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Had a bad start to the morning. Got totally stressed out, yelled at the kids, was late to work. Have had a borderline headache for several days. Advil holds it at bay, neck massager helps but only temporarily, then it comes crawling back up my spine to rest at the base of my skull.

Karin was home sick with a sore throat (again!) for 2 days, but she went to school today. However, she's been complaining that her throat is even worse now...nothing seems to help.

Martin came up on the bus to my office after school to ride home with me. He didn't actually have school. He was a mentor for the annual historical model United Nations that the IB students participate in every year. It's the sophomore IB students who participate, and the juniors who can sign up to help them out. Martin was Poland last year, and the setting for the mock UN was the Paris Peace Conferences of 1918 (that led to the Versailles Treaty, among others). His class did so well that the teachers told them they had won, something no class had done before and that their solution might even have prevented WWII if it had actually worked out the way they negotiated things.

He had so much fun that he signed up to be a mentor this year for the sophomores. The mentors get to help keep things on track, and have more info that they can use to try to get the best outcome for the country they represent. They get credit for their school activity/service requirements as well. They also play the parts of the Jewish and Arab delegations to the League of Nations as well as the Secretary General. They don't get to choose which country they represent...the teachers do that, and they make sure that no student is put into a country that they have actual affiliations with. So, if you're half-American, for example, like Martin is, you don't get to be in the US delegation. Martin says he was told that the teachers pick the best, most motivated students for the "hard" countries, so he was both happy about that and not so happy, as it turned out, when he found out where he'd been slotted.

This year, the setting was after the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. But Martin wasn't Poland this year. He was the leader for...Germany.

"You're HITLER?!" we said, when he told us this several weeks ago. "NO. I am NOT HITLER. If I am anyone, I am Ribbentrop. The Foreign Minister...he was an advisor and the top PR guy for the government, basically," he stated. Ribbentrop had the dubious honor of being the first Nazi executed after sentencing at the Nuremberg Trials. "We're so screwed," he said dejectedly.

But he rallied his sophomores, the ones who were also in the German group, and they actually managed to get some concessions and the teacher told him she was amazed they did so well, considering. He told me that it was really stressful, because they spent the whole day running around, working on their alliances and negotiating and writing up their resolutions and he actually caught himself wondering what they were going to do when it was over and the votes were in and had to remind himself that THIS ISN'T REAL.

Karin had an open house tonight at Kathedralskolan, where Martin is a student. She's in the midst of the whole gymnasium planning/choosing pre-studies. She spent all last week visiting schools, having workshops, learning about the different program choices and going to a "tradeshow" of all the different schools in Skåne. She's picked 4 that she is interested in, which includes the one she spent one day at last week "shadowing" a student so she could see what it was like to go to school there. We missed one open house yesterday evening because of her being sick, but they have another couple of dates in December and January, and she's going to the 4th school open house on Friday with her boyfriend, who is in the same grade as her.

The biggest problem is that she has no idea what she wants to be, or what program she wants to take. She's interested in pretty much everything and has mentioned everything from interior design to architecture to soccer coaching to business management. She likes the science subjects AND the social sciences. She's not thrilled about math but she's good at it. Martin has managed to get her interested in IB, though I'm not 100% sure that would be the right program for her, but if she wants to try it, that's great. And she would have a year to try it out, and not lose anything if she decides to switch afterward. It's a lot to think about!

After we got home, the three of us sat down and watched The Hunger Games before bedtime, because we're all going to see Mockingjay on Friday. We'll watch Catching Fire tomorrow hopefully and will then be properly caught up and charged for the final installment of the trilogy. It's probably stupid that I'm spending the evening with my kids at the movies the evening before a major dinner party, but hey! The turkeys are thawing, the house is clean and just needs a quick run-through, the tables & chairs are ordered, my husband is coming home tomorrow and I have a substitute lined up to take care of the menu items if the one family can't make it, which is still up in the air.
mood: busy
music: Lady Antebellum—Need You Now


Thats great Liz, that you have your ducks in a row for Thanksgiving, and can relax at the movies with the the kids the evening before. I will probably be cooking for the two evenings before our Thanksgiving.

two evenings of cooking? yoicks! Luckily, I have the best husband in the world. And he takes care of the t-day cookery!

From Megsie

I am hoping that the headache left the building, and I am happy that your day got better! I would be so stressed out if I were Karin. I didn't have any idea about my future at that age. And, MARTIN! What a hard job! It sounds really cool though, man I bet they learn a TON. I don't think it weird that you are watching movies with your kids! I love to do that! I am jealous that you are all set for your Thanksgiving Feast. I ordered the turkey, but I have done NOTHING else. I suppose I should begin a list...

Re: From Megsie

All the kids are in the same boat... but she HAS mentioned not wanting to do this, not wanting to choose and wanting to stay at her current school forever... :D

See, Thanksgiving is easy for me, because it's a potluck and all I have to do is organize it, and clean house and buy stuff. Anders does all the cooking, for which I will be forever grateful!


Love hearing about the your kids doings. I don't know how Karin can decide -I would have had the same issue. Glad you're organized for the holiday, you'll be really ready to help us at Sarah's! Love, Lizardmom

You mean I can't just sit back and relax and play cribbage while Sarah or Tom cooks the dinner?

Yay! The day finished on a high, so that's great. The dinner party will take care of itself as you sound super organised and the people who are coming are friends who you can feel relaxed about. Pity about the family who are undecided, especially if they are responsible for menu items... no, I won't go there... *takes off ranty pants*

I'm really impressed by Martin's ability to attack a problem and work at a solution. How proud you must be to see him blossom into the adult man and see him develop those skills he'll need in life. What a great school initiative - to show the kids that there is no black and white in these sorts of negotiations, no "goodies" and "baddies", only people trying to find a workable solution. How very different from our history lessons, where the other side had no redeeming features. The kids must come away with more empathy and understanding of everyone's position. Love it!

Poor Karin! It's such a pity that there is a need to decide so soon. She is still discovering where and who she is as a person and this is a big step. She's a lucky girl to have such a supportive family to help her make a choice, even though it's not easy.

The family that was undecided are coming, so yay! We are all set and I don't have to scramble for last-minute substitutes.

You look very nice in ranty pants, by the way. I should get me a pair. I bet they'd come in very handy.

I think the mock UN is such a great idea, too. It's too bad he doesn't get to take part as a senior, as well.

Karin will figure it out, I have every confidence in her. :)

Double yay!

I can make you a pair of ranty pants in lamé if you promise to wear them :-)

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