How to discourage a teenager and guarantee they lose all interest in school.

The college kid lives a charmed life but this year he had a complaint. Wow. At the big university no less. The TA (a graduate student who is a teaching assistant) in his chemistry class is a jerk. By jerk he means an arrogant bleached blonde Australian who talked like he has a mouth full of marbles. I guess the guy can’t surf very well either. He is a prick (the kid’s words not mine.) He doesn’t want to help students. The class is so large (over 100 students) that the professor is obviously unaware of the frustrations of the students. That is an age old problem with universities. Not arrogant Australians, but classes in huge lecture halls and little personal interaction between students and professors. Other than that my child says the classes and professors are fantastic.

High school is, well, high school is another matter. I’ll give you a little background then I’ll give you my opinion. I promise I’ll make it quick.

In her freshman year (last year) my daughter had a horrible experience. I’ll give you the run down.

Spanish: Two temporary teachers until three months into school a permanent teacher was finally found. The kids got on track but it wasn’t easy.

Math: The teacher told the kids to learn mostly from each other. Considering only two kids in the class knew what they were doing that method was a total failure. We had to hire a tutor.

English: Total FAIL. The teacher was negative and unavailable. No matter how hard my child tried she was shot down for every idea and comment she had. When the students were asked questions they were told to “look it up.” Soon she just stopped saying anything or trying. The behavior of students in this class could only be described as out of control.

Science: The teacher had either mental health or drug problems (or both) and was never there. For months the students had a string of substitutes. In the middle of the year they finally had a permanent substitute come in, but by then the class was completely out of control. It was a total waste of time for the students.

PE: That was ok, but it is PE. My daughter complained about all of the stoners in her class.

Geography: This was a bright spot. The teacher was enthusiastic and inspired the students in a variety of interesting ways.

Health: FAIL. The teacher was a shop teacher – as in wood shop. The class was in a room with huge fans going so the students couldn’t hear the teacher. This guy had no business teaching health (state mandated class) but I guess he was the only one available. Everything concerning female health was brushed over. I won’t even go into it. Just believe me. It was a fail.

Despite all of this my child made good grades – above average. She was still extremely discouraged.

In defense of the teachers…

Most complaints were about the HORRIBLE kids in the classes. Behavior was out of control. It was a constant barrage of sexual comments, racist comments, cuss words, the N word, a lot of F bombs, middle class white boys trying to be ghetto (and just making fools of themselves) and disrespect for the teachers and other students. They threw things. They yelled. They lied. And on top of that two violent kids who should have never been mainstreamed into the general population were allowed to be in the class. The other students (and teachers) were terrified.  I’ve blogged about this before.

But what about the parents?

Yes, what about the parents of these asshole kids who ruin it for everyone else. What about the girls who dress like whores and get into girl fights. What about the kids with a vocabulary that consists of grunts, swear words and an occasional “what? hun?”

What about the kids who show no respect for the teachers or other students. What about the boys who constantly sexually harass other kids. What about the kids who are spending their time sharing nude photos of each other? What about the kids who are yelling racist remarks at other kids, even if the kid isn’t the race they’re yelling about?

Parents? What the fuck? Do you even know what an asshole your kid is? Did he learn if from you? Do you have any idea your kid is preventing other kids from learning? Did you? Are you that fucking clueless. Yes, I’m using a bad word but maybe that is the only way to get through to you.

OK I’m done with my rant.

This year high school is great. The teachers are engaged with the students. They talk to the 15 and 16 year old students about their futures. They try to teach the hows and whys. They are available to answer questions – even stupid questions. Believe me there are a lot of stupid questions.

Fantastic news right? In some ways, yes it is. But think about the students who were so discouraged in their freshman year that they lost interest and mentally just dropped out. They stopped caring. They learned to shrug and tune out. The chip on their shoulders for school is now crazy glued on there.

Some of the problem kids are either gone or growing up. The sexist and racist remarks still go on. That bothers me and it bothers most kids in the school.

I’d go on for a while longer and then go back and edit but unfortunately I don’t have that luxury today.

So I’ll wrap it up and say what I always say.

If you don’t like a teacher or disagree don’t blame the teacher. Do what he/she wants. Do exactly what they want. Try your hardest. Know you are better. Know the class will be over soon. Prove the teacher wrong by doing your best. If the teacher is just an idiot then complain to the administrators (like that will do any good)

And appreciate your good teachers. Most teachers are great teachers with passion and dedication to their students. But hey, if you were in a class all day with a bunch of kids who disruptive and disinterested you’ll get burned out too. It just takes a few brats to ruin it for everyone.

I always wondered why behavior that is illegal in the workplace is legal in schools. What the Hell do school administrators do? They obviously don’t support teachers with behavioral issues. Yes, teachers do kick kids out of class. They yell at kids. They fail kids. But there is only so much they can do if parents don’t teach their kids to respect authority and to respect themselves.

So those are my thoughts today – just things I thought about after I dropped my daughter off at school today.

To all of the sophomore teachers at my daughter’s school – good job. You are loved.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Women in history, religion and stupid ignorant people (let me rant a bit.)

Before you read the rest of this I want you to know that I adore men. I absolutely adore them… most of them. They’re lovely creatures. They’re fun. They have hair on their bodies. They’re men.

The following post is a hostile rant about hostile and ignorant people so if you want to leave right now I’m cool with that. More Vampire and parenting stuff will come your way tomorrow. Maybe even some cats. Maybe even romance, but not today.

I usually don’t write posts like this. In fact I never cover religion (aside from death) or political thoughts. But today I am, just because I feel like it. I can just see my number of followers dropping at a rate faster than mosquitos dropping from DDT in the 1950’s. Don’t do it – don’t stop following me. I promise I’ll be back to fun stuff tomorrow. Just indulge me a little.

Also, this is not a well researched paper or Master’s thesis. It is just me spouting out.

After writing the Pandora post a few days ago I was thinking about all of those “the girl did it” creation stories and myths out there.

Then I thought about the story of Adam and Eve. Oh please don’t even try to get all Sunday School on me. We all know these stories are not literal (anymore than most of my blog posts that teach lessons in life.)

There are serious flaws in this story. Adam and Eve were told NOT to touch the apple/fruit because it held knowledge. Knowledge is power. Keep the people ignorant, as in keep the knowledge to yourself, and you will have all the power.

So you put the apple out there. Then a snake comes and says “EAT IT.” Come on, snakes don’t have lips. They can’t talk. Blame it all on the snakes because they don’t have legs. Blame it on the creature who is different. OK it wasn’t really a snake, it was some creepy pissed off ex-angel asshole pretending to be a snake but still.

So Eve bites the apple and she gains knowledge. She suddenly realizes that she is naked. But wait – that isn’t a bad thing. That means shoes and accessories and great dresses in her future. It’s a beautiful thing. The human body is a beautiful thing.

Yes, just blame everything on the women. If that is the case then why the Hell are men so violent? Why do they fear and repress women in so many cultures? Why do they consider women property? Why are women considered less than human? Why do men go to war and kill each other and each other’s children?

I am not an atheist by any stretch, but most stories of the “first people” are full of stupid holes that can’t make any sense to anyone with half a brain. It is all about control. One half of the population wanted to control the other half. They made up these stories a long time ago. Modern men, real modern men are beyond this sort of silly and dangerous stuff.

There are so many examples cautionary tales of women being told what NOT to do then they turn around and do it. Well screw that. Maybe if they’d let women do what they needed to do and learn what they needed to do the world would be a nicer place. I’d open the box. I’d eat the apple. I’d drag those gold tablets out from under the bed, I’d crack the code, I’d look in the closet, I’d do all of that.

I’m not that impulsive. I’m generally a serious rule follower. Most rules are based in common sense. But there must be a reason behind the rule. Don’t hold out a tasty orange carrot if you don’t want something to come along and eat it, especially if the carrot makes them strong and healthy.

A great source of violence comes from the fear of knowledge, the fear of curiosity, the fear of change and the fear of women. It is also about the fear of sex and ignorance of sex. Notice how religious zealots of all religions – the crazy ones – are obsessed with sex. It is sick. They’re sick. All they think about is sex and women having sex and gay sex and all sex. And the first thing they do when they get a chance is to do something nasty in secret and in a way that will hurt someone. It is a story as old as Adam and Eve and their stupid snake friend. Those who rant against sex and call it evil are so unhealthy. In fact, they can’t even imagine healthy sex because their minds are so sick and twisted and evil and perverted.

And why do people follow these nut jobs? Because they instill a sense of fear and reward people for embracing ignorance. And they punish people for seeking knowledge. They reward people who are too weak and frightened to have their own thoughts – but then again isn’t it easier to have someone think for you.

There is no reason to assume the “man” is the head of the household or even in charge. Why should he be? Why should he get all the ulcers… but that is a different post. Why not just be people regardless of what you look like under your pants? Does it really matter if you sit or stand. Does it matter if you give birth to a child or not? No it doesn’t matter – so why are some people so intent on fucking up our world in order to keep King Ignorance in power?

I wish I knew so I could fix it. But I don’t think it will ever be fixed because Ignorance is so easy and seductive. 

I always tell my kids not to be followers. You don’t have to be a leader but NEVER be a follower.

So what does this have to do with Vampires? Nothing. Vampires never embrace ignorance. That is why we love them so. I’ll get back to the Vampires tomorrow.

That’s all.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman