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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