Monday, June 21, 2010

Livin' With Evils's - Volume 35

Who would have thought that it would be such an exciting end of the school year, but it was. Of course common logic would have dictated that it would be “different” than the last thirteen “end of the school years” I have gone through, simply because this was the end for one of my kids. Yes, you guessed it, but Lazius Boycrazius finished her Senior year of High School, graduated and is now off to, um, something. To be honest with you, I don't have a clue what she is off to do next, I just know that for the most part it is all a part of her own decision making process and I am now just a spectator. This wasn't the only excitement of the end of this school year {despite the Prom, performances, graduation itself etc. etc.} as Captain ADHD decided to make his first year of Middle School a memorable one as well. Just to end the Lazius Boycrazius “end of the school year” saga, her graduation was a success despite the fact that my butt still hurts from the wooden bleachers I sat on for 3 hours. She did have a memory in it though since Rudy Giuliani {who is obviously running for president again if he is in New Hampshire} was the “secret” guest speaker.

I said it all year and I meant it, but having 3 kids in 3 different schools is absolute hell on a parent, especially a single parent, but it didn't get any easier as the year went on, and actually got far more difficult at the end. Despite the finality of all of the things Lazius Boycrazius was going through, there was the “near finality” of everything Imtoocutus was going through {since next year is her last year of Elementary School all of the “mandated parental hostage” crap was THIS year!} which meant I had to sit through two of THE WORST choir recitals in my 13 years and 3 kids of this crap, two pretty good educational presentations, and a tedious field trip. The only thing I actually had going for me is that Imtoocutus does well in school {aside from the “she never shuts up” warnings sent home weekly} which is a wonderful lead in to Captain ADHD and his woes.

Of course it was the first year at a NEW school for the middle child. A school that already had my ire up because the abstract failure that they completed with my oldest child. I used to get note after note home stating that she was going to fail. I would get her defiance. In the end they would just pass her along. By the time she had gone on to the next school she was legitimately behind, and it took her a while to catch up. Of course she maintained a near strait D average for her first 3 years until she could get to the last year where the average class load was advanced basket weaving, and brought her overall GPA up with mostly As and Bs before graduation. I was hoping to avoid that this year, but Captain ADHD is a different animal than Lazius Boycrazius as the names would denote. Through all of his floundering and strait Ds all year he still maintained a certain level of control over the classrooms as a whole and managed to bring entire classrooms GPAs down dramatically.

This was where the last month of the year came in and the whole push to get him certified as a IEP Special Education student. This meant that testing, and parent meetings et al were a weekly ordeal for me. At the same time I was {of course} fighting it out with the teachers involved because none of them were putting forth any of the extra effort that they had promised at every step of the process. Nothing better than an overstressed parent spending a large quantity of his time dealing with the school to simply be let down in the end. Did I mention that I have been there and done that before too? It came to it's final crescendo when Captain ADHDs testing came in and not only did he test out at every skill on a twelfth grade level he completed all of the work on examinations that are supposed to be unfinishable. The woman who gave the test had never seen this before and even called ahead for guidance and was assured that there was no way he finished all of the exams without simply guessing his way through the end, which would bring his scores down. Guess again?

Of course now that I was armed with the knowledge {and acknowledgment at this school like the last one} that my child was indeed brilliant, they went through a “special round” of oral testing in all of his classes to see what he had absorbed in all of the classes over the year. More meetings to find out that he learned everything that he had never turned in or particularly excelled at during school classes. Based on his general knowledge of what had gone on around him the entire school year he would have passed every class with strait A's. Now of course I should have been a proud papa but I wasn't because in my general belief system the school had failed my son, and again, I don't have time to go sit in classes with him to see what the issue is. This is NOT one of those 30 students to a classroom schools you always hear about as the class levels are around 12 per teacher. How do I know this? Well it is because I had to spend most of my free time over the last 2 months studying up on all of this and getting the school records etc so that I could go and plead my son's case at the school and disrupt the school board meetings because I have had enough of this crap. The more I learned the angrier I got. You see the entire time this was going on my son was on a schedule 504 plan which legally has the same necessary respects as an IEP so relabeling him as a different disability didn't really appear to be a great option when they had no respect for the last option! I digress, but not until after I explain the talk with the principal.

Seriously folks the disadvantage of living in a really rich town are kinda interesting. I mean I get the whole plight of the inner city kids and all, but think of the opposite here. The school system expects every child in this school system to have one parent out making more than enough money for several families and at least one doting parent at home catering to their child's every educational need. I happen to be twice cursed, as I not only make very little, but there is no doting parent at home. Sure I have the assistance of an 80 year old grandmother who by the time the kids get home from school is making dinner, and then winding down for the day. Scarier than that the types of school work that they bring home gives me a headache much less a World War 2 widow! Captain ADHD had been enrolled in homework club all year, and I basically realized by the end of it that no help was being given there. Some days I would go to pick him up and find him in a tree. All of this was brought to the principals attention on several occasions in the last month of the year as well as the fact that getting e-mails that simply say “Your son/daughter is missing home work” does me no good at all. Let's face it, his usual answer to “What homework are you missing” is the stereotypical “I dunno?” Did I mention that I spent the last month of last school year working on a 504 plan that stated that “Detailed Homework Lists” would be sent home every Friday? I mostly wanted to get the point across that next year I will be a lot worse, because I know how to create chaos by being a man who has to deal with DHS twice a year to justify the child support I never get anyway. The squeaky wheel gets the grease and I have been watching all the squeakers.

Now as I sit here and write this I am waiting for the two little ones to hop off the bus as this is their last day of school for this year. I already know that no matter what either of them do in school they will get a passing grade. They could show up everyday and sleep on their desk, get a ZERO in everything and be whisked away to the next grade. Been there, done that, but have done my best to encourage them to do their best. The school of course encourages them to not care, so it is a very sketchy line that I walk, and as I had said the last month of every school year the last several years has been a real pain, as I try to get all of the problems that they {meaning the school} kept from me, but in August there will be only two schools to deal with. The year after that I get one school for another year and then back to two for another two. Yeah it's confusing but I appear to have the mind set for it, especially since I learned to budget my time better. At least I know when to step into the real world full time now. Perhaps at 40 I have finally learned to grow up .. Nah who am I fooling? ;8o)