Saturday, September 22, 2007

No Child Left Behind??

my ass..

Misguided piece of politics, bad legislation plain and simple. Medicare D and HIPPA ring any bells folks? Another half assed delivery on an election promise. And another that hemorrhaged billions of dollars and ultimately merely ended up making things worse, far worse. I don’t know a single teacher- mainstream, special ED, ESL, any of them that think this is a good piece of legislation. I know parents of special needs kids that literally hiss when they hear those four words..

Why, might you ask do I have such a case of the ass about this? My kids got screwed- once again. Essentially we are dumbing down our best and brightest. Plain and simple.

Unless you happen to live in a county or city with excellent recourses – magnet and charter schools and such, or happen to have the bucks to send your kids to private school- you’re screwed if they’re smart and you actually work for a living.

Ok, your Mom is supposed to brag, right? Whatever, my blog, my life I’m allowed. My kids happen to have been lucky enough to get their Dad’s intelligence. We’re talking border line genius level I.Q here folks. Both have always read at least 5 grade levels ahead (no that was not a misprint peeps) Math- they both scare the crap out of me.. Miss Thing took the SAT at 12 to qualify for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Program- her scores freaked us both out.. Would you not think that the school system would be happy to help foster the academic careers of bright kids? Not so much.. Too damn busy worrying about getting accredited and making sure the state scores total up the right way.

Yeah, that NCLB bullshit. No resources, had to take it from somewhere.. So what programs might I ask got hit the hardest??? At least where we are- Arts, Gifted & Talented programs and non sports extracurricular activities. Nothing against the sports crowd- don’t get me wrong, the Hurricane is a major jock. But should there not be some EQUITY here????

I have had to fight tooth and nail to get the credits that Miss Thing earned at JHU on her record (at OUR expense, thank you- and that is not a cheap program people) I’ve had to bitch and complain about access to AP courses, I’ve had to raise hell with any number of principals through the years about the fact that my kids are bored out of their minds.. And this frankly pisses me off.. Why the fuck are my kids being penalized for being smart?????

Why in the hell are we NOT giving the best and brightest equal treatment? Why is there the assumption that because they are bright, they’ll shuffle through and just let the college system deal with stimulating them? This is beyond fucked up..

I see perfectly capable and intelligent kids getting turned off and subsequently tuning out because they’re bored out of their minds.. How many do we lose every year because we fail to engage these children, support their intellect and give them the right tools to let them fly??

Hey Shrub- know what? Those two smart kids will come back to bite the universe in the ass. Be afraid, be very afraid.. Two brilliant humans that have actual compassion and in spite of being dismissed by their government- they’re both going to make a difference and make someone terribly ashamed that they ended up being marginalized. Mom and Dad will sit back at that point and just smile at all the righteous indignation coming down on your ass..

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ah Vanity-

Thy name is Dora..

So, I turned 46 last month.. I have never generally been bothered in the least by birthdays. 16 was great, got that passport to freedom- car keys. 18- passport to beer and the right to vote! 21, hard liquor and credit cards.. But those birthdays that seem to bother other people- never much cared. 30? Whatever.. I was busy. Nice party, lots of good natured jokes and found out I was pregnant with Miss Thing the following day. Drama, yes, but of the happy sort. 35? Well the Hurricane spat forth upon the universe the week before, so again, whatever -other things to do.. 40? Didn’t care in the least. Nice dinner, excellent wine, but again no drama. 45? See 40.. but I got excellent, excellent jewelry.

46? That one slammed me right upside the head. Now I fully admit I can be a vain bitch. I do not depart the house unless I can not be mortified if I actually see someone I know. When I was working full time this indeed meant a proper suit or such, proper hair and makeup. These days, unless I have a meeting it means clean jeans a civilized top and good basic grooming. Don’t laugh, I see what some people stroll out of the house in folks.. Truly mortifying.

The vanity? I looked in the mirror and wondered who this woman looking back at me these days is. I’ll grant you, I’m not saying I suddenly look like the bride of Frankenstein or some such. I just look and wonder what the hell happened here. One of my nasty little secrets happens to be that yours truly does tend to make with the preventive maintenance in a major way. Sunscreen, moisturizer, checking in with the dermatologist often. OK so the good doctor is more a fear of cancer- I was the major sun bunny before we knew it was bad for you, spent every summer of my childhood on the outer banks or on the tennis court or at the farm- all sans sunscreen- and I have a family history of melanoma. I digress, as usual.

My Mamma was a stunning woman. The most repeated comment at Mamma’s memorial was “she was the most beautiful woman I ever knew” - but to her credit, those kind souls appended the statement with “Inside and out”.. I grew up with a very smart woman that spent her entire life being judged by her looks. I often wonder what her life would have been like had she been born plain. But in the time and place she was born, she managed right well for herself. But in spite of, or because of that fact, I was always expected to present myself properly.

So here I sit, at 46.. it could be worse. I got lucky in the big game of genetic lotto- I had good looking parents. But for the first time in my life, I want to go back.. Just a couple of years, doesn’t seem so much to ask.. Boots jokingly asked me the other day if I’d ever go under the knife. Wow- what a fucking hypocrite am I? Until last month I’d have said no way in hell.. Would I do scary Janice Dickerson shit? No way in hell. A wee bit of something- perhaps I would. More like Catherine Deneuve or Michelle Pfeiffer- those guys were freaking geniuses..

Ok- so the why to the problem as a whole? As stated- I’m a hypocrite. I thought I spent most of my life trying to be judged on my brains. I broke my grandmother’s heart and Mamma’s by bailing on my coming out in a very rude (in retrospect) way. But I have used the sorta pretty as a weapon. I’ve blindsided people that were just expecting some dumb debutante. I’ll qualify that- not in some trashy way people.. Folks just sometimes make stupid assumptions- it’s not necessarily incumbent upon me to disabuse them until I care to so, now is it?

Guess I’ll just let nature take it’s course. Aided by some really good sunscreen and moisturizer..

Saturday, September 01, 2007

So, how have y'all been?

Hello boys and girls.. everyone doing OK out there I hope? No I didn’t fall off the face of the earth. Nor did I change my name to Lola and move to Vegas to deal cards, in spite of the frequent threat to do just that. And thanks to you precious dears (you know who you are) that emailed to inquire as to my whereabouts.

Nothing monumental- just been busy, with a recurrence of the ennui as well, I do admit. I took on a contract job that I really didn’t want to deal with, as I knew it was a major mess, and straightening it out would be a royal pain in the ass. Sometimes being right is highly overrated But ‘tis the season for back to school, and kids are not in any way cheap. So between the project, the kiddos and the ongoing renovations, I’ve been a very busy girl.

Granted, the Hurricane entered double digits- requiring a 2 day fest of crazed little boys running through the casa. Baby sister decided to have an existential crisis, and yours truly had to face turning 46.. Yeah, we’ll deal with that later. Had to do the school shopping trip with Miss Thing, which always necessitates one or more of the adopted female children coming along, which I generally don’t mind. This year however, as we are entering high school- much sturm und drang had to accompany said trip. Sigh..

In short- some things never change, do they?