A Family Update.

for a long time I enjoyed sharing tales of my son who I called My Boy B, B standing for boy, because someone didn’t want his name to show up in a goobingle search and people hunt him down. Yeah, he was an amazing cute little guy, the kind that strangers would come up to and want to touch or try to take pictures of wherever we went.

B is now 14, 5’9″, strong as a bull, and can punch like a truck. And his name is Zach. Please don’t spread that around, especially if you are reading this and know my family. I want to wake up in the morning with all my parts.

Zach was fodder for a few posts here on Ronovan Writes, plus a great photo of me with a black-eye after trying to catch a baseball he threw with my eye. The vision still hasn’t cleared from that.

I thought I would give an update for those who remember those days and a jumping on point for the new readers.

He made the school baseball team and is now over that desire. He just wanted to make a team once so people would leave him alone, plus he loves baseball, but he injured his shoulder so a career is out of the question without surgery and that’s not happening. So what is his focus? The trumpet.

Yes, my son is a band geek. But not that movie stereotype. He knows everything about cars, video games, and apparently everything that’s ever been invented ever. Just ask him, he’ll tell you. Why is his main focus the trumpet? He’s in the 8th grade and first chair in the school jazz band. That includes high school students. He recently made District Honor Band. The Band Director depends on him as one of the leaders of the band as well. Whenever there is a competition, everyone else is told to pick up an application if they want to participate, but Zach is told to come up and is handed one.

He’s still in the gifted Duke Tip Program and scored very well on the SAT which included Math and Verbal without Essay. And is also in the National Junior Honor Society.

He just had his very first high school advisory meeting and his advisor loves him. She already looked at his academic and class history and had him down on the Diploma with Distinction College Prep path. If you read my post from yesterday this is him making a decision at his Point B on his Route of Life that deviates from the majority of people his age in this area who will simply go with the flow. She went all fan girl when she learned about his Honor Band concerts over the years and his wanting to be an Engineer. I’m not sure why he wants to drive a train. Maybe too much Thomas when he was a kid.

A piece of advice for new parents out there. I am a strong proponent of holding a child back a year at the Pre-K level. When Zach was tested at his school for Kindergarten he scored for First Grade, but his age was actually just a few weeks under the limit to fit in to Kindergarten and not Pre-K. The principal suggested that due to his age that we hold him back. It was a difficult decision but it has worked out so well. Teachers always comment on how he is a calming influence on his classmates and is so mature. Plus, studies show that those who are held back are 30% more likely to end up making it all the way through Graduate School.

Now for an idea of what Zach is like. Recently his Math teacher, who is new to the school this year, asked for the answer to a problem. No one raised their hand so as usual in all of the classes Zach was asked to give the answer. She smiled and said he was wrong. They went on with the class and the same type of problem came up toward the end of the teaching portion of class and she smiled and asked Zach to answer. He gave the same answer. She laughed a little and asked why do you think that is the answer. “Because that’s the answer,” he said. At this point a few of his friends were covering their mouths trying to hide their smiles and not to laugh.

You see, Zach has reputation with his classmates that his teachers never seem to pick up on. He doesn’t speak unless he knows the answer. And if he continues to give the same answer then he is positive the answer is right.

The teacher kept at him about it and she said this is the correct answer and he said okay. She asked him what he meant by okay and he said that she was the teacher and if that is what she wanted the answer to be then that’s what the answer would be. You can imagine she wasn’t pleased. So she asked him why he continued to insist on giving his answer. The truth finally was revealed. He had already completed the homework for the next two days and the answer he gave was checked as correct by the online homework assignment.

The students started their classwork and toward the end of class the teacher made an announcement that both answers, hers and his, could be correct and neither would be counted wrong. She had to state this because she had already taught 3 other classes the wrong way to do the problem. That night she disabled the ability to work ahead. She had asked him why he worked ahead and he said it was because he could understand things better by working ahead and by himself. She asked him, “Then what do you need me for?” And yes, he said what you would expect by this point. “I don’t know.”

Zach was identified early on as some kind of Math genius. He could do Math in his head during Kindergarten. One of his teachers, the lead teachers for all of Elementary school suggested he work with a Math expert over the summer to continue to further what he was already doing. But what parent would do that to their little kid?

I’m proud of the boy. He’s made a decision, chosen a path, and is set to do whatever it takes to achieve his goals. One of which is to get a music scholarship and play in the University of Georgia Redcoat Marching Band, and while getting his music degree he will double major in engineering and get that degree in a fifth year that’s not covered by that music scholarship. Yep, the boy has it all planned out. Nerd.

For all of my blog family, meet 14 year-old Zach. Everyone says he looks like me, just without the red hair of mine. I think they are just being nice to me.

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Generation Inspiration.

Inexperienced

People find inspiration

From generations.

 

 

Inexperienced people find inspiration.

People find inspiration from generations.

Image coming soon, perhaps in another post. But not putting out something I am not happy with. 🙂



 

Ronovan Hester is an author, with a debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in February 14, 2016. He shares his life on his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of writing, authors and community through his online world has led to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge, Weekly Fiction Prompt Challenge, and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

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@RonovanWrites

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Writing while young. (And any other time as well.)

I have recently begun encouraging young people to write. They should write about their now in order to later be able to write about what it was like then.

“Always write your ideas down however silly or trivial they might seem. Keep a notebook with you at all times.”

We try to recapture the feelings we had when we were a certain age or in a certain place, but we so often rarely achieve that goal. Staring at the sentences we don’t feel them. They describe everything but relay nothing of what they speak of. I believe this is the one thing that keeps writers from submitting their work and becoming published authors.

Great masterpieces have been set aside in spiral bound notebooks to collect yellowed pages and dust. All for the simple fact the writer did not feel what they wrote.

Oddly, they may have conveyed more than they realized. Even if not capturing the moment for themselves fully, to others the paint on the canvas is three dimensional with smells of the ocean and heat on their skin from the setting sun.

The problem is they have no confidence in what they have done.

“Encouraging young people to believe in themselves and find their own voice whether it’s through writing, drama or art is so important in giving young people a sense of self-worth.”

Starting early in a person’s creative life helps build a creative confidence. And I believe there is no such thing as failure in creativity. You have created something, even if not what you set out to create. How many times has what any of us begun ended up exactly as we had planned?

“It is really important that focusing on things such as spelling, punctuation, grammar and handwriting doesn’t inhibit the creative flow. When I was at school there was a huge focus on copying and testing and it put me off words and stories for years.”

Today’s education doesn’t encourage so much creativity as much as it does scores to be nations. “Our nation beat your nation.” It doesn’t matter what it is, each nation is in competition. Even our children have been drawn into it, and not for the better.

But I believe we should rid our children of a great deal of the restraints early on and give them the freedom to create. Show them how to trust who they are and what they are. Give them free rein to explore and express.

“Write because you love it and not because it is something that you think you should do. Always write about something or somebody you know about – something that you feel deeply and passionately about. Never try and force it.”

Michael Morpurgo quote image

Today’s quotes are from Michael Morpurgo, English author, poet, playwright, and librettist.

This has been part of Colleen’s, of SilverThreading, Writers’ Quote Wednesday blog share. Click the link to visit her quote for today, and join in.

Much Respect-Much Love

Ronovan



 

Ron_LWIRonovan is an author, and blogger who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.

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@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015

 

Peer Pressure: The Bully in Disguise

As always with a post, I wrote one out and it was long and rambling and ended up with a thought nowhere near the place it began. And I finally ended up with this piece. Maybe it isn’t perfect but it is my contribution.

Red hair, freckles, chubby, and new in school; what do you think those things equal to? Yep, bullied. I survived. But that’s not the bullying I want to talk about today. This is the one type of bullying every person on the planet faces and at one time or other fails at fending off.

Peer Pressure: The Bully in Disguise

bullyingWe have all faced this. Some of us don’t even realize it. If you have been coerced into doing something you didn’t want to do by a friend or group of friends who knew you didn’t want to do that thing, that’s bullying. How many teens have died from that first drug taken? How many girls have ended up pregnant from having sex just one time? How many guys and girls for that matter, have ended up hurt for life because they played a sport they didn’t want to?

What is some obvious ways Peer Pressure looks like?

I was bullied in the traditional way until I got a little older, and figured things out. One thing I rarely fell in to was peer pressure. I saw it happen to friends. That guy in history class who couldn’t lift his head up as he vomited all over his desk because he had drank a whole bottle of vodka or at least most of one before school, the sex behind the concession stand, the sex in the school bus, smoking in the bathrooms. The shoplifting just that once. You name it and someone you know has likely been bullied with the threat of being an outcast because they weren’t cool enough to be adult enough.

But what other types of Peer Pressure Bullying are there?

But it doesn’t stop with those behaviors. My son has let his grades slip. He’s still getting top marks but he’s just doing it at the bottom of that. He didn’t like being called one of the two nerdiest kids in his grade. I told him Bill Gates is a nerd. Nerds make those fancy electronics that all those kids play on rather than focus on studying.

Peer pressure is even present in how we eat.

“You’re eating a fruit cup, yogurt, and a salad at McDonalds?”

“You want water instead of a Coke?”

Even TV.

“You watch Educational TV instead of ESPN?

The traditional type of bullying is bad but Peer Pressure is bullying people haven’t thought about. It’s the kind that kills more teens, likely causes more suicides, and does more damage to our society, cultures, and nations than anything.

The United States government tries to force a certain required system of teaching in place. Any teacher knows you can’t do that. The US worries about dropping further behind nations in education. It’s not that teaching has been wrong; we learned the old ways and are doing fine, and so are the teachers trying to teach this new way.

The problem is countries don’t focus on supporting an environment where each child is to flourish in the area they are best suited for without being made to feel better than others or lesser than others. Each person has a skill, a talent. To change peer pressure it will take decades, decades of first our generation then the next, and then the next to stop it. Once you can give a student self worth and have them understand other students’ self worth, a lot of the other type of bullying will stop.

Building for Bullying Part One.

As I grew older and realized who I was and what I was I saw the problems with peer pressure around me. Some reputations were destroyed of some great young people I knew and they never recovered. Maybe that’s why I am less of a joiner and a late joiner when I do. I sit back and watch and listen and learn. When I am ready, if I am ready, I will take the  next step. But the step has to be for me because I want to.

You can look at my blog and tell I’m not exactly a conformist. I don’t write content that is focused on one thing or in one style. My reading selections are all over the place. I have every type of  friend you can have. I’ve gone my own way. I’ve learned from other peoples’ mistakes. And what I’ve learned I’ve passed on to my son, many students, and youth group members as well as adults that have worked for me over the years.

I could have become a bully. I am a big guy. Temper back then. I was being bullied, and taunted when I snapped. I grabbed the guy by the jacket, spun him around onto the stands in the gym and informed him I was sick of it in a very vocally forceful way. No foul words. Then I sat back down. He was scared. People wanted me to fight him all day. I never did. His bullying reputation was ruined. I didn’t want to start my own.

Building From Bullying Part Two

When my son comes home and talks about a bully, we talk about bullying. We discuss it, who the kid is, what they are like. We discuss why bullies are the way they are. We talk about how fortunate he is to have parents that raise him in a way that doesn’t promote bullying and that is loving and respectful of him and what he likes.

Don’t get me wrong, the word ‘NO’ exists in the house. Usually he knows it’s coming, but he still has to try. A lot of times he’ll be smiling knowing what an answer will be. I’ve discusses in posts before of his intelligence and his heart. He doesn’t hold grudges against kid bullies. Adults though? He holds them more responsible. Yes, he knows adults bully kids. Told you, he’s smart. But he moves on and he treats everyone the same, bully or friend alike. To him, just about everyone is a friend until they do something that is just really dumb.

How much does my son stand up to bullies? He’s the hero of his grand. An older kid had four of them pinned to the wall by the neck with his arms.  My son got away and distracted him so the others got away. Then he told a teacher, in spite of the other boys saying not to. Smart, a heart, and brave. He has a sense of right and wrong that is so ingrained that it shocks me at times. Bullies beware.

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Fight for that Mirror.

A mirror sounding
All too familiar to you
But this time you shout no
A shatter will not do

 

This time you are stronger
As you look at the tiny you
You understand what is happening
Unlike what happened to you

 

Nurturing and care to be given
To grow something amazing
Working and fighting
To keep those small eyes from glazing

 

The future is unlimited
For this little view
That mirror you heard
Will not shatter like you

 

Don’t back down
From those snotty uptights
This is your child
Stand up for their rights

 

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

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