Tag Archives: school

Bird-brained in Bio

TomThere’s one in every family: that kid who comes out of left field every time; the one who gives you gray hairs, who only survived to adulthood by the grace of his undeniable charm and a benevolent God. Yeah, that one. He called me from college this week, starting the conversation with “OMG Mom you’re not going to believe this!” Oh yes I will. He forgets I’ve known him his entire life. There’s not a whole lot from him, at this point, that’s going to catch me flat-footed.

So the son-who-will-remain-nameless (but there’s only two to pick from and it’s not the oldest) is enrolled in a biology class and has dutifully been attending class since the semester began over a month ago. At least that’s his story and he’s sticking to it. As many classes are, the lecture portion was held in a large lecture hall with a seating capacity equivalent to the Rose Bowl. All seemed to be going along swimmingly until the first test and then the space/time continuum shifted.

He’d spent a good portion of the weekend studying for the test, making sure he was well-prepared. Monday arrived and he slid into his seat with time to spare before the start of the test. But looking around, he notices that no one else has a test sheet. In fact, they’re taking out notebooks and pencils to take lecture notes. This doesn’t seem right, so he turns to the kid behind him and asks if there isn’t a test. No. No test, according to this kid. What?! Wait. Here comes the next obvious question: What class is this?

Well, it was a Biology class. It was even a Biology of Plants class. It just wasn’t HIS Biology of Plants class. He had been in the wrong lecture hall the whole semester attending the Biology of Plants that’s part of the pre-med program. Had he not asked, he’d have ended up in medical school wondering what the heck happened.

A mad dash to the other Biology lecture hall, he made it just in time to take the test. Of course, afterwards he had to introduce himself to the professor who had never actually seen him in class before. I can only hope this professor has children of his own and that there’s one in his family just like that!

4 Comments

Filed under Much Ado About Nothing

Blessed are the Teachers

st-john-baptist-de-la-salle-2School is back in session. Teachers, unsung warriors that they are, have once again manned the battle lines to fight for the ongoing education of the next generation. Truly there is no level of sainthood great enough to crown the heads of these bold, brave souls who selflessly walk into the classrooms of darkness and shine a light. Let us pray.

Blessed be the elementary school teacher. Kindergarten teachers who fight the battles of noses that will ceaselessly run snot, shoes that refuse to stayed tied, and 5-year olds who are genetically coded to ask 43.2 million questions before noon of every single day. First- and Second-grade teachers with classrooms full of children refusing their lunches because they spent the morning eating crayons, boogers and Elmer’s glue. Third- and Fourth-grade teachers facing down the “indoor voice” that is perfect if indoors is a jet propulsion lab.

Blessed are the middle school teachers who have mastered the art of not laughing until the students can’t see them. Theirs is the world of “Stop that!” “Keep your hands where I can see them,” and “Bring the signed permission slip or you can’t watch THE video.” Not that THE video is going to teach anything that hasn’t already been learned on the bus.

Blessed be the junior high teachers. Theirs will be a consecrated, shiny, elevated place in Heaven for this is the special ops, SEAL team branch of teachers. Lord! Extra prayers for them!

And blessed be the high school teachers. They possess a special gifting to juggle the Ivy League auto-accepts and the unwed teenage mothers, the class president, the class clown, and the kid dealing drugs out of his third-period gym locker. They must face the AP, SAT, ACT, standardized, and the daily test of the parking lots at school.

Bless the teachers as they navigate helicopter parents, school shooters, and an education system that seems determined to break their spirits and their bank accounts. They have accepted a profession – no, a calling! – that is critical and pivotal. And not just because the nuclear waste dump wasn’t hiring. They do it for the love of the job or because they have a serious screw loose. Most likely both.

Say a prayer for them, then hug a teacher because if they didn’t do that job, who would? Me? I don’t think anyone wants that!

1 Comment

Filed under Much Ado About Nothing

Sheets Happen

Dorm roomAfter nearly two months of living in his college dorm room, my youngest son proudly sent me a text message (because you know college kids can’t actually dial a phone and talk on it, they text), and he proudly declared that he had actually washed his sheets … for the first time. As a mother with at least a marginal sense of parental responsibility, I wasn’t sure if I should be overwhelmed with a sense of “Where oh where did I go wrong” or actually proud that I got this text at the end of September and not March.

I try to place it on a scale of what are normal ranges for college freshman. On one end of the spectrum, I know his roommate is still living out of the suitcase he showed up with. At least my kid has his clothes on hangers. Okay, they were on hangars when I left him at the beginning of the semester, so in my mind, they’re on hangers. Just give me this delusion, will you? On the other end, there are the dorm dwellers with beds that would make a military drill sergeant misty-eyed. Of course, those are the kids who also have mothers driving to campus regularly to pick up laundry and drop off lunch. (I can’t even type that idea without cringing.) I guess that makes him pretty normal.

I’m reasonably certain that he has done laundry since he’s been gone despite the failure to include the bed sheets… reasonably certain, but not wholly positive. Which is why, a few weeks in, I sent a care package with socks and underwear, just in case. He’s probably too old for CPS to take him into custody for parental neglect, but, at the same time, I try to keep up appearances of being a good mother.

So I sent a reply to his text asking if he’d also gotten the sheets back onto the bed. And he had. I mean, to clarify, they were piled up on the bed with the rest of the laundry, so that sort of counts. I’m not sure if the bed was ever actually made again, and, honestly, I didn’t pursue it past there. As a parent, you have to chalk the wins when you can and let go of the rest. He has clean sheets – I’m a happy mom.

4 Comments

Filed under Much Ado About Nothing

And Then There Were None

Jean___Thomas2Mom and Tom2In just a few days, my tenure as a grade-school parent ends. Despite those times when we just weren’t sure if it would really happen, my youngest son will graduate from high school – We hope. Although, there is still time. Not until I actually hear his name called and the diploma put in his hand, will I breathe. That’s the same time his counselor will stop eating Valium like LifeSavers, the principal will stop considering a career change, and his first period teacher will look up and think, “Oh! That’s who that kid is. His face isn’t familiar.”

I’ve always said he is the child my parents wished upon me. This is the kid that would have qualified us for the elite Navy Seals special ops supreme command of Parenthood if such a thing existed. He has made us battle ready for any level of mischief, mishap, or outrageous improbability. While they say it takes a village to raise a child, I disagree. In this case, it takes a village, a fully functioning medical/surgical facility, an offshore bank, several high level negotiators, a contact at the United Nations, a building permit, and friends with “connections.”

Then just about the time I think I’m on the top of my parenthood game, he’s leaving. He never listened when I told him to clean the bathroom, wash denim separately, or mow the lawn. But when I told him to dream big and chase after it, he listened to that! I pushed him to take harder classes and do his homework on time. Of course, he never did that. But when I push him to be independent, smart and self-sufficient, he’s all over it. What the heck?!

So it seems I have worked myself out of a job — a job with rotten pay, long hours and amazing benefits. It’s a job I have loved more than anything else and one I must have done right. The last little bird in the nest is spreading huge, strong, powerful wings that will let him soar to places beyond what either of us could have dreamed.

And just as he did when he marched off to Kindergarten, he’s not looking back. If he did, he’d see the endless pride on my face and my heart in my hands. He’s going to be great! And I’ll be okay, too.

4 Comments

Filed under Much Ado About Nothing