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Last Man Standing

Posted by Mummy Dearest on May-30-2005

When I picked the children up from school this afternoon, I knew within seconds that The Boy had had a bad day. I must be getting used to his oblique ways, for today I discovered what had happened in less than twenty questions.

My usual sermon about how- when playing either softball or volleyball during my oh- so- rose- colored school days- nobody ever wanted me on their team, cut no ice today, soothed no sores. I could have dragged out the me- sitting- in – the – toilet- of the – gym- so – no- one- would see- that- I had- no- one- to -each- lunch- with scenario, but that sad, sad picture- I have discovered- is simply mawky self- pity, not a seminal iota in it.

It was only when I pointed out what a pity it was that Jesse went to another school, that Niels was a year younger, that the wilt left The Boys’s edges. Yes, it is indeed a great pity, I told The Boy, that your real friends aren’t in your class with you…

Today, in The Boy’s class, the children had to join up in pairs and make a drawing of something that they both like.

There are an uneven number of children in The Boy’s class.

Things like this make me want to bang my sword against the shield protecting my lone, amazonian breast, to ululate in rage.

But- of course- I do no such thing. Instead, I search for the words that force Satan to his knees, the facts that might erase that fleeting sense of the abyss of total alone- ness.

I hope.

  1. blackbird Said,

    I hate that crap.
    Youngest has been following the two “popular” boys around wanting to be friends with them. I’ve been over to the school a couple of times and it is painful for me to watch.

    School is almost over here. I will be very happy.

  2. Ann Said,

    It’s amazing that there are the same kind of stupid behaviors by teachers no matter where in the world you happen to be…. Any teacher worth their salt would not allow an uneven number of kids to “self group” into pairs…….. But at least not every one of your teachers also has to be a coach!

  3. Edwinek Said,

    I agree, you’d expect a teacher to at least be able to count and divide. A very stupid person, I’d think, with obviously no memory of his own childhood. Teacher’s exams should be full of questions about situations like this one.

  4. Angie Said,

    Those are hard times to watch when our children are growing up. Why does youth and school have to be a popularity contest? I really hate it. I find humor in that the popular kids often grow up to be the unpopular adults – like the handsome football jock is now the bald overweight used car salesman still in his small town who talks too loud and laughs at his own jokes.

  5. karan Said,

    Poor Mike. His teacher seems to be either completely clueless, insensitive or just plain cruel…maybe all three. The teacher should have known that there would be one odd child and either adapted the activity or made the odd man out position something to be valued…with some sort of “prize” in that role. What an idiot.

  6. Kinuk Said,

    I agree with all the above. Teachers know that putting odd-numbers into pairs always ends up with unhappy children. Put them into threes. Put them into fours. Put them into threes, twos and fours. For God’s sake! Make the groups yourself. Make the groups per term or week and then rotate. Stupid teacher.

    Teachers like that make me fume. They shouldn’t be in the education system. They make the rest of us look incompetent.

  7. sue Said,

    Angie and Blackbird, not being able to change these things is like swallowing glass shards. I just wish that I could make him…not care.

    But I can’t.

    I wish that I could make him stop trying, sucking up shit.

    But I can’t.


  8. sue Said,

    Ann, Edwin, Karan and Kinga : the odd thing is, that very evening as the children and I ate dinner ( Han works late on Mondays), Mike started talking about his teacher and how he loves her stories and how he has noticed that she loves shoes : she buys a new pair every two weeks, he told me. In all sorts of colors.

    And that she is moving, to a town next door, which is cheaper, she told them. Right now, she is living with her mother, but wants a place of her own. Probably because she is going to get married…soon…to a wonderful woman, and wants a place of her own once again.

    Mike really enjoys this woman, she- in turn- seems very concerned about Mike.

    So how things like this can happen I haven’t a clue. It might have something to do with the shortage of teachers a while back, when- basically- anyone could become a primary school teacher * very quickly*, not going through the usual teaching academies.

    I don’t know what it is.

    In the end, it just might not be *them*. It could very well be *us*.

  9. Nean Said,

    I don’t wonder so much how things like this can happen as how they can happen again and again and again and….

    I begin to wonder sometimes if the signal is getting jammed somewhere; am I not saying what I think I am saying? Or am I not understanding what is said to me though I think I do? Or is the cultural abyss really that wide?

    Or possibly as you say it is just me. It could be; I could be deluded. It can happen. This is the possibility that keeps me awake at night.

    I remember a project on genetics in school when I was about, oh, Mike’s age-ish. Maybe older. We were supposed to make a chart of basic traits — hair color, eye color, that kind of thing. Blood type if you knew it.

    I remember the look on Mark’s face like it was yesterday. Mark was adopted. Everybody knew it. Mark was sensitive on this point then. Everybody knew it. I was the new kid in class and I knew it, so everybody must have known it. Sister Anne knew it, too, I presume. But what I really remember is that I was furiously angy with Sister Anne. It was a hopeless kind of anger, because I knew (as Mark knew) what was coming — at least one and probably more of the kids in class were going to jump on this opportunity, and Mark was once again going to blow his top, and was once again going to get in trouble, too.

    The assignment was beside the point; something could be worked out there. No doubt some special consideration. But why, I wondered then, why do they set him up? Well, they didn’t. They didn’t, I have no doubt, give it much thought at all. There probably was not even a “they” involved. But just damn, there has to be some way to illustrate basic principles of inheritance without inspiring major emotional upheval. Doesn’t there?

  10. jakapk Said,

    Ditto all the above- is the teacher new, young and lacking experiance- my both of my kids teacher have mail boxes that the kids can write anything that upsets them and give to their teacher- maybe Mike could but his words into writing and if he felt up to give it to her- might wake her up! I’m sorry he has to go through all this, it’s not right. My Juliana is not a girlie- girlie-she wears plain pants and tee’s has a little bob hair cut and boyish tennis shoe- she has been getting teased by some 4-5 grade kids- they think it’s funny to tell her she is in the wrong bathroom, are you a he/she? crap like that- of course I just want to clock em’ but, that won’t help!

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