Welcome back to the POP QUIZ! This is a regular, yet totally unexpected, feature where we ask students, parents, staff, our friends, and partners to answer a few questions about what they are learning, reading, and thinking about. Today we feature Madison Vargas and her mother, Jennifer Dayton. Madison is a fourth grader, attending Spring Valley Center for Exploration.
We met up over Zoom back in October. With the Golden Gate Bridge hovering behind them as a virtual backdrop, we popped this quiz on Madison and her mom. [This mother-daughter duo will be featured in the CIS Annual Report, coming out shortly. You won’t want to miss it!]
Alright, Madison and Jennifer: pencil out, eyes on your own paper. Good luck.
First off, how are you holding up during this pandemic? How has it changed you?
Jennifer: It’s been an adjustment, obviously, from being physically in school five days week, to home all the time.
Madison: Everything’s been good but boring. This weekend my brother is with his dad and for the weekend, right? He’ll be there for two weeks.
Jennifer: Through the weekend.
Madison: Well, that’s like half of two weeks. And my mom and I are going to have salt popcorn and we’re going to watch Hocus Pocus with our dogs, Cookie and Max.
What are you learning about yourself these days?
Madison: That you can do a lot more when you are not out about and going everywhere.
Jennifer: I never thought about that before, Madison. That’s a good point you’ve made. We do live in a face-paced society so we have definitely been able to slow down and do more as a family. We spend lots of quality time together.
Madison: Don’t get me wrong. We still do stuff. We go to the pumpkin patch but you must wear a mask. Though, we don’t go to the water park anymore. [She heaves a big sigh.]
What’s your favorite subject?
Madison: It used to be writing, but now it’s math and reading.
What three words describe you?
Madison: Oh, I know this answer! I got it! For my mom, I’d say she is loving, caring, and amazing.
Jennifer: I’ll take it!
Madison: [Madison holds up a little gray dog that sniffs her computer screen.] This is Cookie. Our dog. So, three words that describe me are funny, smart, and…hum. Creative!
What do you like about virtual learning?
Madison: It’s only like forty-five minutes, and then you can have a break. At school, you have to be there until three.
Jennifer: So you like the flexibility?
Madison: Flexibility, yeah!
What is most challenging?
Jennifer: When the technology is not working.
Madison: When my computer doesn’t want to cooperate.
What are you currently reading?
Madison: I’m reading comics and Dork Diaries [by Rachel Renée Russell].
Jennifer: With my work, I’m reading emails all day. I have a couple books I’ve been wanting to read; they are tucked away in my drawer. I don’t even know their titles!
What is your favorite word or phrase right now?
Madison: I know what it is for you, Mom. “Madison, go brush your teeth!”
Jennifer (laughing): I do say that a lot. Also, “Are you online? Get on your session!”
Madison: I also say, “I’m hungry. What snacks do we have?” And you always say, “You live here. You know what we have!” [Jennifer chimes in on this last sentence so we all laugh that they have said this simultaneously.]
Behind every successful student is a caring adult. Who has been your caring adult?
Jennifer: For me, it was my seventh grade teacher at Gull Lake Middle School. She changed my life. Ms. Stacy Noteboom [now Noteboom-Bush]. She was really significant in my life and helped me a lot. She was caring and noticed that I was going through a lot during that time. One day I dyed my hair. It came out terrible. She got permission and took me to her house and fixed my hair for me. She had been a cosmetologist before she became a teacher.
That came in handy!
Jennifer: Yes. Teachers like Ms. Noteboom made such a huge impact on me. That’s why I became a teacher.
Madison: So my caring adult is definitely my mom.
Jennifer: Who else other than me?
Madison: So, my second caring adult is my mom. And then Ms. Martha—she’s so heartfelt. And Ms. [Katie] McKinley. She’s my teacher and she is very helpful with math.
Jennifer: That’s a really good word to describe Ms. Martha. Everything she does is heartfelt. Like when she reached out to us to see if we needed coats and boots.
Madison: I wish you would ask us more questions.
What questions do I need to ask?
Madison: What’s our favorite colors?
So what are your favorite colors?
Madison: My mom’s is green and mine is purple. And teal, and black, and white. Even though I hate grape things, I like purple. Oh, and you didn’t ask where we lived. We live—
Jennifer: Okay, everybody doesn’t need to know where we live Madison.
Madison: I guess that’s right. What about asking us what our favorite animal is? Mine is a dog.
Jennifer: Mine is the same. Dogs.
Madison: We love our dogs…Cookie and Max.
Thank you, Madison and Jennifer (and Cookie and Max), for hanging out with us at Ask Me About My 12,000 Kids.