Tag Archives: school

Drama on the dance floor.

My daughter just graduated from the eighth grade. After her graduation ceremony, there was a school-sponsored dance. Parents were there chaperoning, as well as teachers. My daughter came home from the dance upset because two of her classmates, both girls who are almost definitely not lesbians, were kissing as a crowd of other kids stood around them and cheered them on. My daughter and I have talked about the situation, and I explained that sometimes girls do things to get attention from boys, and we talked about self-esteem, and we’ve already discussed sex and all that. She is not as developed and mature as most of her classmates, which is why I think she was upset.

I’m worried because the overnight class trip is coming up this weekend, and I don’t understand how there could be a big spectacle of two students kissing and none of the chaperones seemed to notice. My daughter would be heartbroken to miss the trip, and I do trust her, but I worry about what the other kids will be up to. Should I let her go?

I dream of the day when the captain of the football team and the star quaterback feel like they need to smooch on the dance floor in order to impress girls. But that’s a whole different conversation.

I would let her go, but first I would talk to the chaperones, or at least one teacher chaperone who you think would be receptive to threats. Without getting specific and without naming names, I would very calmly explain that there was INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR at the graduation dance and that if I heard one peep from my kid about anything going awry on the overnight, I would take WHATEVER STEPS WERE NECESSARY to make things right.

Then maybe mention off-handedly that you know Bill O’Reilly or the editor of The New York Times. Or the Mafia.

Also, give your daughter a cell phone and call and text her constantly.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Homeschooling seems more and more attractive with each passing day.

I’m a teacher, and I also have young children who are about to start school. I occasionally tutor other teachers to help them pass their state exams for certification. Some of these people scare the crap out of me, especially considering the fact that they’re going to be teaching my kids in a couple years. They’re angry about having to be tested in the first place, so their attitudes suck. Frankly, I would be angry, too, if I had no concept of basic mathematics at the age of 30. I feel morally conflicted about tutoring these folks because I just don’t think there’s a good chance that they’ll become successful educators.

During my short time as a teacher, I learned some valuable lessons: 1.) Children will sneak into the parking lot and peek through your car windows, so don’t leave anything on the front seat that you don’t want them to see. 2.) Never offer to chaperone a junior-high dance. 3.) Parents scream at you when you give their children bad grades.

I also learned something, I think, at some point, about students rising to meet your expectations, and that by pushing your students, you can help them see the possibilities. So maybe you should go to tutoring next week, guns blazing (please, not literally), and attack this problem all Lean On Me/Dangerous Minds/Stand And Deliver/To Sir, With Love.

They’re going to teach eventually, whether you help them with math or not, so you might as well try and get them a little fired up about it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

I let people copy my work because I’m afraid they won’t like me if I don’t.

I am a college student. I work my ass off every day to get the best grades I possibly can, and I tend to do pretty well.  However, I am SO SICK of people in my major knowing that I get my work done early, and that I get good grades, because everyone is constantly asking me, “Can you email me that paper?” or “Can you help me with my take home test?”

I so badly want to say, “People…We are in COLLEGE!! Do your own damn work!”  However, I am very much a people-pleaser and there are  not very many people in my major and I don’t want to be known as that girl who is a bitch in the Communications Department. How do I get my point across without being too mean?

Well, dear, you can get kicked out of school for this, and I can guarantee you that your advisor won’t care if you tell her you’re just a people-pleaser, and that’s why you were academically dishonest.

Let’s practice.

“Can you email me that paper?”

NO! Write your own goddam paper.

“Can you help me with my take home test?”

NO! I already took mine. Take your own test.

See how easy that is? If your classmates think you’re a bitch and don’t like you because you won’t let them cheat, then they’re most likely a bunch of losers who are just using you in the first place. Don’t sell yourself short, girl. You work hard and there’s no reason to jeopardize your future for a bunch of lazy assholes. And go make friends with some English majors; they’re a great group of people. And the guys are hot in that literary-mess sort of way.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Why set your sights high when you can flounder in the middle?

I recently applied to grad school with mixed results.  Instead of commiserating and trying to encourage me to stay positive, my dad is making not-so-thinly-veiled comments that this school was never for me in the first place and that I should give up.  How do I tell him to stick it?

I’m really happy for you that you’re not asking, “Is he right? Should I stop striving to achieve my goals and instead wallow in mediocrity until I’m a middle-aged former shell of myself who eats Snoballs by the case and cries myself to sleep every night?”

You could ignore your dad completely. Every time he passive-aggressively hints that you’re not smart/motivated/competent enough for grad school, put a big crazy smile on your face and say, “HOW ABOUT THEM RED SOX?” This could frighten him into stopping.

Or, you could brightly say, “Thanks for your support! It’s so comforting to know you’re there for me during the tough times.” He’ll get confused and stop, eventually. (While you say this, pretend you’re talking to a nice dad. Or you could make a paper-bag-puppet dad and whip it out of your pocket and talk to it whenever your real dad pisses you off. Make sure you do this in front of him or it’ll lose all significance.)

Or, you could just say, “Suck it, Dad.” This might start a fight but I’m fairly sure it’ll stop his ham-handed hinting.

Another option is to realize that nothing you do is going to change him. For whatever reason, he can’t find it in himself to encourage you…but this doesn’t mean you’re not worthy of encouraging. You said you got mixed results, which means some of them were good, which means you’re on your way. I know someone who applied to medical school every spring for years until he got in. Between applications, he took classes, worked hard, studied for his standardized tests, and never lost sight of what he wanted.

Your dad’s approval may mean the world to you, but he’s not the deciding factor in whether or not you succeed. Accept your hurt feelings, realize he’s got some kind of issue that prevents him from wanting to see you do well in this case, and go study your ass off.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized