Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Yearly Shaming of the Parent

Today, I brought Jillian for her yearly check-up at the doctor, which is really code for the yearly parental shaming ritual in which I firmly believe doctors delight.

The visit is pretty much the same every year.  First, the nurse asks the child to get undressed to ensure that parents can't grab their child and bolt from the room in pure embarrassment. 

Once the clothes are off, they begin asking questions.  This is the part that parents dread the most.  You see, the questions are always addressed to the child.  The doctor speaks directly to the child, and in no way shows desire to involve the parent in the discussion.  This is bad, because the parent can only sit back helplessly and pray that the child answers correctly.  God forbid they don't, because a raised eyebrow from the doctor ensues and the non-verbal shaming begins.

Based on my daughter's answers, the doctors
probably think this is my idea of parenting.
I'll write some of the questions below, and let you imagine the possible responses as you read.

Do you eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day?   -   Doctors love to start with this question, because it makes parents squirm.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I have yet to meet a child that actually eats five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.  I'm lucky if I can shove one green bean in my daughter's mouth before she fights back and makes a break for it.

Do you get cavities?   -  This was unfair because yes, there was one visit when she had three, but the rest of our visits have been uneventful and cavity free.  But of course, Jillian perks up and can't wait to tell the doctor all about her three cavities, leaving out the fact that it only happened once and that the dentist already shamed me for the incident. 

Do you exercise?   -   Jillian says no.  But that isn't true because going to the park and running around the house after her brother like a crazy person totally counts as exercise.  She doesn't bring that up though, so I look like a shitty parent. 

What do you do when a stranger asks you to come with them?    -  Jillian says, "Say no."  Really?  I've hammered that into their heads from day one and all she can say is "say no?"  Ug.

Do you ride a bike?   -  The answer she gave was no, but this is not for lack of trying on our part.  She is a cautious child who is still too afraid to do it on her own.  Again, however, the questions are not directed towards me and I can't supplement why she can't ride a bike.  I just have to put up with the disapproving glance.

It wouldn't surprise me if doctors start giving parents report cards based on their yearly questioning.  All I know is today, I came across as a big fat failure. 

At least it only happens once a year.

Beth - 0
Jillian - 1

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Open Letter to High School Students

Dear Students,

I'd like to start by saying that between the ages of 14 to 18 a certain sense of impenetrable intelligence descends upon you, and you feel as though anyone over the age of, say, 24, has no freaking clue what they are talking about.  I know the feeling, because I was your age once too.  (Alert!  Alert!  She said a familiar "old person saying"  Shut eyes immediately!) 

No secrets with Twitter.  Good for teachers. 
Bad for students.

Anyway, I should get to my point, which is that teenagers (namely you) seem to feel that they know everything, and that old fuddy-duddy teachers, like myself, have very little knowledge which they can impart upon their already all-knowing minds.  However, at my old age of 34, I'm aware of how little I actually know.  This scares me.  So, on occasion, I try to give you important lessons that will help you succeed in the world. 

Lesson of the Day:  If you don't make your Twitter account completely private, anyone can see what you wrote, including disparaging remarks about teachers. 

I know teachers seem unfailingly nerdy, but we do know a thing or two about technology.  And yes, I twitter-stalk myself.  I want to know what my students (yes, you) are saying about me. 

Most recently, I had the pleasure of reading an entire conversation between two students about what a hard teacher I am.  (Yay!!)  What is amusing is how they discussed that they knew I had a Twitter account, and that it would be very awkward if I were to read their conversation.  (Too late, ladies)  However, they made no attempt to hide it, no attempt to make their accounts private, no attempt to remain anonymous. 

Sadly, I've read Twitter remarks about teachers which were very inappropriate.  I comment on them occasionally, just to scare the ever living daylights out of the kid, but I'm not sure it actually does any good. 

So, now we get to the whole point of this open letter.  I guess it is just to remind both of us that we have to be careful what we put out on the Internet.  Nothing shared in cyber-world is safe.  For example, if the two girls who did the Twitter posts about my class read this, the elephant would enter the room.  Do I care?  Of course not.  I already had a great time dropping heavy innuendo's during class that I'd seen their post.  If you are in my class and picked up on some tension, you know to what I refer.  The students probably already know, unless they let their minds wander, which is entirely possible. 

Still, students, you teach me new things every day.  As I mentioned before, there is much I don't know about the world.  Even you can remind me there is always something to learn.


Mrs. Harar

Beth - 1  (I learned!)
Twitter - 1  (Very informative!)
Unprotected Twitter Posts About Teachers - 1  (Poorly Planned, But Still Very Informative)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Flash Mob

I'd be a big fat liar if I didn't admit that I desperately want to be in a flash mob. 
(See below for an example)

Imagine the fun.  There I am, seemingly minding my own business, when suddenly I join in on a huge group dance.  You aren't expecting it.  No one is. 

I take you totally by surprise. 

Yup.  A flash mob is for me. 

I've considered organizing one, but the last time I tried it didn't work out, and I'm a bit deflated from the whole effort.  Plus, I don't think I have enough friends to even ask to participate in a flash mob, let alone enough friends who would actually participate.I mean, if you think about it, it takes a lot of guts to totally throw yourself out there unexpectedly. 

Since being in a flash mob is on my bucket list, I'm confident I could go through with it.  Plus, I make a complete fool of myself in front of high school students daily which, I believe, has properly prepared me for a flash mob.

This evening, as I watched recent flash mobs on You Tube and imagined that I was participating, I mused aloud:  "Why can't I be in a flash mob?"

"Maybe someone deemed you not good enough to be in a flash mob," Mike replied.  He was kidding, of course, but I have subsequently strengthened my resolve to be a flash mob participant. 

In the meantime, I'll just dance around in my kitchen.  If I feel really daring, I might leave the blinds open. 

Beth - 0
Flash Mobs - 1