Some highlights of my son are that he started reading at age 4 1/2. In 3rd grade, he was the only child in our city to achieve a perfect score on the Word Master's Challenge I. Alexander has his own computer, and has since he got his own Apple IIGS since he was 6. He's been quite the computer whiz since he was about 3!
He was homeschooled for three years, and his first year back in public school his first quarter grades averaged out to a 96%, even with two B's! He achieved the Merit Roll for his grades. I don't have the average for his 2nd quarter, but he had all A's and made the Honor Roll!
He started playing the trumpet at the start of the summer before he started 8th grade, with weekly lessons by his fantastic band director, Travis Sorensen. By late July, he'd progressed far enough to be able to join the 7th and 8th grade Marching band. By September, he was given a small solo to play in the October concert! This was especially a great achievement, because it was originally given to someone else, but the band director explained to the kids that Alexander deserved it more. He played it beautifully! After the concert, he was moved to 1st Trumpet music in band. Also in September, he was given music to start practicing for a solo concert in February. He was one of only about a dozen kids who got to compete from 8th grade. He received a Superior Rating, or a 1 for his solo. I was so proud. He again played beautifully. I don't think the judge knew he'd only been playing his trumpet for about 9 months at the time. :) Now, having said that, I must mention that he'd taught himself to play the piano that attached to his computer more than a year earlier, so he did know how to read music when he started playing his trumpet, but I still think it is a huge achievement! The whole band received an Excellent Rating, or a 2, for their performance. Alexander's name was also put in for the Blair Middle School Honor Band, which was held on the 31st of March, and he was selected for that. He had a great performance there, after an entire day practicing with all these kids he'd never seen before (other than three other boys from his school), with a band director from UNO that he'd never met. The kids put on a spectacular performance! What an exciting year, even for just his music!
He also was in Destination Imagination (DI) in 8th grade. He joined the Dynamic Improv (DynIm) team. They practiced an average of 3 times a week, for up to 4 hours a session! His team was the only DynIm team from the school. In all, the school had 11 teams for DI go to regionals, which was held at his school this year. Nine of those teams went on to State. Alexander's was one of them, achieving 1st place in the Regionals, beating out even a couple of high school teams. DynIm is one of the hardest DI teams to be on. All the other teams work on the same skit for months, with elaborate props. DynIm allows 10 small props, including a broom, embroidery hoop, length of string, length of material, box, duct tape, two pencils, socks and two pie pans. They have to turn these items into their props for each skit. They are given an Innovator, world landmark and cultural performer and given 30 minutes to put together their skit. Two minutes before putting on the skit, they are given a surprise turn of events and a character action. Then they have to incorporate those two items into their skit and perform! Unfortunately at State, his team did not even place, but they still had fun in Kearney. Two of the Plattsmouth teams, one 8th grade, one 7th grade, went on to World competition in Tennessee. Unfortunately, when he transferred back to our local school, they did not participate in Destination Imagination.
He placed 4th in the National Geographic Geography Bee, school level, which amazed me, because that is not one of his best subjects, in 8th grade! In late March of that year, he signed up for the Optimists Club speech contest. He wrote a really great speech, and won 1st place! He was given a beautiful medal, and a $50 prize check. He was then asked to go to the next level of competition, but unfortunately that was the same day as the DI State competition, and there was no way he could attend both. He was invited to the Optimists Club breakfast to give his speech again, and that is where he received his check. They were so impressed by his speech, that they planned to try to have the entire thing printed in the Plattsmouth Journal, though they were unable to get the paper to print it. He also did extremely well in the Challenge Program Math Olympiads, which were conducted throughout the year.
At 8th grade graduation that May, he received nearly a half dozen awards, including a Presidential Fitness award, a pin and award for achieving a 3.5 grade point average, an award for being in 3 or more school activities, including the school Play, DI, and Band.
That summer he attended The Mid America Music Camp here in Omaha. He had a great week there, and played in several performances at the end of the week, including the top Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble, Mixed Chorus and All Camp Ensemble. His Jazz instructor said he was amazing, and has a real knack for jazz music.
The high school Alexander attended is one of the best in the Midwest when it comes to their music programs. They do a dozen or more performances in the fall in parades and marching competitions, compete in many contests through the year for soloists and full band, and do several concerts. They put together a CD every other year, and also go on a major trip every other year. His Sophomore year they went to Colorado. His senior year they went to the Alamo Bowl, where they played in several contests, including a field competition that they won! The prize was to be able to do their exhibition in the PreGame Show.
Through high school, Alexander has been in chess club all four years, French club for two years, and Debate for two years. He did very well in Debate, and for the second semester of his Junior year, was in competitions nearly every weekend! His first year in Debate he earned a letter and an award for top new debater.
During his Freshman year at college, he was given a chance to take a several week Saturday class in Flash. The top several students in the class were chosen to be the Brain Trust as they call them, and were given internships in a company at the University created by one of the professors. Alexander was the only Freshman to be chosen!
For the last few years, Alexander has been taking swordsmanship classes, and fencing, and has recently taken up Kendo. He swordfights several times a week with all his classes. We have been attending Renaissance Faires for the last few years, and he often swordfights there when he has a chance. He has won the Barbarian Battles several times against a large group of opponents.
| To see some photos of Alexander, click on his picture button!
He was born overseas, and you can read all about the land of his birth by going through the castle door!
Some of his hobbies and interests are computers, rollerblading, Japanese Anime, swordfighting, fencing and kendo. We used to do karate and both earned their green belts August of 1999, and we have put up a page all about our karate endeavors! We were in the Kung Fu style of martial arts. We took karate lessons weekly for two years.
Alexander had two leopard frogs for pets, that we raised from eggs. Their names were Jump 'n Jack. They lived in an aquarium in his room, with dirt, a little log, and a pool and ate live crickets. Mom HATED that! We had two of five eggs live to adulthood. They lived for a little over two years. Click on the frog to vist the All About Frogs website!
One year, we raised Painted Lady Butterflies. They were teeny caterpillars when they arrived, and in less than two weeks, were full-grown butterflies. It was really neat to watch them change! Here's the butterfly Website.
Currently we share our household with 6 birds. Two Mexican Red-headed amazons, a cockatoo, a cockatiel, and 2 budgies! There's a link at the bottom of my page to take you to our parrot site.
|Kendo USA||Kendo World Magazine|
|Where's Wally (original)||Sword Fighting|
|Otakon||Magic The Gathering|