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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Buyer Beware.

Last night was the dreaded open house at my son's high school.  Loyal readers and close friends understand the uncomfortable relationship I have had with teachers over the years.  To clarify, it was only uncomfortable during those, few fortunate times it wasn't painful, or terrifying, or both.  Teachers are not to be blamed for their condition, they have been stuck in rooms with children for hours at a time, for years on end, and that would send anybody to the brink, and into the abyss.  So, it is always with a healthy sense of pity, along with a heaping dose of white knuckled fear that I approach these meetings.

There was a refreshing change in tactics last night, though.  Instead of starting with the "demands, and punishments" of the year, these teachers tried the "catch more flies with sugar" approach.  They all talked about how much they "loved having our kids in their class," and how much they "were looking forward to the year."

His English teacher, pardon me, his "Language Arts" (why is English "Language Arts" and French and Spanish a "Foreign Language Requirement"?  Are they so much less artistic?) teacher even went so far as to say she would let the kids edit their completed essays based on her remarks and suggestions, and receive the final grade on their edited copy.  What is this madness?!

And pretty much the whole evening went that way, teachers being nice, talking about "helping students," "always being available," caring, sharing, giving.  What is this, "Sound of Music High School"?

I actually felt pretty good, until we left, and there was time for the cold realization that these were teachers, honing their skills, getting sharper, harder, while I was getting softer, and rounder, and I was falling into their trap.  There was a first grade flashback, an ambushing Nun, and a razor sharp yardstick cutting a desk in half, something to do with a multiplication table, and an ink pen.  And the time in third grade, when the title of an essay paper used improper capitalization, and the whole class had to stay after, for three days.  My parents were so upset, that they could barely explain how they got so tanned, and why the suitcases were packed.

Next summer, I will train, I will watch more political round table shows, and talk to automobile salesman, and I will be ready for any subterfuge.