Friday, February 28, 2014

Leaving a little to be desired


When my kids register for high school classes, I try to be realistic and make sure they don't create a schedule for themselves that will A) stress them out, which in turn B) stresses me out, which C) makes it impossible for any of us to sleep, which results in D) all of us being sick with some form of disease from November - May.

What's that? It's the kids' existence in general that prevents me from sleeping? Oh yeah, I forgot about that part, because chronic sleep deprivation leads to memory loss.

Anyway, up to this point, our strategy has been pretty successful. They've taken classes that have been challenging, but they aren't up until 3am doing homework every night. They take a few classes that are considered "fun," but aren't a complete waste of time. They've taken a couple AP classes, but aren't feeling the pressure to complete both college and high school at the same time.

So yay me for embracing 10% mediocrity and realizing the fact that none of my kids are applying to colleges that require a perfect ACT score, 120% minority status, 4.0 GPA's and they certainly aren't med school material. And anyway, they'd all be pretty sucky doctors because all I have to do is mention an owie or a burn or a small stab wound to them and they're all "EWWWWW! Oh my god GROSSS! UGGGHHH! That must really hurt! Bye!"


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

During the elementary school years, I attend the parent teacher conferences because, well, I have to. I mean, when the "pick a time slot for your conference" registration arrives, there isn't a box to check for NONE TIME SLOT. So I attend, and listen, and occasionally drive a pointy elbow into my child's side and in general, these conferences aren't unpleasant.

Starting in junior high, though, I start phasing those conferences out of my calendar. I figure that, based on the grades I'm seeing and the lack of phone calls I'm receiving, the kids are doing their part and I really don't need to walk around and hear "you have a fine young person" over and over again. Because, while I know that I have a fine young person, I also know that the young person is capable of being very not-so-fine and, well, I'd be super tempted to share a couple stories, just so those teachers don't start setting their expectations unrealistically high.

Once the kids get to high school, the conferences have completely phased out and I try to leave all accountability to the kid. I try to NEVER email a teacher to question a test score or inquire about a missing assignment, and instead bring it to the child's attention in a calm, nurturing conversation that sounds a lot like WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU THINKING?

Recently, however (and because discussing this with my kid is making me drink even more than usual), I made a huge exception, broke down and emailed a teacher. And while I will be the first to admit that our school district has a grading system that is best suited for the toilet, I am not blaming this flawed system for my kid's current lack of performance. I am, however, blaming his performance on his most recent affliction: lazyassitis.

Here is the email...



Good morning, Marlene.


I have been hoping that I wouldn't have to contact you myself, as I've been trying to hold Charlie personally accountable for his grades and schoolwork without me having to double check things and make sure he's being responsible. It seems though, after reviewing his biology grade through this trimester, that this wish was the same as my wish for a snow-free and abnormally warm winter because THE OUTCOME IS EXACTLY THE SAME... DISAPPOINTING!

After having a fairly decent first trimester in all of his classes, it appears as though Charlie's brain has fallen out as there are a couple of grades that leave a little to be desired. A "little" being defined, in this case, as A WHOLE CRAP TON OF DESIRE.

I spoke very passionately with him a couple weeks ago about how "disappointed" I was in what is obviously a lack of classroom maturity this trimester as well as what appears to be a general "oh well" attitude and told him that he should make great efforts to change both perceptions because anger is an emotion that I don't enjoy. We have made significant adjustments as to how he is allowed to spend his free time at home, and that seems to be making a difference in a couple of his classes. But biology seems to continue to elude him.

Now I'm like dude, she's not expecting you to find the cure for cancer. Just learn the material and turn your stuff in!

I may be sending this email approximately 55 days too late, as I know the trimester is wrapping up. I know that he was in your classroom before school to do some test corrections on his most recent disaster. Now I'm wondering... is there anything else that this child could possibly do to salvage his grade even a little bit? He claims that the test that he really rocked on with a 0 back in December is unable to be corrected or retaken and isn't even sure if that test was ever handed back.

On another note, although his grade throughout the first trimester was pretty good, he seemed to do REALLY VERY BAD on the final. I know that he has asked you about this and was wondering if maybe there was a scoring error, as that test grade doesn't really reflect the rest of the trimester. However, based on his super awesome performance during the second tri, maybe the final was just foreshadowing.


Thanks for your time. Have a great weekend.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is awesome. Literally crying laughing.

The Mean Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Mean Mom said...

Thanks for reading, and taking the time to leave a comment. Sorry about the tears.

harada57 said...

thanks

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