There is one thing that I hate most about the school year starting again. The thing that Mrs. Flyinghereinthemiddle and I “discuss” every year at this same time as to whether I really have to go or not. She “expects” me to (for some reason)….but I don’t want to be near the place. Back to School Night. The mere mention of those words in that order – I’m OK with the words in a different order – makes me want to run away screaming from the hordes of over-attentive, note-taking parents.
I’ll give her credit. She, I believe, has been to every one of the 26 possible Back to School Nights that our kids have had. I have not. I go to some, but they are filled with everything I seem to have an issue with in our society – mainly stupid people. It’s the same crowd that attends these functions that are always the last ones on the plane trying to shove 13 carry-on bags into the overhead bin.
So this year I put up only a mild argument and dutifully dressed up in my little school uniform and attended Back to School Night. One of the main draws was a side bet with my wife on how many times we would hear the word ‘rubric’. This is a word that seems to have arisen from Webster’s ashes a couple of years ago. It means the same thing as “I’m too cool to say the word ‘scale’ anymore, so I’m going to make myself appear WAY more intelligent than you by changing it to the most obscure word possible”. Congratulations on your victory, educational system of America.
Before we begin our literary tour of my son Zach’s Sophomore year in High School, let me just say that the clicking of my note-taking on the cell phone was as expected to my wife as the gentle tumbling of leaves on a beautiful Autumn day. This is portrayed below by an actual SAT problem:
We shall now proceed with the herding of cattle from room to room in 7 minute increments. Let me just state for the record that I actually liked ALL of the teachers (well, except for the last one – but we’ll get to her in a bit).
Period 1 – AP World History
– Rubric Count: One. The mention of a ‘rubric’ within 3 minutes of starting. This night could not be going any better.
– Stupid Parent Alert #1: The teacher had mentioned that he shows a one-minute news blurb every morning to get the kids caught up on today’s headlines. The lady IN THE FRONT ROW (of course) raises her hand to ask what the source of the news was – as she was aware that there was a lot of bias in news today and wanted to make sure that HER views were properly reflected. Sheesh.
– Stupid Parent Alert #2: People had actually brought notebooks and were taking notes! Do you think they have to refer to these in March when there student mentioned something? Just calm down.
– Also in this class we got the obligatory video message from the county’s Superintendent. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to THAT 5 minutes of my life passing me by.
– TEACHER GRADE: B. He’s from Detroit. Detroit is my favorite city. He therefore must rock.
Period 2 – Spanish III
– Rubric Count: Believe it or not, there was not a single mention of a rubric the rest of the evening. This just goes to reflect that the quality of the teachers has improved.
– The teacher in this class mentioned that the kids would be learning cognates. I couldn’t take the stupid foreign language because I can’t even understand the English part yet.
– Are foreign students that already speak a foreign language fluently and come to this country allowed to take that foreign language in school? And get credit for it? Could I go to Outer Manhattistan Senior College in beautiful downtown Manhattistan and take a whole rack of English as a Second Language courses and just blow everyone away with my brilliance?
– TEACHER GRADE: B+. VERY enthusiastic and extra points for using the word cognates.
Period 3 – English
– Holy crap. You walk in and the teacher has candy at the front. What’s even better than random candy? She has HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK at the front. FREE!
– The teacher also quotes a blog that she reads. Any blog reader is a friend of mine.
– My wife notes that the teacher has a similar look to Meagan Fox. I can’t comment on that and stay married.
– TEACHER GRADE: A++++++. Special Dark. Meagan Fox. Blogging. Holy crap.
Period 4 – Advanced Computer Math
– If you looked up ‘Advanced Computer Math’ in the dictionary, this teacher would be the patron saint. Nerdy, smelled like a computer, made robotic jokes. PLUS, his belt buckle was at least 3 inches from the center of his pants. I’m no Ralph Lauren, but I know that the belt buckle goes in the middle. He also hates the phone with a passion and won’t answer it. Hmmm. Seem like any OTHER author of a blog we might know?
– Stupid Parent Alert: This woman came in and sat next to me that smelled like Avon had thrown up on her. She was completely sloshed in the stuff. I asked my wife to give me a mint so that I could rub it all over this lady but she wouldn’t do it. Just calm down lady.
– TEACHER GRADE: A. He’s my alter-ego. He also made me chuckle several times. Bravo.
Period 5 – Algebra 2
– This was a two-man teaching crew where one guy apparently wasn’t allowed to talk at all. Teacher #1 started the presentation by staring at my wife while talking for at least 30 seconds. A good, uncomfortable, hard stare. I was about ready to call the police when he shifted his attention to another person. That’s his gig apparently – staring. My son confirmed this for me when I got home.
– Stupid Parent Alert: A parent (again, in the front row) raised the question of what type of graph paper to get. I swear to you.
– TEACHER GRADE: B. Teacher #1 creeped me out just a tad. Teacher #2? Not allowed to speak a word.
Period 6 – Health & PE/Driver’s Ed
– I promised my wife I wouldn’t write anything bad about the teachers, and frankly all of them were really good. Almost all of them.
– They are taking Driver’s Ed this semester. They are teaching advanced ideas like “8 and 4” and the “Push/Pull/Slide Steering” technique. Who the heck made these things up and what did they do with just watching the road around you? Additionally, we (ME!) have to attend a 90-minute presentation at school with my son for this. I’ll have to get a quieter method of typing obviously for THAT blog.
– This teacher also had her alleged 8-year old son in there with her. That’s fine, but he interrupted the 7-minute session TWICE to ask for a pencil. I could go on and on about this, but again, I’ll be good.
– TEACHER GRADE: Did I mention Meagan Fox taught my son’s English class?????
Thank you for putting up with my ramblings. I hope you all have a great school year!