Letters to Holly

Tuesday, June 9

This Is Why I Don't Teach.

I called my cast to ask if they wanted to do the one-act again and if they were available. The lead actress was already questionable; she's on the record against memorizing the script for a full stage version. I did try to steer the theatre toward the radio format, but they haven't bitten yet. I'm not sure who we'd get to replace our lead. There are some options, but they might be tied up by the other summer shows, and this is exactly the concern I initially had with this project: not enough actors for too many shows.

The other actors are aboard and said they'd start learning the script. I'd like to get some official schedule from the theatre. We may have five groups of actors for only two rehearsal spaces.

I returned home and planted myself at the small table to mark up research papers. I stayed there for about six hours. My half of the proofing is now done, and Your Sis can focus on the hundred other things required before Friday. She accidentally dodged an angry parent yesterday -- a parent who apparently didn't bother to read emails or listen to the phone messages that told him all semester that his daughter was failing. Now he's mad. We know this because he was spotted pounding her locked door after school while she was on bus duty. The principal wants her to have a conference with this yahoo, and I told her to demand the principal also sit in. Not that there's much to discuss. The girl plagiarized her paper. That's an automatic zero.

Another parent was upset by the grade handed down by the local college board. The board grades some senior papers to prepare the kids for collegiate standards. The student failed. The parent demanded it be graded again. And it was. The paper got a lower grade. The parent was not amused.

I've offered before to shadow Your Sister in such cases. I can easily come to the school and present myself as another concerned parent. I can stick near her classroom and make sure the morons behave themselves. If the goddamn school can't assure the safety of teachers, I will. I don't even have to use a fake name.

This happens every year. Parents stay ignorant of their kids' grades and find out when it's much too late to do something. Your Sis sent messages to parents virtually every weekend for a month, but only in the very last days do the warnings sink in. It's no wonder the kids think they can pass by asking nicely and making puppy eyes.

Another teacher is facing an outraged parent objecting to Kite Runner for a summer reading requirement. There is an option in place of moral indignation: the student takes on another project to make up the grade. The parent, however, says this singles out her daughter unfairly. Again, kids are being taught that rules are unfair and can be subverted by pouting. I suggested to the teacher that the child simply be moved to another class. If she or the parent doesn't want to take advantage of options for that level of English, the kid can enroll in the next lowest level.

I mean, I agree no kid should read Kite Runner, but not on moral grounds. The book is crap. I practically threw it against the wall when I saw a cynical prediction come true. I told Your Sis that if a certain character returned to frustrate the adult narrator, the book would be the worst thing ever written. And he does. And it is. And I almost punched a book.

Picture of the Day
This might be blog House overkill.


Anonymous said...

thanks for all the wonderful blog posts! and the update on my parents, your in-laws.

Gregory said...

Glad to be of service.