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Take Me to the Moon 4.7: The More Things Change

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Take Me to the Moon 4.7: The More Things Change

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Oasis Springs Community School has just opened

It was the first day of school and everyone was mingling on the sidewalk, waiting for the bell to ring. In spite of his usual reserved attitude in social situations, Ewan Tesla immediately began chatting with his teacher, Ms. Rolle,

 

Rachel Arias, Ryleigh and Dante’s daughter,  started complaining about her parents to Desmond Goth.  Desmond had never heard anyone speak ill of their elders before.

There was an awkward silence as all the other kids absorbed Rachel’s sassy attitude.

“So how about that new sugary candy?” Desmond said.

The bell rang and everyone went inside.

Ewan Tesla, Etienne Pancakes, and Eleanor Simself made up the older class.  They were second graders.

The second graders looked around and wondered what this school year would be like, and whether they’d find a friend in this group.

Ms. Rolle, the teacher and principal of the school, explained that this year, all the students would move through most of the day as a single group, even though they were not all the same age.

She laid out the schedule:

Core Academics (Language Arts and Math)
Media Center/Computer Lab, 
Lunch and Recess, 
Art or Music or Science

Next, she taught the school-wide expectations.  Students were expected to keep the school a safe, bully-free environment, follow instructions of staff, and be respectful of each other and the teacher.   Students would be given warnings, but after that, if they did not begin making better choices and continued to go against the rules, Ms. Rolle would conference with their parents.

Ms. Rolle could tell right away that the kindergarten class was going to be a handful.  Rachel, Rianna, and Elise already were thick as thieves, and Desmond already knew how to dish it back out to his mean cousin, Elise.  

Desmond also learned quickly that Rachel could be just as mean as Rianna and Elise,

since she would rather join with her twin, Rianna, than become her next target.

Fortunately, Desmond was used to his cousin Elise’s jeers, and had learned to at least act like he was not bothered by them, so overall, the kindergartners were avoiding major conflict.

Soon it was time for computer lab.   Ms. Rolle reiterated that the students were to stay on the school web site and its authorized links, which contained all the programs the students were supposed to use during school hours. 

Rianna made faces at Ms. Rolle behind her back while she talked.
And quickly proceeded to troll forums, instead.
Ms. Rolle quickly noticed that Rianna was having a lot more fun than one typically did on Arithmetic Attack.
And told Rianna that she needed to close that window immediately.  Even though Rianna denied that she was trolling instead of practicing math.
Rianna, caught in the act, was not very pleased with Ms. Rolle.  But she reneged.

Finally, it was the long-awaited recess time.  Rianna was still mad, so she was happy to escape Ms. Rolle’s clutches.

Eleanor was excited to play, but halfway across the monkey bars, began to think she was going to fall.

Ewan, typically of a first child, once again gravitated to his teacher and began chatting with her while she tended the school garden.

Etienne, who, as an aspiring musician, considered himself above recess, condescended to play Space Rangers with Desmond Goth.  Desmond was not too thrilled at the prospect of unstructured play time, either.

But they ended up having a lot of fun, in spite of themselves.

The next day at recess, they played again, and Elise and Rachel joined them.

Until Rianna began mocking Ewan, and all the kids gathered around to see what would happen.

At first, Ewan gave her a little attitude, right back.

But he couldn’t keep it up, like Rianna  could.

Desmond turned to his cousin to see what he would say, now.

Ewan got up.  He was mad.  The madder he got, the funnier Rianna seemed to think it was.

Rianna shoved Ewan.  Everybody saw it.

Ms. Rolle heard the commotion and came over to the students.   Ewan was still stunned and shaken.

 Rianna proceeded to tell an unbelievable story to Ms. Rolle, which shocked Desmond.  It was hard for him to believe the lie’s sheer magnitude.

Ms. Rolle knew better, as she had actually seen it herself.

Ms. Rolle called Rianna’s mother.   Ryleigh was there, feeling defeated, within moments.   It was only the second day of school. 

Ryleigh, who had always been a rule-follower herself,  had worried that Rianna would have a hard time staying out of trouble at school.

As Ms. Rolle approached, Ryleigh worried what Ms. Rolle must think of her parenting skills.

Ms. Rolle began to describe the issue of Rianna trolling forums yesterday.  Ryleigh felt a little peeved at being called during an important meeting at work, and wondering if this was going to happen every other day, all school year!
But as Ms. Rolle objectively described the expectations that had been taught to the students, and  listed the rules Ryleigh had broken in the last two days, Ryleigh realized that the teacher had been very thorough in her expectations and supervision, and Rianna had misbehaved more than she had even anticipated.
Ms. Rolle told Ryleigh how she had seen Rianna shove Ewan, and Rianna had made up a lie to try to convince her otherwise.

The thought that her daughter was acting like a bully was very hard for Ryleigh to take, and she had a hard time fighting back tears.  She knew Ewan well, and knew he wouldn’t have started a fight with Rianna.

Ms. Rolle asked Ryleigh if there were any strategies she could suggest to motivate Rianna to behave more pro-socially.

And then Ms. Rolle found herself comforting an embarrassed and overwhelmed parent.  In the end, Ryleigh and Ms. Rolle decided to each let Rianna know they were talking to each other about her behavior, consequences if she fought or was disrespectful, and rewards she could earn at home and at school if she followed rules.

The school day was almost over.  It was time for art, music, and science.  The kindergartners went to art.

Desmond Goth, who had been pretty shocked by the outspoken Rachel Arias when he first met her, started looking for opportunities to talk to her or play with her.

But although she was a naturally cheerful child, she had spent her whole life learning from her twin, Rianna, and she was more prone to mock Desmond than to be friendly.

The teacher had to remind Desmond to use kind words, when she saw him jeering back at Rachel.

But as soon as the teacher’s back was turned, they were laughing, this time, with each other.

Etienne Pancakes had chosen to study music.

Which he quickly discovered was more challenging than he had anticipated.

Meanwhile, Etienne’s classmates, Eleanor and Ewan, were busy working on a science lab lesson.  Ewan pretty quickly created a yellow green cloud that smelled terrible.  Eleanor looked around to see if the teacher saw it.

Finally, the school day was over and everyone was at home with their parents.  As soon as they reached the house, Ryleigh asked Rianna what she was thinking, getting into a fight at school?!

When Ryleigh hemmed and hawed and said it really wasn’t like that, Ryleigh put up her hand.  She told Rianna to march herself right inside and her dad and her both would give her a talking-to.

Rianna literally marched into the living room, mocking her mom as she went.

She took a seat and glared at her mom.

Ryleigh was confounded but determined not to let a five year old get the best of her.  After all, she hired and fired people every week!

“I am very disappointed in you, Rianna,” she finally said.

That took the wind out of Rianna’s sails.  She looked back at her mom, also confused.

“I know you can behave if you want to, and you are a smart girl.”  Ryleigh went on to tell Rianna that she expected this nonsense to end and that Rianna was losing computer privileges for the rest of the week.

Rianna made a face but she knew from the past, that if she argued, she’d lose more days.

A little later, she made the calculated decision that if she didn’t make up with her mom, it was just going to be tougher for her in the long run.  “I love you, mommy,” she said, and gave Ryleigh a big hug.  Ryleigh knew she’d come around eventually, and everything would be ok.

Notes:

Sims 4 has the advantage of being very easy to move sims between lots, so I just moved all the kids in to the school lot for this update, so I didn’t have to contend with sims leaving, and having to get them to come back.  With the lot cap of 8 sims, I wasn’t able to include the two younger Pancake children, though.
Rianna went straight into the computer lab to troll forums, while everyone else socialized on the sidewalk.  I had Ms. Rolle go and scold her, and that set in motion her getting angry.  
Rachel is a goofball, and I’m not sure if she was autonomously choosing mean or mischievous interactions, probably mischievous, but they looked mean at times.  Desmond would always smile afterwards, though!
Ewan did constantly want to chat with Ms. Rolle, I thought very typical of an oldest child.
I was really lucky that Ryleigh came to the school in a sad mood, it helped with getting the pictures I needed.
Rianna wanted to make an enemy and her lowest scores were with Desmond and Ewan, so I decided if she were enemies with Ewan that would cause more story-fodder, with Ryleigh and Delaney being best friends.
In the game, Rianna and Ewan fought, and Rianna won.  So she was in a confident mood, and he was dazed.  When Rianna got home, she was still in the confident mood and that’s why she was “marching.”

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20 Comments so far:

  1. Echo Weaver says:

    This was fantastic. It's so hard for me to get any kind of storyline going with children. I really wondered how you got school events to screensnap. Isn't school just an out-of-neighborhood event? Did you add a school lot to the neighborhood for this update? If I understand correctly, you moved the kids in to "live" at the school lot for this school day, then moved them back home?

    • I'm so glad you enjoyed reading it. You hit the nail on the head, with the logistics. I built a "school," which is actually a residential lot, where the teacher lives. Then I moved the kids there, actually for two days, Saturday and Sunday, so they wouldn't get sent off to the regular school they disappear to.

      Several Sims 2 players run schools on a community of residential lot, some used mods from Simlogical, but I have done it with or without the mod. Running a school and having school updates is just a great way for all the kids the same age to develop relationships and history before getting to teen or young adulthood. And like you said on Sim Writers, we change so much during our child and teen years, that it's nice to have more time to develop the characters at that age than just playing them in their regular household.

      It is just so easy in Sims 4 to send Sims temporarily to a lot and then send them back, I'm really enjoying that feature.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • Oops- typo– I meant to say Sims 2 players run schools on a community OR residential lot, not "of." I don't know what the heck a "community of residential lot" would be, lol.

    • Echo Weaver says:

      I LOVE this idea. When I move to Sims 4, I will certainly do it.

      One thing that really bugs me in Sims 3 is that children don't get much attention in game design. A bunch of really fun stuff was added in the Generations expansion (and I love that stuff), but children get the short stick for EVERY other expansion and almost all of the store content. Most actions on objects are teen and up. You know what's making me nuts right now? Children can't learn Charisma at all, and that is very frustrating for my Irresistible child. I think that's a big part of why I seldom bond with my sims until they're teens; they just have fewer ways to be distinctive. I'm trying harder with the current crop and getting some good ideas.

      So, how did you keep the kids from being set to the off-lot school?

    • Generations was a great expansion, but I've noticed that too about Sims 3.

      Sims 4 has social skill for kids, which feeds into the charisma skill. Kids also have mental, creativity, and motor skill to develop. And you probably know about the kids' aspirations– Social Butterfly, Artistic Prodigy, and Rambunctious Scamp, which are a nice touch.

      I played the teacher until the weekend and had the kids at the school lot on Saturday and Sunday so that they wouldn't get sent off to the off-lot school.

  2. Carla says:

    What a fun update. Really cool to see how you're making school work for you in TS4.

    Oh gosh, Rianna reminds me of far, far too many students I've known! Lucky Ms. Rolle has a good handle on her, because those sorts of kids will run rampant if you let them.

    Are you using mods for TS4? I'm positive there's one to allow more than 8 sims per lot, though it does seem like it's a bit fiddly (apparently, if you want to move sims out once you've moved in more than 8, you have to make sure there will be less than 8 sims left or it won't let you). I guess it could be something to look into though, if you're interested.

    • Thanks Carla, I am glad you thought it was fun. As usual with a school update, it was a little bit extra work, but well worth it to me.

      I know some students like Rianna too. Ms. Rolle is "self-assured," so she is definitely not someone to let a child run rampant over her!

      I considered using the mod to allow more than 8 sims, but it made me nervous so I decided to just ignore two of the Pancake kids instead. The "stable version" only allows for 9 sims, which didn't seem worth it, and the "experimental version" allows more. I could have invited them over for a few screenshots, and may do that in a future school update.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. retromaisie says:

    Desmond…oh boy! He was quite shocked (and totally adorable!) by these girls he attends school with! And poor Ewan, getting shoved by Rianna. That would be even more rough with their Mom's being best friends, and Rianna is totally adorable, her interactions with her Mom at the end are sooooo cute! Oh man. Your sims make me want to play TS4 just for kicks.

    Your school looks fabulous, I liked following the kids throughout their day, and seeing Ms. Rolle bust Rianna on the computer. She's an active teacher, keeping her students in line. I was going to suggest just invite those younger Pancake kids over for some screen shots without having them live there.

    • Maisie, I think you have a soft spot for my evil sim children, ha. Ms. Rolle is self-assured, neat, and a bookworm so she is quite particular and the kids don't run over her.

      Maybe not having the Pancake kids in the update is a bit of passive aggressive revenge on my part; the game had Eliza deliver them, and named them, while I was playing another house with aging off for all but the active household, very aggravating. But really, your idea is great, there were just already a lot of kids in the update so I didn't bother.

  4. moondansr says:

    Beautifully done! Adding a school like that is genius. I’ve made a reform school for a challenge, but testing it became overwhelming so I decided to take a break. In a real school kids can go home afterwards. I like that. This segment was very fun to read.

    • Thanks, so glad you liked it! (I can’t take credit for the idea; it is a Sims 2 community thing to have playable schools and school updates). I am thinking of trying the school mod after if it is updated for Spa Day in time for the current generation (6). Or maybe another school update like this one.

      • moondansr says:

        Oh, that sounds really fun! I’m always so scared of mods since my game is already broken without them so much of the time. Still, I love seeing them in action.

  5. ninjapigsims says:

    Aw, elementary school days! I love the school, it fits right into the neighbourhood of Oasis Springs! I hope Rianna learns to behave herself. She seems like a sweet kid, just unbelievably sassy and spirited!

    • I haven’t played Rianna nearly as much as I had hoped, in the interest of moving the legacy along. Maybe she can be in a different story one day. I like you description of her, and agree she certainly is VERY sassy and spirited.

  6. ivanasims says:

    You’ve built a very nice school. I thought you used the School mod for this chapter, but you actually managed to set up the whole scene. I really don’t like the way Rianna has become and I really hope she comes around before teenage years make the situation worse.

  7. Watching Desmond and Etienne play separate from the other kids was a joy! I love your school too. I was going to use the school mod for my new story but I need to control EVERYBODY. Lol. I do use the experimental mod (in my legacy as well). But overall this chapter was fun! Someone needs to give Rianna a taste of her medicine.. Lol. Sneaky kids.

    • Thank you, I’m glad you liked it! Thanks for taking the time to comment! I’m still nervous about using CC with all the updates that come, otherwise I’d try the school mod, it looks great.

      • Yeah but it seems to still be in the works honestly since there are 2 versions right now, one without the teachers (the one that is probably most efficient) and the one with teachers (this one is in the works and needs to be tested the last time I heard.) Just be careful, I love mods and cc .. as you can tell in my legacy lol.

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