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.