A note to my child’s teacher:
Obviously, a little background is needed here. Obviously, there has been a failure to communicate. Obviously, your negative influence should be put in a box with a biohazard sign on it. Or perhaps “psycohazard”.
What you fail to understand, dear educator, is that I raised my children to be strong, responsible, independent, and to the best of my ability, intelligent. As soon as they were able to speak coherently to strangers, it was up to them to take their unopened happy meal toys back to the counter and trade it in for something “better”. I did this to teach them independence. As soon as they were strong enough, I offered them paying jobs around the house. This taught them that they needed to work for pocket money. As soon as they were able to take care of themselves in public, I recommended that they get summer volunteer jobs. This taught them responsibility. And I hope that I have led by example when it comes to strength through adversity by trying my best to keep an even keel and tackling problems with intelligence and foresight.
So when my child came home with her test results on the standardized test that all eighth graders take in order to tell them “what they want to be when they grow up” and she told me about your little lecture, I was a little irritated.
Standardized testing irritates me to begin with. The need to put anyone, but especially unformed kids, into pigeon holes, makes me extremely cranky. And when a child has aspirations to be something other than what is easily quantifiable by your little #2 lead filled ovals of destruction and the teacher says that “if it doesn’t show that you are artistic on this standardized test then perhaps you need to face reality and grow up”, might I offer a simple, well thought out rebuttal.
Now, I know that you may be surrounded by a myriad of parents that you have placed in pigeon holes. Probably there are a lot of parents that have willingly placed themselves in pigeon holes. Might I offer a further rebuttal?
Fuck pigeon holes.
Perhaps you would like to explain how a WRITTEN test where you answer dumb assed questions and fill in ovals where you “strongly agree” “somewhat agree” “agree” “somewhat disagree” or “strongly disagree” can even begin to scratch the surface of ANYONE’s creativity in ANYTHING.
You are a teacher. Your time is limited. Apparently, so is your creativity and ingenuity. I know, I know, you have to administer the test. It’s the law or the rules or you will burst into flame if you don’t. Would you like to know what my test said when I took it? It said I would be one of two things: a mortician or a rock star. Because I said I liked people, music, and science the random number generator sitting out there in a field in Iowa said that I should be a mortician or a rock star. Did it ever ask me if I liked dead people? Did it ever ask me if I liked rock and roll? Perhaps it asked me if I liked performing in front of people and since I didn’t break out in hives at my piano recital, I said yes. Does this mean I want a lifetime of piano recitals?
I think a creative way to interpret these test results would be to say to the class “Perhaps your results are showing you a job area that you haven’t considered before. It’s always good to keep an open mind and really think about different careers but if you have an idea about what you want to do as a career, the most important thing is to get information. See what you have to take in college or what kind of internships you need or how many blow jobs you’ll need to give in the back of a moving limousine in order to get to where you want to go.”
OK, maybe talking about blowjobs as a job requirement to middle-schoolers is a bit of a stretch. There aren’t very many opportunities that come your way just by giving a blow job. Perhaps at this point in the speech, you’ll have to outline the various ways to “fuck up and move up”.
My point is, in this two second attention span culture, the most important thing to emphasize to these kids is that if you have a sincere goal, figure out the short term and long term steps to get there and get off your ass and do it.
Maybe my kids are different. They do not want to spend the rest of their lives at home, they have the annoying habit of eating, and they are not in any rush to join a nudist colony. In other words, they know that they need a job that can pay the bills. They also know that to drop everything and pursue a job based strictly on earning potential with zero consideration for creativity or enjoyment will put them in a position much like their mother. They will pay the bills but every day they will long for something, ANYTHING to make it feel less like a slow plod to the graveyard.
So, my dear educator, when your amazing, witty, talented child comes home and says that the career placement test said that she would be a good secretary, teach her one and only one vital phrase: