One More Award-Winning Photo!

Anna and her chimp photo (in monochrome)

Photo: Julia Ozab

We travelled up to Salem yesterday for the Oregon State Fair. Julia and Anna both entered photos, and we knew that one of them had won an award, but we weren’t sure which. Our first stop was the photography exhibit, but none of the ribbons were up yet, so no answer there. Julia still took a photo of Anna besides each of her entries (“Mr. Chimp”—above, and “In Living Color,” which had already won a Fair Board Award at the Lane County Fair last month).

We had lunch before the food court got too busy, and then we hit the midway and Anna rode fifty-five rides with her unlimited ride pass. That was the highlight of her day, until …

first place!

Photo: Julia Ozab

She won first place in the Junior Monochrome category for “Mr. Chimp.” The award was well-deserved—as much as I liked the color version of this photo, the black and white print is stunning.

Mr. Chimp (black and white)

Mr. Chimp (© 2014 by Anna Ozab)

So now, in a little over a year, she’s won a third, a second, a first, and a Fair Board Award. And she’s only eight-years-old.

Anna has a real future in photography. Someday she may be famous, and if she she is, you got the chance to see her beautiful photos here first!

Yeah, we’re proud of her. Can’t you tell?

The Difference a Teacher Can Make

Anna with her backpack

First day of 2nd Grade

The last year has made a big difference in Anna’s education and her outlook. Her first grade year wasn’t easy. She wasn’t getting the support she needed either in her classroom or in her school as a whole. So we made the hard decision to move her to a different school.

It was a last resort. I changed schools several times as a child, and I hated being the new kid. I wanted to give her stability, but not at the cost of compromising her education.

The first month was hard. She had several emotional meltdowns in class and at one point her speech language pathologist even suspected that she might be on the autism spectrum. We doubted this since she’d never shown any signs before, and instead we researched school adjustment issues.

She was taking the change harder than we realized, but after about a month or so she settled in. Her second grade teacher, her SLP, and her occupational therapist all supported her, and she showed great improvement in academics, in her speech, and in her handwriting.

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