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.