Posts Tagged ‘homework’

We have taken on a roll that many adults now hold, and that is grandparents who become parents to their grandchildren, as well as taking care of their own parent.  It is one thing to raise a child from birth, or a young age, and it is another thing to take on a teenager.  I mean, come on guys, the world is WAY different now than it was when I was a teen. 


The deal with these guys is their previous upbringing, or lack thereof.  There was a big focus on being obedient and saying “Yes, Sir” and “No, Ma’am.”   While, we feel it is more important to have respect and give respect than it is to say meaningless words that you are beat for, if you do not say them. 


The boys did have varying degrees of influence from us.  They were with us, for their first: nine years, six years, and three years respectively.  The youngest does not remember living with us at all.  The oldest made a fluid transition to our home.  He did not make a fluid transition to school.  He once did a whole semester of homework, without ever turning it in to the teacher.  This is something only a homeschooled boy would do; or an idiot.  And, he is not an idiot.  We found out about it because we had four teachers tell us, at his first public school conference, that he was a genius.  I could only look down at the F’s across the page and ask “Why this, then?”  Not turning in homework will make even a genius fail. 


What worries me is the lack of “love of knowledge and education.”   It was more important in their stepfather’s home, to fear than to love.  Fear Stepfather’s belt and retribution, fear (for girls) of not wearing prairie dresses and head coverings.  Fear of the word “Foolishness.”  That last one is because it means the “rod of correction” is going to beat it out of you when your grandparent’s leave. 


These three are safe now and have varying degrees of success.  They do not know how to judge people, as their past experiences consisted only in friends like themselves.  Which consisted of other ultra conservative Christian home schooled children who are protected from the world out there by paranoid parents.  So, we are now locking our doors and covering our windows so the Bi-Polar ex-girlfriend of EMT will leave us alone, perhaps proving that it is not so bad to be paranoid.  But, it is not a good way to live.  He trusts everyone and is friends to everyone, even someone who is in need of commitment (even her mother says so at this point). 


I do not understand why these parents, who isolate their children from modern society, do not realize that their children must go out and live in the world we all live in and if you do not provide a child with the tools to recognize and understand that world, that they will have a hard time getting along in it.

Read Full Post »

School can suck, and there is no two ways about it.  The only people who seem to truly relish school are the ones who were the high school cheerleaders, the prom queen or the jock.  Those people never want to leave school.  How many adult mothers do you still see with a “mall hairdo?”   Not to speak of my era students, who still dress in tie-dye and long hair.


Actually, school was going along quite well for me until I was put in experimental “advanced” classes, in sixth grade.  My previous A average dropped to C’s.  My previous best friend became a bit of a tormentor.  She found new friends and bragged that her grades were higher than mine.  As for me, I just did not feel I fit in with the kids in that class.  I also worked every night till midnight on homework to maintain my new “C” average.


After that, I was not so successful on the socializing side. I was a “band” kid and, when a new, and bad band director took over, I lost my love and any possibility of entry into a conservatory.  My grades plummeted and I withdrew into myself.


I have never attended a High School reunion or even given it a second thought.  I did reconnect with an old friend a couple of years ago and we eMail regularly, or did before Sarah Palin became the “other” woman.  So, it was a surprise, even to me, when I joined Classmates.com. 


This move has confirmed to me that, despite my long held belief that no one would remember me, that it is I who do not remember anyone else.  So, take heart students, This too shall pass.

Read Full Post »

Oldest son is a very logical person. At two, he insisted there was (spoiler here) no Santa Clause, because it was impossible for, well, all of it was impossible according to oldest boy. I, being a very sappy holiday person, tried everything to encourage the mythology of Christmas. He just would not buy that the shoe prints, in the flour on the floor, were Santa’s. “But why couldn’t they be?” I foolishly asked. “Because it’s not possible.”


I have found that this same quality makes oldest boy have a very difficult time with life in academia.


I discovered how seriously the logic problem was during the first Parent’s Teachers conference in high school. I was given a depressing listing of his grades in the hall and then entered the cafeteria, where all the teachers sat, with their laptops, at lunch tables. We sat down at the fist table, introduced ourselves and were told by the teacher, “You do know that Joshua is a genius.”


Open mouthed, I looked down at grades and stammered. It sounded something like “hell, escuse is.” The teacher explained that the reason for the dismal grades I was looking at, was that Joshua had not turned in one single page of homework. This was repeated to us three more times during that conference.


When we got home, where Josh was ensconced with his PS2, the conversation went like this:

US: “What’s the deal? Why didn’t you do your homework? You said you were.”

Answer: “I did do all my homework.”

Question: “Well if you kept the papers we have to take them to the teachers for the grades to be credited. How did they miss all those grades?”

Answer: “I have it. It’s in my backpack.”

Whereupon, Joshua got his backpack and pulled out a full semester of finished homework   -—– pause for effect here –-without any grades. He hadn’t turned it in. Nada. None of it. No grades. Not one.


EXPLANATION: “Well, they knew I could do the work. I got A’s on all the tests and the homework covers the same thing as is on the tests that I aced. So, it’s stupid to do it, when they should know I can do it already.”


Okay, perhaps this is a warped logic, but it is logical and he had me going.


While we were living in Wyoming, oldest boy had one of the best teachers I have ever seen, Lance Madzey. He is the film teacher at Natrona High School in Casper, Wyoming. The man is a jewel and I rue the day I moved Joshua across country from his Media teacher.


The first, and last time, Joshua, oldest boy, came home from school excited over a subject, was the first day of the film class. Madzey had everyone line up at the door and enter a darkened classroom. He stood at a podium with special lighting and show them how lighting can create atmosphere. The kids started learning without even realizing they were doing that dreaded of all things, for a school child; learning.


He inspired Joshua to pursue Film as a career. For some time Joshua wanted to be a cinematographer and when we moved to Indiana, and I had my studio set up, Joshua would go out there and make major improvements in my displays. I had arranged things by animal type, for pottery. He, on the other hand went abra cadabra, presto and had, in minutes, a display that was exciting and lead the customer around to all the work.


It’s odd to have a seventeen year old step back and tell you, who have studied color and its affects, how this color offsets that color in a display. I was not applying my own knowledge onto Marketing. For Mr. Logic, it was natural.


We have since, many, many times since, explained to Joshua that “that’s life, kid”. It doesn’t have to be logical. It can be stupid as all get out and probably will be, but you still have to do it. You have to do whatever the stupid boss tells you too. You don’t have to like it, you just do it and you turn it in, or you get a pink slip.


Someday, Mr. Logic is going to understand the real world, or maybe not. He still loves the making of movies and is spending his time in Santa Fe, NM, working as a Gaffer on student productions. They have a Hollywood sound stage. He is no longer a student there however as those dratted teachers wanted homework turned in too and he is not budging from his beliefs.


He plans on doing this for one more year, the work on sets part (the other thing he will do all his life) as he gets another part of his Gaffer license and then he plans on attending Full Sail University in Florida for their program. Thank god, they do not have regular homework. We favor the Film College of LA, but it’s his logical life and he has to live it his way.


Someday you can look for his name in the credits and say, “I’ve heard of that gaffer. It’s that dumb logical kid.” By the way: A Gaffer is the head of the electrical department. Josh just loves it. Electricity is apparently logical enough for him.




Read Full Post »