Friday, July 18, 2008

F In Math + Finishing 8th Grade = Party?

My weekend is all booked up. Lodge thing tomorrow for most of the day, and then of to my mother-in-law's for my brother-in-law's 8th grade graduation party (there's 10 years difference between my wife and her next sibling, the party is for the youngest). I have to get up much earlier than anyone should have to for this lodge thing tomorrow, so I'm certainly not going to want to go to this graduation party, but I know I'm not going to get out of it. But in my mind, there shouldn't be a party to begin with.

You see, my brother-in-law FAILED math this year. He didn't just have a couple bad tests or some incomplete homework, he failed the class. Not that anyone would purposefully aim low, but between my mother-in-law's four kids and approximately 47 cumulative school years no one has brought home an F on a report card until now. I don't think there's ever been anything lower than a C, or maybe a C-, up until this point. Way to destroy the curve Little J!

I don't know that Little J was ever a stupendous math student, but he was never an F student. There are some possible reasons for this poor showing. For one, for the last year or so, the boy and his PSP have ceased to be two separate entities, but instead have fused into a RoboCop-like fusion of man and machine. Of course, there were times when he would have to set down the pick up the Xbox or PS2 controller.

Also, when it comes to her baby, my mother-in-law is very lenient. Being sent to his room as a form of discipline doesn't do a whole lot when there's a tv with cable and a PS2 in the room. And no one ever stops him from playing his brother's Xbox when his brother's not home and he's not supposed to be playing it. If I have my way, when Logan's old enough and he gets sent to his room, I'll be able to cut the power to just his room on the circuit breaker so he doesn't have the luxury of those kinds of things. Ha!

So, there's the party for him tomorrow, which in the grand scheme of things 8th grade "graduation" really doesn't seem like a big deal. I know all the other kids had one, but come on, he failed math and you're still giving him a party!?! By doing this, he's essentially being rewarded for failure, or he's being told the F doesn't matter. If he were my kid there would be no party. Thankfully, Brandi agrees.

And one of the funniest parts is that he says next year, in high school where the grades are going to matter more, he can just switch it on and he'll be getting good grades in math. He'll be a math super star! Riiiiiiiiiight...whenever I toss a simple math problem his way off the top of my head he either gives me a dumb look or tells me to shut up. That reminds me that I should get a good congratulatory punch in the arm for him tomorrow.


Janiece said...

Hey Matt? In our house, there are no T.V.'s or consoles in the bedrooms. That way I always have control over those things.

And I was not above disconnecting the damn things and taking them with me when I left the house, if the Smart Boy was under restriction.

He'll be a senior this fall, and I'm considering allowing him to set up a T.V. in his room once he's graduated from H.S. Maybe.

But I realize I'm atypical in that regard...

mattw said...


When I was growing up I my parents wouldn't allow me to have a TV in my room until high school and I never had a video game system in my room, but then I didn't watch TV non-stop like these kids do.

My parents would take the power cords for the Nintendo or whatever when they didn't want us playing for whatever reason, and I've done that when babysitting. I'll do it with Logan when he's old enough when I need to.

Janiece said...

Matt, I'm with you. Being a "cool" parent was never on my agenda...

Anonymous said...

Well not totally true. I brought home a D in math one semester in H.S. but it wasn't because I didn't try so I didn't get in any trouble...not that he's in trouble other than having to go to summer school.

Anonymous said...

My kids didn't get Internet to their bedrooms until they graduated from HS - and still don't have tvs there. Although - the graduate could, I suppose, if he wanted to buy himself one.

We do have TV/cable/DVD to the family room and TV room, and a Wii & 360 to the family room, but those are subject to confiscation the minute grades slip below a C in any subject on progress reports. Even for the college student. ;)

The grades thing does drive me nuts. My oldest went to high school in his dad's house, and is naturally very poor at math. He placement tested into Math *90*. How can he graduate from high school with those kind of math skills? He requires *5* pre-100 level college math classes to be able to take the Math 140 class required for college general requirements. It's because our schools don't require achievement any more. Sigh.

/end rant

mattw said...

My nephew has had a lot of problems in school the last couple years for various reasons. He really shouldn't have moved up in grades, but because of Bush's wonderful no child left behind bs he was moved forward to classes that he wasn't totally ready for.

John the Scientist said...

I'm with Janiece and Matt on the no electronics in the bedroom. The bedroom is for sleeping or studying.

We keep a really tight lid on TV. Videos are a treat and must be in Chinese. No daily cartoons. The only TV show the 5-year old has watched an entire episode of is "How It's Made". They watch about one movie per month, the last one was the Taiwanese edition of "Cars", I think.