Archive for August, 2012

August 31, 2012

Excuses

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I have been thinking about blogging again.  Obviously i haven’t in a long time.  I must have been busy. None the less hear I am with so much on my mind.  It stands to reason because the weather has been changing, and as I have said before I get sentimental about the weather change. Here’s the story. You knew there was one coming right.  Proudly I name this one, Excuses.

Yesterday I went to my kids school for orientation.  It’s a joyous day when we meet back up with schedules and routines. The excitement builds and the next thing I know I am up at the crack of dawn and cooking breakfast again.

Lets take a step back to when school ended. I am fortunate to have two healthy, very smart kids. My daughter who was in 7th grade last years made an A in Algebra1. It all appeared that she was doing great until she failed the exit exam for the class. Now if you pass the exam it is my understanding that she would get collage credit. Awesome right!  On failing I thought, ok maybe you just need some more help. The whole class failed. The whole class. Every single person.

Let’s take one more step back. During the year my daughter said she was having some problems in the class so I went and meet with the teacher, Smith. She told me that there was tutoring the next day, Wednesdays. “Have your daughter drop by and she can get the help she needs.” This is the generic answer that you would expect. My daughter went the next day, sat in class and received no help at all. Shock! Again I went to the teacher the next day.  

“Your daughter needs to be a self advocate.” Smith.  
“We just discussed this the day before why she was coming to tutoring.” Me
“She didn’t tell me why she was there.” Smith
“As I said we discussed this. I’m wondering is there a listening problem here.” Me
“Like I said she needs to be a self advocate.” Smith

This was my first encounter. Now, back to the failed exam. I asked my daughter for all her math papers that she had left.  Turns out she had quite a few. All the papers were A’s 100 percent.  Half the work was not done and the other half was wrong. How the hell did she get an A. Like any parent who cares for their child I went to the school.

The teacher only stamps the work if it is turned in.
Students are to grade their own work.
Tests are graded by other students.

I know you are seeing the problem here. I have enough homework from the end of the semester to drop my daughters grade from an A to an F. Gasp! I confronted the school about this and got these excuses which by the way are very politically correct.

Smith has a lot of students. (It’s her job)
Math is a demanding subject. (It’s her job)
She didn’t have enough support staff.  (It’s her job)
Students have to be self advocates.  (They are 11 and 12. It’s your job to know they are failing)

It is a teachers job to grade papers and tests. There is a grading system in place so that I know how my child is doing. Tests help recap previously learned subject.

Here is the point. Excuses are in the very simplest form of why we as people did not, would not, or will not do something that needs to be done. Let’s be honest. I didn’t do it because I was lazy. I didn’t want to. I did something else instead. I was tired. I dont want to confuse excuses with reasons. I had to go to work. I had an appointment of some kind. It’s a fine line and one that I think shouldn’t be so blurry.

So why haven’t I written in so long.
Working in my vegetable garden.
Putting in new retainer walls in my backyard.
Found a dumped puppy that we decided to keep.
Hanging with the kids over summer.
Putting in wood floors upstairs.
Refinishing the banister.
Being lazy. I’ll admit.
Working

Why haven’t I played my guitar.

Please refer to all the reasons above.

Excuses. We use them far to often for ourselves and other people. The administration excused the teachers behavior with a quick, “We understand your concers.”  We would like to think that someone is qualified to do their job when in fact it is easier to make excuses for them then find someone who is qualified. We wallow in self pity and loathing because it is easier than getting off the couch. We hide behind them instead of facing the truth. Excuses are as main stream as cell phones. We all have one and use them way to often. Excuses are a drug that destroys our very being. I have them. You have them.  None of them are worthy of the person you or those around you could be without them.

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August 30, 2012

You/Me

It’s been a year since I was hear.
I didnt hear any words.
There was no voice.
No reason.
No sound
No words
No reason

I heard you
The words rang clear
The voice was strong

I was sad
I found sadness
Nothing in response

Pause

You wrote
I saw your face
Inspiration
Coincidence
Life
Your words inspire
I heard mine

Vision
A moment
It may last
It’s gone

August 30, 2012

Failure

Is there a point in time where you can see the direction of change, the tides turn, and the whiners win. I’m not sure where it came from but here it is. The losers deserve medals, yeah. Who in the hell came up with that. You lost, and now society thinks you deserve a medal. My kid won and gets the same appreciation and acknowledgement as the losers. Wow, I’m so proud to be part of the system.

I’m not being selfish here. Win or lose, we have all been on both sides of the fence. This is my real bitch. My 8th grader is getting happy face stamps on her homework. She is 13 years old. Im sure somewhere there is a psychologist that believes this helps my child’s self esteem. The teacher believes, as I suspect most do at this point as I haven’t seen red marker in years, that a red marker is damaging psychologically. Are you kidding me. What it means is you got the answer wrong. I love red pens. It puts you life into perspective. It separates those who get it and those who don’t. It’ a matter of right and wrong, accountability for you learning or not learning.

Every society from the beginning of time has winners and losers. Those who succeed and those who fail. We have to fail to succeed. It’s a simple concept that the society around me choses to ignore. Participation Award, that just says it all. Not everyone should be on the team. Not everyone should participate. Let’s just say your child wants to play football. He or she, politically correct here, sucks, but gets on the team anyways, politically correct. Your child gets to play every game and because of your child and every other child like yours on the team loses every game. Yeah we all got to participate. We are winners. NO. Your losers. You lost every game and your kid sucks at football.

Different scenario.

Let’s just say that you child tried out for the team and didn’t make the cut. Yep you guessed it feelings got hurt. Oh I’m sorry but get over it and move on. Let’s say because of this failure you child goes into the band, and he is awesome. Let’s just say because some coach said your child sucked at football he succeed in the band. Failure and success. It’s simple. It we succeeded at everything we would have a unfulfilling life. Just think for a minute about the last thing you really failed at. Just think of the last thing you succeed at. Both were equally amazing. We can not have one without the other and be truly successful.

As a parent I encourage my kids to fail. I encourage my kids to make bad choices. I encourage my kids to speak their mind especially to me. I never demand my kids respect. I earn it and they earn mine. I just figure the best place to make life mistakes is at home. Now, have my kids ever said FU to me. Yep they have. Have my kids ever backed talked. Yep, all the time. Life is a funny situation it’s about give and take, loses and wins, failures and success. With respect we make gains, but we have to learn how to get that and we can’t learn without failing first.

The point. Encourage failure it encourages passion for success.

I am an everything goes type of parent. There are no whiners allowed but you are welcome to fail as much as you like. I will always be there to lend a hand up or just crash with you.