Thursday, November 18, 2010

Every 20 Years or So - Part 3

The incident about the teacher finally made it to a local newspaper.  Probably only because someone had recorded it and posted it to You Tube. Still just unreal to me.

There have been times in my life that I was pretty much satisfied with myself and times when I was pretty much disgusted.  Been thinking lately about where I am right now, where I've been and where I'm headed.  Most of this type of thinking brings me back to my first son, Ben.

I was twenty when he was born and it was kinda like we grew up together.  I was married to his father at the time, but we divoriced two or three years later.  Because of our closeness, I always trusted him completely.  Looking back, that was my greatest mistake.

Only fair to say he doesn't see things as I do.  Our relationship now is strained to nonexistent.  Sometimes it feels like we never knew each other at all.  Or like it was another life.

When I'm in this mind set, I look back and try to figure out where it went wrong.  Like I have to pinpoint a certain location in our history and label it, but life isn't like that.  Instead it's little bunches of this and that until they just pile up and spill over.

One flashback I had this morning happened when he was about seventeen.  I had bought him a car that was nothing but trouble from day one.  It was a classic Camero; too much work, too powerful.

This particular a.m. I woke from a dead sleep knowing Ben was in trouble.  Checked to see if he was home, but already knew he wasn't, got up and dressed and started cruising town to find him.  It didn't take long.  He was on the road talking to a policeman, his car was down a six plus foot imbankment and a wrecker was on the scence trying to pull the car up.  He looked up and saw me and the first thing out of his mouth was, "momma, how did you know?"

That was probably gonna be one of those secrets he kept from me.  Yet even then I trusted him; I wanted to trust him.  Is it wrong to want to trust your child?  No, but it's wrong to believe you can.  Sure there's a time when you as a parent have no more say or influence; when children are almost grown and they are sure they know everything.  Believe it or not, even I was once a teenager.

But still I pick at all this stuff and try to figure out what happened.  I hope it ends up being a good thing, but my son now, Caleb, hears way too many horror stories about those days with Ben.  It's like this, I'm not going through that crap again and now I know what to watch out for, so Caleb doesn't have a chance.        

Monday, November 8, 2010

Every 20 Years or So - Part 2

So last week my teen son mentioned that one of his last year's teachers had finally come back to school.  So naturally I asked why she had been out.  He said she had been beat up by a student.  A female student had hit her several times in the face, got her down on the floor and started kicking her.  The teacher had been out for about a week.

What has this got to do with my story?  It shows the attitude of much of this generations lack of care for anything or anyone but themselves.  I suppose every generation is the worst in the previous generations eyes.  And I suppose this has been so since the beginning of time.  Sorry, don't really want to go back that far.  My concern is that things of this nature seem be considered normal, even routine.

Ok, I'm going to say it.  Back in my day, if I had even got close to an incident of violence involving anyone, especially a teacher, I would have gotten my butt kicked at home.  NO!  Worse than that.  I'd a got a whoopin'!  There seems to be no shame for certain behavior.  And there seems to be an effort on the school system's part to keep things like this a secret.

Even with my first son, things were not like this.  Most kids still showed respect for adults and certain situations.  In other words, I wasn't afraid to go to my first son's school and walk down the hall without an escort.

I have to say that I am a critic of this public school system and the school system in general.  My dislike for this system and the way it is run contributed to the decision for us to home school for nine years.  It was one of the hardest things I've ever done to allow my son now to return, at his request, to this school system which I truly hate.

While I believe with all my heart, teaching is a calling, a very noble proffession, it is also infested with teachers who do not teach.  It's not my intention to bash teachers.  Even in this school system, there are some very good teachers.  And how do I define a good teacher?  As one that stands before her or his class and talks about the subject in a way that gets the student to think and get involved.  So how do I define a teacher who doesn't teach?  As one whose class instruction is handouts, with reading straight from the book, with playing video games instead of being involved in class time, one who won't take questions & belittles any who try to ask one.

As the saying goes, if the shoe fits...  Why this even matters here is because even an unruly, rebellious, undisciplined child might reconize dedication and passion and care shown toward them.  As on the other hand, that child might reconize having a teacher with less as a sign that they the student are seen as a hopeless case so may as well not bother.

And I understand, one huge complaint all teachers have is that they spend most of their class time discipling.  Well if that's the case, all those college grads ought to be able to think of a better way.  I've always thought that parent involvement would be a key factor in gaining better control of the classroom.  But years ago I had an administrative position person actually say to me that some parents you wouldn't want around your child.  Hello!  Job Screening!  It's like what all employers do.

Like it's been said a million times before, it all starts at home; teaching that is, whether good or bad.  And to pharaphase the Bible, "Teach a child the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it".  When a child is taught right from wrong, whether or not he chooses to do the right thing, the teaching doesn't leave his mind.   

Monday, November 1, 2010

Life as Cookie Dough

This is only like my 4th blog post.  Got one from September not published yet and will continue Every 20 Years or So.  Still just a newbie.  And when am I suppose to post when there's just way too much info out there to consume.  I been reading some really good blogs.  Lots of interesting & smart people.

One thing I kinda noticed though when checking out other sites, whatever that blogger writes about is ususally the type of blogs they follow.  I found that interesting.  Surely people have more than one interest, one focus?  Surely I'm not in the minority of deversification?  But yet I see this over & over.  If it's a quilting blog, then most of the links are to other quilting sites.  If about horses, then most of the links are to other bloggers with an interest in horses.  Huuuummm....

Ok, so I got to thinking hard about this.  I've recently admitted to the fact that I'm a starter and not a finisher.  There, see I even put it in writing.  I enjoy doing handwork, sewing, whatever, but right now I'm calling myself a quilter.  Now is that because I have done many quilts or have started many quilts.

Carry this idea over to other areas of my life and I see the same pattern.  I start, but I don't necessarily finish.  I did finish the two courses I took in college though, but that was after quitting high school & doing basicly nothing for ten years, then deciding to go back to school.

As you can see from some of the blogs I follow, they have nothing to do with each other.  No common thread.  Where it seems these people have specialized focus, I am scattered.

Now whether or not one way or another is good or bad could be a question.  Maybe not.  Maybe more of an observation.  I quess I'm using this blog to sort of look at myself and the way I see things.  And hoping to make myself what I think to be a better person.

My life feels like it's been a big batch of cookie dough with chocolate chips and a drop is here and a drop is there and the chips are totally random.