Friday, November 12, 2004

E Does Not Mean Excellent

Report card time is always one of thrills and chills around here. This one is no different. It is a sad day when you realize that your incredibly brilliant child is merely average. At least according to the state grading scale. I could buy that, honestly, if their report cards didn't tell me a more ominous truth. My children are smart, but apparently just lazy. Great. Obviously this is a gene they inherited from their father.

#1 Son managed to bring home an E in math this grading period. This disturbs me on several levels. First, he's good in math. His grade at the interim was an A. Last year he got As and Bs in the subject. In fact, he tested into Pre-Algebra prior to this year, though he opted to stay in regular math for one more year because he had a rather challenging course load including two advanced level classes and a foreign language. How, you ask, did he manage the stellar E despite good test grades? Well you see here in Virginia they have this silly rule about turning in homework. Crazy right? Oh sure, he does it at home. THAT I am able to be sure of. Unfortunately once the homework leaves my lair I have no control over it. You would think that it could make it in a binder for the 5 whole minutes it takes to get to school. You would be wrong. #1 Son has no clue what has happened. He looks at me like a deer hit with a spotlight and utters brilliant thoughts like "Huh? Wuh?" To say this situation has frosted my tomatoes is an understatement. I could go on and on telling you about all the great excuses I got from #1, some of them rather hilarious, but I won't. I don't think I could stomach them the second time around.

Instead, the other issue that disturbs me is the E itself. I mean, come on. An E?? What kind of a pansy grade is that? E does not mean excellent, Sparky. Political correctness has run rampant through our children's lives. Apparently they don't want to "hurt little Biff and Buffy's feelings" with the grade he actually earned – an F, a FAILURE. Yeah kid, you failed. Welcome to the real world.

This PC crap in schools goes hand in hand with kids' sports. When I was a kid you got a trophy or a medal only for a real accomplishment. First place teams, most valuable player, even most improved got rewarded. It was an honor – something you worked hard for. Now? Oh no, now EVERY kid on the team gets a trophy. Can't single anyone out for special honors, lest you hurt Bipsy, Buffy and Regan's feelings. And you can't expect a child to live with a FAILURE now can you? Certainly not. An E will make them feel much better.

And we wonder why this generation is the most spoiled and self-centered one in the history of our nation. We wonder why they come out of college and expect to get a job as CEO of a bazillion dollar corporation. Why should they settle for working their way up? Instant gratification is much easier. It's kind of like a Play Station 2 game. As for #1 Son? He's grounded until he's thirty.


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Name: Cattiva
Location: Virginia, United States

About Me: I'm the mom of three: #1 Son (20), The Princess of Wails (17) and their baby brother - The Baby (6). I was a grad-student working on an MA in history until we were surprised - I mean blessed - with The Baby. I'll get back to it...someday (the thesis, not the kid - I have no choice concerning the kid). I am one of only a few people I went to school with who is actually using their history degree in my career (and to think my Father called it Basket-weaving!). I live a very hectic life amongst massive clutter. I call it a good day if we have managed to get home at night without losing one of the kids (no matter how hard I try!). Friends say I have a humorous take on life's happenings. The sad part is that what I write about is true. I laugh to keep from crying.

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