Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Black Friday and School Projects

Our family doesn't do Black Friday. Truth be told, this year, for the first time in my life, I feel somewhat of an urge. Our furniture, that we bought in '98 at a cheapo store, is getting old. And we're the only family that I know without a flat-screen TV. And the kids' computers, that we got them five years or so ago, both are about to crash. Naturally we don't have much in savings, so, short of a miracle, or a Black Friday sale, we don't have a way to replace all these things that need replacing.

That said, we still won't go. After 30 years in soviet/post-soviet Russia, I have an aversion to cold, all-nighters, and, most of all, standing in lines. I just cannot force myself.

Reading through my blogroll today, I saw a post about school projects, and realized: I have the same problem with my children's school projects that I do with Black Fridays. School projects are, in essence, homework for parents. It just so happens that, in ten years of school and five years of college, I've done enough homework and don't want any more. Same old burnout. This is probably why I cannot remember the last time I helped any of the kids with their school projects. CB was lucky(?) because sometimes, his helicopter grandparents would do the project for/with him. LP, not so fortunate. He did everything himself; it came out looking like crap; he got D's and E's; and I commended him for his effort.

If I could see the educational value in any of my kids' school projects, maybe I'd have gotten off my ass and lent a hand. But I couldn't. To me they all looked like an endless succession of busywork. Like scrubbing toilets with a toothbrush in the Army. Fuck that, I'm not going to be an accomplice to this douchebaggery.

Until LP's GPA came into play, I seriously didn't care about his grades. If his report grade went down because he failed to paste some cut-out crap together, so be it. The only thing his grades could affect that I cared about was his advanced/honor placement. To this I say - one, LP never had a teacher so insane as to deny him an honor class recommendation because of sloppy cut-and-paste work. And two, parent overrride.

I have to say though, that in our school system, school projects as a class shriveled up and died soon after elementary school. The last big one that my kids had, was in fifth grade. LP got an E, and in CB's year the project was canceled for the whole fifth grade. I love my school district.

The Goldie has spoken at 10:15 AM

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