This past year Jacob completed third grade and has finished the first half of the fourth grade. I like his teacher, Ms. Bellone, even though she is a Baltimore Ravens fan. She is pretty good at working with Jacob and his energy.
One of the projects that Jacob's class worked on was a digital media story. The kids wrote, illustrated and then read a story. Ms. Bellone posted their work on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI7umG5NCtY) and the parents were invited for a writer's celebration. Jacob did a fantastic job, which was refreshing since he does not like to write. His story was funny, and he made a great use of his voice. His classmates were surprised to learn that he had not in fact had to wear a body cast due to some injury. Reality or fiction, it was a fun story.
Jacob does not like the cafeteria food at ISB. He says there are only a few things that he likes, and misses the "glory days" at Mercer where you could get pizza every day.
In the ES Games ("Olympic" games for each grade level), Jacob ran in the 800 meter run, the 100 yard dash and in the relay event. While he didn't win any of them, he did manage to lose one of his shoes in each race.
Jacob participated in quite number of sports and after school activities. He played soccer and basketball. In January, his soccer team won the regular season and the tournament. For some reason, Jacob loves to be the goalie. It drives me a bit crazy, because it is not his best position. When he plays defense, mid-fielder or striker, his quickness and agility really help to offset his small size. It doesn't work so well as a goalie.
Basketball started in the fall, and I actually volunteered to be an assistant coach for his team. We almost missed signups, as for some reason I thought that soccer started before basketball. Jacob's team had a pretty good regular season, tying for the best record in the league. They ended up losing in the semi-finals of the tournament against the eventual winners. His team played really hard but the other team was just a lot bigger and just a little better.
In Cub Scouts, Jacob earned his Bear badge last spring. This fall he has worked towards his Webelos badge. Last year's camping trip, one of the highlights of the year for scouting saw a last minute destination change from Kao Yai (a national park that is great for camping) to a field near Nichada. The reason was that people were returning from the "resort" with food poisoning. Incidentally, we went to the resort with the scouts this fall for the bike outing (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ebvimages/sets/72157622733168125/) and to my knowledge there were no reports of food caused illness. Jacob was also the champion of his den in the Pinewood Derby and the Raingutter Regatta.
In April, Jacob and I had the opportunity to tour the U.S. S. Stennis while it was stopped in Pattaya. Someone in scouting arranged the tour. As we approached, Jacob and one of his friends said how the carrier didn't really look that big. When we got closer, I think they finally realized how wrong they were. Jacob loved touring the ship and seeing the planes. Yeah, and so did his dad.
When the after school activity list came out this fall, I knew right away which one Jacob would want. So for ten Tuesdays, Jacob got to practice archery at school. As expected, he really liked it.
At the end of our last vacation, we visited a school in Kanchanaburi that Tim wants to help. The kids there are truly poor, and most are orphans. As we were leaving, Jacob told me that he would never say how life was unfair to him again. And although I know he, like so many of us, will get caught up in what he has or doesn't have, it was refreshing to see that he recognized how lucky he was.Jacob visited quite a few places in and out of Thailand this year. He went to Singapore in April with the family. In Singapore, we visited the Science Museum, the zoo, the Night Safari, Santosa, the Merlion and more. He went to Hong Kong in October with Tim and his sisters and cousins. I'm not sure everywhere they went, but I think Disney was a destination once or twice. In Thailand, he visited Phuket, Kanchanaburi