Today’s Letters are “F” and “U”

Justin has just transitioned into his last class at daycare. They call the kids in this room “The Dinos” (probably because they are all going through the same weird growth spurt that Justin is and eating their parents out of house and home as well!) This is a Kindergarten prep class! Unlike his previous classes, Justin will now be learning letters, numbers, and simple mathematical equations. With these new lessons comes the responsibility of homework – for GWE and me!

At random, the teachers choose a letter of the alphabet to focus on all week. Every Wednesday, Justin (and by Justin, I mean “I”) am responsible for bringing in a picture that starts with the letter of the week. What letter did we get on week 1?!?! X!

That’s right, X! One of the most difficult letters to use on a Scrabble board has now become the bane of my existence. I’ve crushed many opponents with a well placed “Xi” on a Triple Word Score, but how do you find a picture of something tangible that starts with X?? I could have made this much easier on myself and chosen an X-Ray or Xylophone, but that’s what 20 other kids (with less creative parents) are going to be bringing in. As far as I am concerned, we need to set ourselves apart from the other “droolers” in the classroom!

This morning, I clipped a picture from Sports Illustrated of a female basketball player wearing an Xavier jersey. I showed GWE and she scolded me with: “Why would Justin bring in a picture of an African American, female basketball player?” Begrudgingly, I threw the picture away and started again.

To see what my other options were, I went online. They were as follows:

  • Xanax (n) – a pharmaceutical drug that is used to treat depression and anxiety.
  • Xanthic (n) – yellowish in color; having to do with the compound xanthine.
  • Xebec: A xebec is a special three-masted sailing ship used in the Mediterranean.
  • Xenolith (n) – a fragment of a rock embedded inside another rock.
  • Xenon: Scientists call xenon one of the noble gases. It’s odorless, colorless, and found in very small quantities in the Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Xenophobia (n) – fear or hatred towards foreigners, foreign countries, or anything foreign. Other related words: xenophobic (adj.) and xenophobe (n)
  • Xeric (adj.) – dry or desert like conditions; having very little moisture.

While all of these would make fantastic pictures for a 4 year old’s alphabet book, I suspect that it would earn me another Parent/Teacher meeting where I have to hear that Justin is fine, but the teachers are concerned about the influence I am having on my own son.

I decided to take a different approach, got back online, and then searched for the most popular “X” searches on Google. The most popular was “XBox 360” and the second most popular was the movie “Xanadu.” (X-Men also came up, but the school discourages bringing in anything having to do with Super Heroes.) I have printed out pictures of both and will let Justin choose the one he wants to bring in. However, I am concerned about the message it sends when he brings in these photos. On the one hand, bringing in a picture of an XBox 360 says: “I’m going to grow up to be a couch potato with excellent online killing abilities.” On the other hand, if he brings in the picture of “Xanadu,” it says “I like musicals, 80’s fashion, and Bob Fosse dance routines.”

Hmmmm – maybe we need to rethink “X-Ray” ……….


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