August 28, 2013
patterns make me think that ten years from now I'll be getting calls
from The Boy's wife asking me to remind him to acknowledge his wife's
birthday and to remember to pay the bills on time.
I got an email today--second week of school, mind you--from The Boy's A.P. History teacher. Missing an assignment already and didn't do well on a test. This is a kid, by the way, whose test scores definitely place him in A.P. classes. He's very intelligent, but he doesn't always keep his head with him, you know?
So I called him as he was on his way to his dad's after school.
Me: Why did you tell your teacher you were unprepared for the test today? Why WERE you unprepared?
The Boy: I never said that. I didn't say I was unprepared.
Me: You DIDN'T tell your teacher you were unprepared for today's test? Because that's not my understanding.
The Boy: No, I didn't tell her I wasn't prepared. I said there was lots of stuff on the test that I didn't know! (Okay--it sounds like the kid is being smart-aleck here, and playing with semantics. He's not, though; in his mind, there's a clear distinction.)
Me: (Sigh.) WHY didn't you know stuff of the test? Your notes weren't very thorough. Do you think that's the problem?
The Boy: I don't know.
Me: That's not going to work. We've got to figure it out so that you can fix the problem. She says she doesn't have your Chapter One notes at all, and Chapter Two notes aren't very thorough. Did you do Chapter One notes?
The Boy: I should have done them...I think I did.
Me: Well, I know you should have done them. DID you, is the question.
The Boy: I believe so...probably.
Me: How is it possible that you don't remember whether or not you did an entire assignment?
The Boy: I don't know.
Me: Well, you'll be doing it again--both chapters, tonight--so if I were you, I'd make it memorable this time. Where is your textbook?
The Boy: I left it in your classroom.
Me: WHY would you leave it in my classroom? You have that class tomorrow. You mean to say you don't have any homework tonight?
The Boy: Well, I didn't. NOW I guess I do!
Me: Yup. I guess you do. I'll bring your textbook to your dad's.
Maybe someday he'll be happy his mom is a teacher. Today is probably not that day.