Some Rules Should Be Grandfathered In

, , , , , , | Learning | July 22, 2018

I grew up in a somewhat small city. When I was in kindergarten, my school had something called a Grandparents’ Lunch, for which students would bring in money, and on the specified day, students’ grandparents would come in to have an hour-long lunch with them, catered by a local restaurant. It became a big deal in my class, and I soon realized that I would be the only one unable to participate, as my only living grandmother lived in another state and was dealing with some severe health problems. The alternative would be that I would be sitting in the classroom during the program — alone, except for the teacher — to work on busy work. I was very upset when I went home, and ended up crying to my parents about the situation.  

The next day, when my dad took me to school, he ran into the principal. He explained the situation, and asked if it’d be okay if he came to the program so that I wouldn’t be excluded. The principal quite rudely told him, “No, it’s for grandparents only. Parents aren’t allowed.”As I was only five or six, I don’t remember exactly what all was said during the entire interaction, but I recall my dad getting upset and arguing with the principal.

On the day of the program, just before lunch, my dad checked me out of school and took me to one of our favorite restaurants. After we ate — and after the program was over — he took me back to school, and told me that if anyone asked, I had a doctor appointment.

Almost a decade and a half later, my dad still gets ticked off when he’s reminded of the situation. Although our relationship tends to be strained nowadays, I always remember it as a good time with my dad and am thankful for what he did.

Wouldn’t Name My Kid After This Teacher

, , , , , , , | Learning | February 9, 2018

(My son shares a name with a character in a series of children’s books. I understand the series is popular and often read to children of his age, but I have never been a fan of the character. The books themselves are fine, but that character, I just can’t stand. If it weren’t for a promise I made my great-grandfather, he would have a very different name. He comes home from school and tells me that they read a book in class today and the teacher told the whole class that my son was named for the character. I tell him to tell the teacher, “Mommy says I’m not named after the book character.” He says he did, and then a few days later, he says the teacher read another book in the series, and again claimed that he was named for the character. He also says that some of the kids are making jokes about him being like the character. I arrange a meeting with the teacher to discuss this.)

Me: “If [Son] told you that he wasn’t named for the book character, why did you say he was?”

Teacher: “Oh, I just figured he didn’t know what he was talking about. I mean, with a name like [Son], who else could he be named for?”

Me: “There are plenty of possible namesakes besides the stupid [species of character]. He could be named for, oh, [Famous Historical Figure], [Famous Author], [Secret Identity of a Superhero], or any of the many politicians, actors, artists, or other authors who share his name. Or, maybe, just maybe, he is named after the man who saved my great-grandfather’s life in WWII.”

Teacher: “Well, I already told the class he was, so I’m not going to tell them otherwise.”

Me: “Fine. Whatever. Just stop pointing it out every time you read a book to the class. They are starting to tease him.”

Teacher: “Oh, no. I always point out when kids are named after book characters; it helps the class relate better to the books.”

Me: “BUT HE ISN’T NAMED AFTER THE CHARACTER AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY, HE DOESN’T WANT TO BE COMPARED TO HIM!”

Teacher: “But the class thinks he is; that is all that matters.”

(After much more yelling, and a talk with the principal, I finally had to have my son transferred to a new class.)

Ringside “Seat” To The Uprising

, , , , , | Learning | December 15, 2017

(The first day of kindergarten, we get to choose anywhere we want to sit. Unknown to us, these seats are put on the seating chart. The next time, I want to sit somewhere different.)

Teacher: “Welcome, class. Now, let’s take role with your seating chart.”

(At this point, many of us become scared and confused because we aren’t sitting in our original seats.)

Teacher: “Now that everyone is settled and in their seats from last week, I’ll go down the rows and double-check.”

(She gets out a stamp and starts with the first few kids; they are all sitting in their original seats and get “good job” stamps on their hands. All the kids sigh, realizing we probably won’t be punished. Then she gets to the next kid.)

Teacher: “There is always one kid…”

Kid #1: “One kid who does what?”

Teacher: “One kid like you who sits wherever they want.”

(Then the teacher takes out a stamp and stamps the kid’s forehead. It reads, “Fail.” All of our eyes go wide.)

Kid #2: “My mom will kill me if I have a mark on my forehead!”

Me: “THIS IS PROBABLY AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION!”

All The Kids: “YEAH!”

(All the kids who sat in the right places stay quiet while the rest of us chant. At that moment, the teacher stamps my forehead three times with the “fail” stamp. I am very sensitive and begin to cry.)

Me: “But… but… I was just… just… telling the truth!”

Teacher: “Now, listen: there will be no uprisings in my class this year!”

It’s Gonna Be One Of Those Years

, , , , | Learning | November 21, 2017

(I am on the phone with the local elementary school to find out what the cut off date is for kindergarten, so I can send my twins to school.)

Receptionist: “I am sorry, but [Twin B] can’t be enrolled until next year; his birthday is after the cut off. [Twin A] is able to start though.”

Me: “How is that possible?”

Receptionist: “Because January comes after December.”

Me: “Not in the same year. December 2006 comes after January 2006. Besides, if [Twin A] is old enough, then [Twin B] has to be old enough because they are twins and share the same birthday.”

Receptionist: “I don’t know what to tell you. [Twin B] can be enrolled next year because January comes after December.”

(This goes back and forth for about 15-20 min.)

Me: “Look, this is how a calendar works. January 2006, February 2006… November 2006, December 2006, January 2007. My kids were both born in 2006.”

Receptionist: *quiet as if thinking about this* “Oh, they are TWINS! Why didn’t you say so?!”

Me: “Seriously?”

A Series Of Unfortunate Choices

, , , | Learning | August 12, 2017

(In kindergarten I was somewhat of an advanced reader, so my teachers occasionally had a hard time finding books for me to read. At one point, I had been given “A Series of Unfortunate Events”, which is somewhat of a disturbing book for a five-year-old. When I came home in tears after beginning to read it, my mom had to have a talk with the teacher who recommended it. This is what happens.)

Mom: “Why did you recommend this book to my son? He read it and started crying!”

Teacher: “Really? How come?”

Mom: “What do you mean how come? The main characters are imprisoned with an evil uncle who basically tortures them!”

Teacher: “Oh, I didn’t know that.”

Mom: “What? How could you not know?”

Teacher: “I didn’t read it first, if that’s what you mean. I had no idea.”

Mom: “Why didn’t you read it? What if it had something rude in it?”

Teacher: “Oh, I figured the plot didn’t matter as long as it was his reading level.”

Mom: “WHAT? How could the plot not matter!? You never should have given him that book!”

Teacher: “But it was his reading level…”

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