For the fifth consecutive year, Athena’s been awarded the Creative Writing Award at the end of the school year ceremonies, and as you can see she’s rather demurely pleased about the accomplishment. I’ve warned her not to get cocky. She told me to take a seat, old man. Kids these days.

Thus concludes another school year; fourth grade is now in the rear-view mirror and fifth grade is coming up fast. But between there and here are three months of summer. The first “I’m bored” of the summer, incidentally, came about five minutes after the closing school bell. Good to know she’s not slacking off.

53 Comments on “Five-Peat”

  1. Tori started giving my “I’m Bored” on Monday, two days before school ended :-)

  2. Not long before she writes her Dad’s books so he’s free to kill undead all day.

  3. I love her “Thank you Cleveland! Good night!” pose. Your daughter is not only creative, but metal. Parenting win.

  4. My kids have learned not to tell me that they are bored. I followed the advice of a mother from online. They have a list of the things that they like to do. If they’re bored, they can find something on the list, or I can give them something to do – there are always chores that need to be done. It’s a really nice system for avoiding that dreaded phrase.

  5. Woo Hoo, Athena!

    We are about to kiss 9th grade good-bye, and 10th is around the corner, and Puppy has a learner’s permit. You know, for DRIVING. A CAR.

    Time, it flies.

  6. Tell Athena that she should feel very superior to Ontario students, who have almost another entire month to go before it’s summer holidays. Right now we’re still in the “school’s going to end and THEN I’ll be bored, and until then I’ll just be miserable that school is still on” phase.

    Congratulations Athena- that’s very impressive. One of my daughters has just started writing at age 13, but we don’t have writing awards in our schools up here. Being a storyteller is one of life’s great gifts, and I hope that you keep pursuing it.

  7. CJ@11: yea, I would say, “I’m bored” but my mom always seemed to hear, “Can I please do some yardwork?”

  8. Take the ‘old man’ thing as something good. I’m a (slightly older) daddy’s girl, and that’s how I refer to my own old man. Daddy’s girls get to use their own brand of nickname… Incidently, congrats on the five-peat, and tell her to keep it coming!

  9. Yeesh, out of school ALREADY? And elementary school at that? Around here (Maryland), the elementary kids get
    out sometime the end of next week.

    Congrats on the win, though,

  10. And now to scare John:

    Two words, my friend: Middle school

    You’ve been warned.

    (I cheated. I married into my family AFTER AJ graduated middle school.)

    (This is the part where you mention driver’s license, John.)

  11. Seriously? Three months of summer vacation?!!

    Round these parts (in Scotland) the kids get 7 weeks – and it’s challenging enough keeping them occupied for that long.

    Good luck with getting any work done on your top secret project ….

  12. Well at least you work from home, so you don’t have to find child care for the summer. Although by July a few weeks at summer camp might be good for your mental health :P

  13. End of elementary school is June up here (British Columbia), but we don’t start until the day after Labour Day.

    I used to win writing awards in elementary school, and I am now a prolific reader of bestselling SF novels, so you know, could lead to good things.

  14. Hmmm…
    writing awards and not a bit camera shy to brag on it…
    wonder where she gets that?

    Congrats to Athena!! If she gets bored, have her start on her first book.

  15. It has nothing to do with a new John Scalzi wing of the school, does it? ;)

    But seriouisly, congratulations to her!

  16. Way to go Athena

    I’m sure the “I’m bored” came out early just to get it out of the way.

    My kids used to always say “are we there yet” when I turned the ignition key. They would giggle for ten minutes or so and then not say it again the whole trip. Great fun every time.

  17. My 8 year-old is on a year-round schedule. He’s done with 2nd grade on 18 June, and he starts 3rd grade on 29 July. Seems like a gyp compared to the traditional summer break, but he also gets three weeks off in the fall, four weeks off in the winter, and another three weeks off in spring. All in all, we’re very happy with the schedule.

    And yes, he still gets bored. Thank god for Wii and Wii fit.

  18. “I’m bored”… that reminds me, I should hunt down the ten-year-old and present her to the dirty dishes.

  19. Lauretta @ 18

    Do Maryland students start on August 20th? That’s about when this last year started up here.

  20. summer break around here is usually about 9-10 weeks. We say 3 months, because it WAS three months when we were kids, but it hasn’t been for 20 years now.

    This particular year, Bradford (where Athena attends, and my kids go, and my wife works) will actually get almost a full three months because

    wait for it

    the county fair is being held late, and if school started on the usual date, nobody would attend the first week.

    Gotta love small town living :-)

  21. I did the math, and came to realize Athena won her first school writing award in Kindergarden.

    You go, girl! :)

  22. I’m a city girl by birth, but moved to the midwest for a few years….got called for jury duty and nearly fell over when one lady asked to be excused because she had cows in the state fair and the judge said “excused, good luck with the cows!”

    Small town living for sure :)

  23. Athena’s so lucky to have parents who encourage that sort of thing. My parents grumbled about the fact that I had notebooks full of doodles, poetry, and not-so-short stories. They wanted a normal child who watched TV all day or who obsessed about Barbies. It still makes me laugh to think about it!

  24. So… you think you’ll be able to hold that pose with three Hugo awards, John? :P

  25. Did she ask you how many creative writing awards you had won by 4th grade?

    I am teaching 5th grade next year. Too bad I don’t live out there I could use some good writing students.

  26. Congrats to Athena.

    Oh, TechnoGeek Dad, have you ever considered introducing Athena to LEGO Robotics, as in FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO League? It’s one of Dean Kamen’s evangelical outlets. The US Open was recently held at Wright Patterson AFB.

    Check it out at

    And, always assign any kid who says “I’m bored” chores.

  27. I suppose it helps when your writings are edited by a best-selling and award-winning science fiction writer . . . which isn’t necessarily a bad thing . . . I suppose. Unless you’re the student who came in second place.

  28. That noise you can hear is Mr Scalzi’s growing conviction that some day, a long way in the future, an Ohio newspaper will publish an obituary with the headline “John Scalzi, Father Of Famous Novelist, Dies At Home”.

  29. 3 months, I would go mad. In Holland it’s 6 weeks and that is plenty long to try and cover with vacation and grandparents. Do they remember anything after such a span.

  30. Oh, Look! It’s Athena Scalzi, internationally famous novelist and rock star! Let’s go get her autograph!

    Who’s that old dude with her ?

    Hell if I know, man. Looks kind of old to be her bodyguard. Maybe it’s her publisher or her agent.

    No, no. I know who it is. It’s her old man.

    You could be right. Didn’t he used to be famous on the old internet, or something?

  31. Great. {sigh} Another generation of Scalzi writers creating mindbogglingly good stories and characters I care about. I’m already up late reading and re-reading the current body of work, blowing my book budget on the first generation of great titles. Now, and my heart wrenches thinking about it, there is the prospect of a whole ‘nother generation of brilliant prose taunting me from the bookshelf?! Oh the humanity!

    Please put me on the list for a signed first edition of your debut novel, Athena. I’m sure the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. And, of course, _congratulations_ on your award!

    – Scott

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