see the world as a place of wonder and beauty...
to truly enjoy a beautiful sunrise and sunset by earning it...
to look through the eyes of objectivity...
but to also allow his heart to guide him through life.

I shall remain healthy, strong and independent...
to provide a strong base from which I may launch him upwards...
to never burden him or his future.

I shall continue to gain wisdom so I may
 always be ready to guide him to goodness...
and to guard him from evil.

I shall always truly listen to him as he speaks his heart...
so he always knows that he has a refuge...
a safe haven to ride out any storm...
to repair his ship so he may, once again...
sail with a free heart.

I shall be there for him...
anytime...anyplace...
in body...
in heart...
in mind...
in soul.

I am a Father.

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful sentiments on being a father... and it certainly was a proud moment with Alex taking the SATs.

    Now, about that Bar B Que grill... I am surprised that a man who is so knowledgeable and adept at survival skills would have such a mundane grill. I thought surely you would have some special grill that I had not known about. Ah well, I'm sure your next burger will be delicious. And, hey, at least you had a funny story to tell. :)

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  2. What can I say... a Bobby Flay I am not. :)

    In general, we don't BBQ because of the carcinogens produced when meats are charred. I love BBQ...but we reserve it for camping. Even then...we usually don't BBQ using charcoal and a grill. I would rather use an open fire and spits. This way each person cooks their food as they desire...too raw...just angle it back in. Each person is involved in the process...and being around an open fire with each cooking their own food is more primeval...plus it is the face time at the fire pit that brings out close conversation...and drives home the feeling of family against the dangers of the wild...as the fire represents safety and illumination in an area of darkness and mystique.

    Alternatively...Ember cooking....food (and some liquid) in foil which is essentially poached...just put in embers and when it stops steaming...it is done...fool proof...and when it comes to cooking...I am a fool :)

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