How do we get to Friday so quickly now when it used to seem as if it was forever hovering in the distance of my pseudo nine-to-five work week? It’s amazing, and I’m left feeling yet again that I need some kind of a drive through where I can order a few more hours each day with a super-sized box of salty hot fries.
And I’m pensive. But that shouldn’t stop my Friday Follies, because I’ll indulge in a bit of Peaflock egocentrism instead of worrying about the economy, or whether I’m being green enough. About whether the RTR will persist in his subtle efforts to resist all half-assed attempts at parental pressure to become a neurotic type-A studentisto at some point in the future. Smart young man.
So how is my almost 16-year-old last birdie in my nest doing these days? I thought you’d never ask. Outside of continuing to be the gentle and respectful, scruffy around the edges, but hugging type person that he’s always been, I’d like to say he’s seen the light and has become an organizational sensation with a sparkling bedroom. A notebook that one might be able to detect some semblance of order. A backpack whose lumpy contents I don’t have to wonder about.
But his bathroom is cleaner than ours now, because The Gramster is sharing it with him. It looks like a real bathroom now with a mirror you can actually see your reflection in. And he’s loving the guitar, the lessons, and even his cool guitar teacher. I keep asking him when he’s going to get House of the Rising Sun down so I can sing, and you know, I think he’s working on it. I’ll let you know if I actually get a gig on YouTube so you can spit your cereal milk or coffee all over your keyboard.
But school? Well, let’s just say we’re gently reminding him that if there’s not a solid “C” in Spanish and Algebra II, then the MoH has decreed that when we get back from Italy this summer, he’s getting a J.O.B.
So I’m still trying to figure out exactly whose consequence that is since the RTR doesn’t have a driver’s license, and since I remain challenged to completely understand which higher plane of existence he spends most of waking moments on, I’m not comfortable with the idea of him being behind the wheel of any vehicle. Too. Scary. That means that I would become the J.O.B. taxi.
I hate driving. Thoroughly.
Besides, I think our philosophy is losing credibility faster than you can yell, “Phony!” at me. If I haven’t raged enough about it before, or, if you were smart and skipped through the pretty pictures of those twenty or so posts, you know that I do have rather strong opinions about the general quality of public education. In spite of the two decades I spent working as an educator — a damn good one, thank you very much — I’ve always believed that what we do best is try to fit all children into the same sized hole. And because my pensiveness is about my son today, and not public education, I’ll leave it at this: If I truly believe that, then how, how, how do I continue to find myself veering toward that norm? It’s amazingly difficult to pull away from that force.
So how is the RTR winning this? About two months or so ago, his art teacher invited a spokesperson down from a school in San Francisco to speak. The funny thing about it is that each day when I pick him up at school, we have the same exchange:
Me: How was your day?
Him: Pretty good (although this fluctuates between other responses such as, fine, average, normal, okay…)
Me: Did anything new and exciting happen?
It’s one of those warm, fuzzy mother and son moments that we smile about. So it figures that the one day I forget to play the tape, he actually has something to say:
Him: Mom. You know how you always ask me about whether something new and exciting happens at school?
Him: Well today, a person came to our art class.
Me: What did he talk about?
Him: Well she was from this art school in San Francisco and it sounds really cool. You don’t have to have SAT scores.
Me: Really? *Oh. Swell.*
Him: Yep. And when she asked if anyone wanted information, I raised my hand.
Whoa. This is the part where I have to control myself and not act like I’m giddy that he is showing an interest in something that doesn’t resemble tiny military figurines or tanks, World War II and YouTube comedy segments. He’s spoken to someone from admissions on the phone twice.
Do you know how difficult it is to keep up with the whole, “It matters that you WORK hard in school, because in life you have to WORK hard if you want to find the right kind of WORK for yourself instead of just finding a job that pays well- blah-blah-blah-dee-dah-work-work-work…” diatribe when the school your son has decided he’s attending has this philosophy:
The Academy of Art University maintains a no-barrier admissions policy for all undergraduate programs. The Academy was built on the educational philosophy that all students interested in studying art and design deserve the opportunity to do so.
All he needs is a high school diploma. Period.
Okay, so… and parents who are willing to pay the tuition.
But it’s right up his alley of interests. So go figure.
Guess the MoH is going to have to whip out his checkbook. But the RTR is still taking the SAT next Saturday.
And the next two years will fly by as we continue to pander to the great education god in the sky and resist temptations to walk the streets with signs that plead, “Will clean your bathroom for son’s GPA.” Okay, so maybe not.
He told me the school doesn’t recognize GPA, either.
Go figure that his non-plan looks like it’s going to work. Just think about all the grey hairs and wrinkles I could have saved worrying about that sweet kid.
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