Philosophers v.s. Teenage Boys and Other Musings on High School

High School is better this year – in 10th grade.

My 15 year old is still complaining about bad behavior and stupid classmates but not quite as much as last year. She also continues woefully about being sold down the river in Middle School. Yes, the Montessori promise did not pan out and her school did not teach the kids all that they promised so the kids were unprepared and a lot of them unsupported in their efforts to get a good start in the right classes in high school. That was something I did not expect either.

This year my brilliant child is frustrated by her English class. She hated her teacher last year (who thought she was some sort of dark goth girl) and this year English proves to be almost as bad. The teacher seems annoyed when she asked questions and never gives clear directions. If you have kids in high school (who talk to you) you know what I’m talking about.

She could be like Emily who asks the teacher questions like, “is China in Europe?”

Or when the history teacher was talking about the black plague in Europe said, “Excuse me? Should you be saying African American plague?” Emily was told to sit down and not make any more comments.

She is one of those kids who speaks of the Greek philosopher Sew-crats.

And speaking of Greek philosophers my daughter Clara has opinions on them as well. She told me, “Greek Philosophers were like a teenage boy with Aspergers. They hated women. They hated everyone else. They thought they were smarter than anyone else. They were never open to anyone else’s ideas. The society they created would have NEVER worked. Why the crap do people think they were so smart?

They were like teenage boys. Teenage boys are all stupid. They only thing in their brains are food, rap music, the N word, swearing, naked girls, weight lifting, sports, farts and their stupid friends. 

The guys who are MY friends aren’t like that. For example Jake’s brain is like mine only it is slightly more vacuous with more sports in there.”

Note: Keep in mind that my daughter has had several friends with various degrees of Aspergers and other differences and not all of them have been like the boy she described. Most have been lovely and interesting and very nice friends. A lot of people are like the boy she described and they are considered normal (whatever that means). We usually just call them assholes. Yes, this is my disclaimer for those who expect me to be politically correct at all times (sorry I’m not). 

I wonder if the people who claim to be experts in education know exactly what they are dealing with when the teenage brain is concerned. They have to realize with Common Core and other Standards what they are dealing with. It isn’t that ideal “perfect” student. Teenage brains are complex and mysterious things full of a million more things than ours. We think they aren’t thinking but they are… they just don’t think like us.

A long time ago, back before my current life and the current century, I spent some time in the company of a young Philosophy professor. He was sometimes sweet, sometimes eccentric, always smart and usually interesting and usually pretty open minded… that said, some of his students were so bizarre that they gladly fit ever stereotype of an annoying Philosophy student, or to be exact the boys my daughter often describes.

The sad thing about many Philosophy majors was that they would hitch their stars to a philosopher, usually one of the grumpy anti social ones, and close their minds to all other ideas. They were so immature and dysfunctional when it came to relationships, especially anything to do with sex or heaven forbid romance. A pretty girl would set them on edge like nothing else. Beauty was an insult, of course unless it was made of cold dead marble or unobtainable. Put an artist in the room and they’d act as if a live rattlesnake was in their midst.

So does that make all teenage boys great philosophers? Or does that make all philosophers teenage boys?

I don’t know the answer to that. What I do know is that we always have interesting conversations. And as my regular readers know, my main goal is to encourage people to talk to your kids. Listen to your kids. Encourage a free exchange of ideas without judgment. Let them vent. Let them live and learn and vent.

I’m just happy to say that my daughter is happy. She has wonderful friends – girls and boys. Her grades are good. She is learning new things every single day. She is in a lot of clubs and even founded a Horror Club with the blessings of the VP.  Life is good.

So that is it. Hope your weekend is full of fun. Just fun. No lofty ideas. Just fun.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman


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