Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday, October 22

Apparently now I've given on up proper titles and I'm just using dates, like I'm writing in my dream journal or something. If tomorrow's post is titled Dear Diary, I'm going to ask that you folks get me some help.

I'm writing this at the dinner table. The kids had pumpkin pancakes for breakfast and my wrist keeps sticking to the table. (Apparently someone-psss....that would be me-didn't do a very good job of wiping away the syrup.) Oh, and I'm also surrounded on all sides by algebra assignments.

Last night was the boy's parent/teacher conference. Going in, we knew he was doing really well in all of his subjects except for math, where he has a big, fat, ugly F. This confounded us because we see him do his homework every day and his tests scores, while not great, aren't terrible. We were wondering if he just isn't 'getting it' since it is a high school level class, and that maybe he needed to be bumped down to something a bit easier.

Turns out, that isn't the case at all. The problem is that he's a freaking slob who turns in shoddy, sloppy work. The teacher even made the statement that sometimes she assigns more than a few sheets of work at once and the boy turns his in with some of the papers stapled upside down or backwards. She refuses to grade it looking like that, hands it back to him telling him to fix it and turn it back in, but instead (here's where the problem lies) he shoves it into his clusterfuck of a binder and that's where it lives for a few days until it gets lost, thrown away, or mixed in with all the other junk in his locker. So he's doing the work (however poorly) just not getting credit for it.

His teacher is being more than understanding and giving him a second chance to redo it and turn it all in. So that's what he's doing right now, and will probably be doing all weekend long. And of course grumbling the whole time because he's frustrated and mad at himself for not taking the time to do it right the first time.

For my part, I'm actually kind of excited that he has a teacher who is expecting more of him than he's used to giving. He's always been a good student but I've often thought that all of his A's were coming a bit too easily for him. I'm not saying he isn't smart, but I also don't have any illusions about my boy. He has never been willing to do more than the bare minimum and he seems to be predisposed to laziness. Not to mention that I've been after him to be more organized for years and always been met with rolled eyes and the halfhearted argument that his way "works" for him. Clearly, it does not.

I want to thank you all for the comments left on yesterday's post. I was definitely feeling a little glum. I still am, but I'm ok. I'm a control freak at heart and it doesn't take much for me to start feeling overwhelmed when life throws me a bunch of things at once that I just can't control. And Florida real estate and my daughter's stutter are things beyond my control.

I also want to leave you with a few pictures of the tree that's in front of my apartment building. Last Sunday I heard that the coming 7-10 days were going to be some of the prettiest here in the Pacific NW in terms of the changing leaves and I definitely have to agree.

These first two photos were taken early in the morning on Monday, before I took the girl to school and moments before the lawn men came and bagged up all the leaves on the ground. (Excuse the blurriness, my focus isn't good before my third or tenth cup of coffee.)Now these were taken just this morning. What a difference a few days makes.
And check out all the leaves on the ground again. It's a good thing the lawn guys will be back again on Monday.


daphne said...

gorgeous! I love the blue sky behind it, too.

True story: although I was one of those obnoxiously good students in high school, I was TERRIBLE in middle school for all the same reasons as your son. My teachers were confounded. My parents were furious. There were many redone homework assignments, attempts at punishment, all-nighters, etc. Finally in 8th grade I just said, "I will get it together in high school, but middle school doesn't matter one bit so leave me alone." Well, I don't remember if they did or not, but I did really "get" that high school mattered (in terms of college, etc.) so maybe the same will happen for your boy. In the meantime, good for his teacher! Sometimes kids have to learn the hard way.

Jessie said...

That's what my trees look like right now! I'm waiting for the warm wind to kick up and blow them all over the place. LOVE this time of year.

Glad your boy is following through. Sounds like me when I was in school. I lost EVERYTHING. I wish my mom would have been more "on it" as you seem to be.

Mood changes are rough. Sorry you're feeling low. Sending love down the west coast.


~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

This is a great lesson to your boy-child -- actually one mine needs to learn. Everything he turns in looks like an absolute mess. And yes, his teachers have let him get away with shoddy/sloppy work for years. I can attribute his handwriting skills (if you want to call what he does a skill) to the fact that so much is done on the computer. He has a teacher this year named Mrs. Ruff. And she is all that and more. The day of reckoning has come!

victoria said...

Even my dollar bills have to be facing the same way. that would drive me crazy! my niece is very very smart and does exceptionally well in school. However, like you, my sister complains about the bare minimum thing. I think there are just some kids/people that are more interested in school work. I think of it as a hobby. I had a girlfriend in high school that did full page math problems for fun. I was busy doing my hair and talking on the phone.