We have reached the final week of the 2020–21 academic year. It’s kind of hard to believe the year was as “normal” as it was.

To be very clear, it was not normal. There were all kinds of mandates and limits and headaches compared to what our girls had done every year before Covid hit. There were lots of bumps along with way, especially with C’s grade at St P’s. As we are almost done I won’t get into the details of those, but it’s the first time we’ve had any serious problems with school administrators. And, of course, the county sent everyone home for the final month of classes of 2020 as Covid rates were skyrocketing.

Even with all of that, though, it feels like the girls had a fairly normal academic year. I don’t know that they got everything out of the year they would have gotten if schools had operated under 2019 conditions. But I also don’t think any of them are going to be lost next fall when they advance to the next year’s worth of course material.

C’s final day of 8th grade is tomorrow, with graduation slated for Wednesday.

L’s final day is Thursday.

M begins finals tomorrow and will have half days of exams through Friday.

It is Awards SZN at schools. C will learn if she was nominated for and receive any awards at graduation.

M earned an award for the most outstanding AP chemistry student. We don’t really know if that means just in the four classes her teacher has, or across all sophomore AP chem courses. Regardless, she and her teacher FaceTimed me last week so they could share the news with me. That was fun.

She also got notified a week ago that her PSAT score qualified her for a recognition program. She asked for help going through the paperwork to apply for it, and as I was reading through I noticed something odd about the language. In the first paragraph, it mentioned that it was intended for Hispanic students. Later on it stated that the award was specifically designed to highlight students from underserved communities. We were pretty sure the white girl who drives a new car should not be up for this award.

We had her check with the sponsoring teacher the next day, who confirmed this was a mistake. We are guessing M got confused by some of those demographic boxes as she registered and clicked White-Hispanic rather than White-Not Hispanic.

What really made us laugh, though, was that an hour or two after it was confirmed that she was not eligible, she got a message from her counselor praising her for her accomplishment and offering to help her if she needed any assistance completing the application. Right in the subject line of her message it mentioned the name of the award: College Board National Hispanic Recognition Program. We don’t know if that means the counselor didn’t read the restrictions for the award, or just assumed that maybe M is a super pale Hispanic girl and didn’t want to question things.

Oh well, her PSAT score was still pretty good.

L won the girls Leader in Me award for her grade last week. Parents were notified if their kid was going to win something, so I was able to attend the ceremony. She was surprised when she saw me sitting in church as her class filed in. It’s always fun to surprise your kid that way.

C’s class got robbed of their traditional trip to Washington, D.C. A few schools in our area still went to DC, but St P’s pulled the plug fairly early due to uncertainty about what would be open.

Instead the plan was to go to Cleveland and visit the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame, spend a night at the Kalahari water resort, then a day at Cedar Point. C was pretty ok with this, as she loves amusement parks and roller coasters.

However, for some reason the Cleveland stuff got cancelled because of some weird Covid restrictions. We really don’t understand why, but the Hall of Fame and other sites in Cleveland that were used for the NFL Draft were put into a three week shut down and made unavailable to visiting groups. C’s class would have visited over two weeks after the draft so everything should have been thoroughly sanitized by then. Very strange.

The day in Cleveland was replaced with a morning at the US Air Force museum in Dayton then the trip up to Sandusky for the water park and Cedar Point.

C had a good time. She said the museum was kind of boring, and the parks mega crowded. She had to borrow money from a friend to fully fund a fast pass so she didn’t spend the entire day in line.

At least they got to go somewhere.

C gets a whole week off before starting her freshman year with summer school gym next Wednesday. She’ll be up bright-and-early for the 8:00 session for most of June. She will then get six weeks of sleeping in before high school really starts.

Summer is coming up quick. Our pool house was (finally) completed a little over a week ago and the landscaping installed last week. We’ve already had a couple small pool gatherings and anticipate this summer being a lot busier than last since we are comfortable inviting more than one family of guests at a time. I’d better start getting those summer playlists updated.