Saturday, July 11, 2009

Welcome to My Nightmare

It's going to be a bad year. I can tell because it's July 11th an I've just had my first nightmare of the school year.

It used to be pleasant. New backpack, new pencils, new teacher, new classroom. Hah! I think they put elementary school there to lull you into a false sense of security. They don't let on that by the time they've finished 5th grade they've decided that lessons learned have an expiration date. Who knew that you only need to remember the spelling words until the test is over. Sort of like a magic erase board in the mind.

Middle school is the start of free thinking. I'm all for having them think for themselves. Unfortunately, in our house that meant "I don't like reading and writing so therefore I think I don't need to do it." It's been a real joy ever since.

Now it's time to start senior year. I've bought three books to cover the required one for summer reading. Actually, I bought two, In the Presence of the Enemy and High Fidelity, which meant he really wanted to read Triple. The biggest mystery will be if he reads anything. They included a book, Acceptance, just for fun, a little senior humor. Right! It's supposed to be a humorous take on the process of getting into college. I bought it for me. It may be the only chuckle I get. As a person who actually likes books I don't know where this kid comes from. Who stole that sweet little kid who had me read The Cat in the Hat so many times I had it memorized? I think he was kidnapped by Thing 1 and Thing 2.

So I woke up this morning with my blood pressure spiking. I don't remember exactly what the dream was but I remember the gist. It had to do with school, project, not done, failing, the usual. It's July 11th for God's sake. Can't I have two months of peace? Can't this wait until September? How did I wind up with a kid who is so oblivious to how this works? You go to school, you get good grades, you go to college, you get a job. You do this and I go to Florida and stay warm and out of your hair. I think that's pretty simple so what is it he doesn't get?

And why does this thing tell me that doesn't is spelled wrong? Maybe I should change it to duzzint. How's that? "Best guess" spelling as they used to say at Wayne Elementary. Why would you tell kids it's okay to spell words wrong and then change your mind a couple of years later? Why not just correct them the first time and get it right from there? I think we should have "best guess" math and I can't wait till we get to "best guess" chemistry. That ought to be a blast. Literally. How come this thing duzzint tell me that literally isn't a sentence? I'm sorry, make that izzint.

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