Saturday, May 13, 2006


I walked into the building about fifteen minutes early. The rain and clouds making a dismal canopy to what was already going to be less than enjoyable. I walked around looking at the Japaneese fish art for about twenty minutes until my late wife scurried in. She will never be on time to anything and she will never accept responsibility for being late. Somehow it is always my fault. She must have found out that I have a Tardis and I secretly go back in time and do things that will make her late. I need to cover my tracks better.

We walk into the conference room and five teachers are sitting there. They are Would Be Cute if Didn’t Have Moustache Lady (Hairy Lady for short), Old Rock Face, TILF (Teacher Id Like to Fuck), Granny, and Glasses Cow. All women. Why are women the only one’s in the school system? I have no idea.

I have to describe Glasses Cow a little more too. Now this person is supposed to be a professional. She performs standard deviation tests. You know the kind. The ones that pidgeon hole people into certain categories. She had this dumpy looking face which is bad enough. With the buck teeth and all and that is not the funniest part. The thing that made me laugh the loudest was the pair of glasses she kept chewing on like a big fat glasses eating cow. See I know she was not just sucking on them because she had already chewed off one of the arms. So she had these broken glasses that she chews all during the meeting.

Anyway we were there to discuss my son. Unsurprising to some of you will be the fact that he tends to get out of line in school. The TILF has described him as “Donald Trump, you don’t tell Donald what to do, you negotiate and hope to get something out of it”. In addition it appears as if he has fallen behind a little in school. He has trouble spelling the word “there” I suppose. Basically what the assessment determined was that he was in the genius level for verbal skills and communication. He scored in the 97 percentile of children in his age group. The area that he has problem with are rote, repetitive learning of things like spelling and reading. You must say or write the same phonetic sounds over and over and over until you puke from boredom.

I believe one of the worse things about education in general is that except for a very few examples we learn by repetition and there is no creative thinking taught. So we create people who can not think for themselves. I guess it works out when we go to our little cubby holes every morning and do the same dull things over and over again. I guess that works for you people at least. I have never fit that mold. I roll in when I want to and follow my own rules. Dress codes are for tools. In exchange I work really hard, and intelligently, to get a wide variety of technical challenges done on time and under budget. It is a trade off that people have been willing to make for years. I am not going to change either.

So in my opinion I am not exceptionally worried about my son. I actually think that intelligent people have a lot more trouble fitting into the mold in early school years than the dumb ones do. I mean if you’re dumb then doing the same thing over and over is easy, right? Why strive for more? I for sure believe that extra tutoring to force the kid through the hard part is going to be necessary, either that or blatant bribery, but he will get through it. I actually think over time he is going to be shown to be a fricken genius. Hell, he doesn’t even tie his shoes, just like Mr. Einstein. My wife on the other hand thinks that if a first grader gets off to a slow start he is stupid and will be a failure his entire life. We kind of approach life from different perspectives. I mean is this going to be on his permanent record? The fact he needed some tutoring in first grade for reading? Is he going to get rejected from Harvard when they find out? I sort of doubt it.


Anonymous Ingoal said...

"The TILF..."

*lol* :p

10:02 AM

Blogger Jules said...

You're going to hate me here, but in my experience, both you and your wife are correct. Yes, it's great your son is such a quick learner, the problem is, that he could end up doing what a lot of bright kids do - automatically tuning out anything that is taught through rote. Because the child subconsciously thinks he "knows it", he actually misses a lot of these core concepts.

You might want to see if there are gifted options available through your school district. Those programs help quick learners gain the correct set of skills to keep up with their less advanced peers, while keeping them mentally engaged.

4:31 PM

Blogger HighOnPoker said...

You are right Waffle. The exceptionally intelligent often cannot work within the confines of our school systems. Besides, the whole way that teaching is performed is antiquated.

2:09 PM

Blogger Guin said...

The only way to get intelligent people to do the "rote" stuff is to find some leverage to inspire them....

Find a way to get him to do those things as well and he will be better for it in the end (cash, trips, toys, pat on the back).... I remember being taught multiplication tables and told the teacher that the real question was "how can I keep a calculator on me at all times?" Her response was "no one always carries a calculator" (year was 1982-1983). The result is that I have never been good at doing math in my head (which hurts my poker) but I am a superstar with a spreadsheet.

And just for that teacher... I do have a calculator built into my RIM which is always with me. Most cellphones also have calculators... so the question now is "who doesn't always have a calculator on them?"

Funny how the world changes... still we should put sometime into improving our weaknesses as well as focusing on our strengths.

12:46 PM


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