Friday, February 6, 2009

A New Semester

Yesterday was the beginning of spring semester swim. Daniel started swimming with the MSU Department of Kinesiology when he was six years old. For more information about this program, click here. He is twelve now. I can't believe it's been that long. It's one of those things that becomes a part of your routine and it's just always there.

He loves swimming. LOVES swimming. He learned to swim independently in this class about the 3rd or 4th semester into it. It is set up like a lab for a Kinesiology class. You need to have some sort of disability to be enrolled. It can be physical or otherwise. You get a college student all to yourself. As with any time you are dealing with, ya know, people. That can be a good or a bad thing. If you get a student who is scared out of their mind to be in a pool once a week with a child with a disability, or worse yet, just doesn't want to be there. It might not work out. If you get a student who cannot, cannot stop talking continuously and doesn't know when to back off it may not go well. Or you can get the match made in heaven and have a blissful semester. You never know. But one thing is for sure. Either way both parties, Daniel and his MSU student, will learn a lot.

Each semester I get a bit nervous about who we will "get". Each time we fill out an information sheet to give the new coach "need to know" information. My biggest need to know is always. DON'T TALK TOO MUCH. Stay on point. The language overwhelms him and he'll get frustrated not understanding you. He appears to understand and doesn't always. For people who chit chat all the time, this can be hard. And since the switch to girls being his coaches, this has been more of a challenge. Please don't complain to me that that is sexist. I have done my own personal study over six years and girls talk more. It's a fact. And since he has learned to independently navigate the locker room, he has been getting girls assigned to him.

The MSU students are supposed to call you ahead of time and ask questions and introduce themselves. This is something that the girls excel at compared to the guys. Most guys have completely ignored this part of the procedure. They seem to have some sort of aversion to the phone. Maybe college guys just don't call people?! That would explain a lot. But I digress. Our "girl" this semester is Nikki. She called on Tuesday to say hi. Sweet girl. Really sweet. But as soon as she said "hi". I cringed. She has a really high squeaky voice. Voices can really get under Daniel's skin. We chatted. She seemed good. She's a senior, graduating in May. Kinesiology major. It's all good. She asked if she should call Daniel directly. We've been working on phone skills, so I said ok, call back at 5:00. Which she did. Put another mark in the positive column under "does what she says she'll do". I also wanted to see if Daniel would go right through the ceiling talking to her. He did not. That was good. But I was still worried.

I had thought about it, for a few days, then on Thursday, which is Daniel's swim day, I said to my husband. "I'm really worried about this, I hope her voice doesn't irritate him". Then something I thought I'd never say, "I really hope she's a cute girl, then it won't matter." Which sounds awful right? But truth be told, he is in puberty. Last semester his coach was perfectly "nice" (and you know what that means when you're described as nice), but one day she couldn't swim and a different girl took over who was gorgeous. I've never seen him so excited! It was way too funny. It took me by surprise at the time. But on hour in the pool with a gorgeous college student, he thought he'd struck gold!

Thursday came, we went to swimming. When we walked in the professor had her list, saw Daniel and called out for Nikki. She stepped forward and said "hi Daniel nice to meet you!" Daniel YELLED out very enthusiastically, "Hi Nikki I'm so excited to swim with you!" Yup, she's a cutie. Thank goodness!

He spent the hour singing, playing, doing laps, by the end, he was touching her arm and giggling. Hmmm. Looks like we need to have some conversations this semester?

1 comment:

Mama Mara said...

So cuteness trumps the squeaky voice aversion, eh? Great way to help Daniel overcome a sensory preference!