Mother and Daughter Loving, Learning, & Growing

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.

Pop Quiz

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.