Thursday, June 11, 2015

Learn something new every day (or maybe NOT)

Oh-kaaay, here we go--remember "those byegone days" (yeah, or...YESTERDAY) when I smugly vowed that no matter what all the other kids were doing, with their more permissive parents and whatnot, my son would certainly be dragging his teenage tushie to class for the last 2 (evidently futile) days of the school year? Um...right...prepare yourself for the Official Retraction of my previous statement.

It all started when Derek reported last night that his Science teacher had taken an informal poll to figure out how many of his pupils would be in attendance today for the scheduled 2-1/2 hour exam period--since they'd already completed their test earlier in the week. To the approximately 4 hand-raisers, he matter-of-factly stated, "Well, if you do show up, you'll be sitting around....watching paint dry." This delightful man further offered to personally pen a note to whoever's parentals weren't on the Ditch the Last Days bandwagon, explaining exactly why the students didn't need to show up. (Dedicated educator, absolutely. Summer-itis? You betcha...) When Derek returned home this afternoon he confirmed that they had, in fact...done absolutely nothing at all. Good. Times...

My darling child further informed us that during the entire day, there were never more than 10 people in class...and often as few as 3 (including our own Mandatory Rule Follower, of course). According to him, teachers were already bidding everyone goodbye and wishing them a nice vacation. But the best anecdote, as far as I was concerned, came courtesy of his Math instructor, who asked her students if they would be at school Thursday and Friday. When Derek sheepishly indicated that he thought he would, she exclaimed, "WHY? Do you have, like, 29 absences in a class, or something?" What we are to infer from this: unless you're in danger of receiving a failing grade due to truancy, you're neither required...nor expected...or even wanted, for that show up for The End. Some teachers made it clear that they're not even planning to call the roll, so the consequences would be...minimal, at worst...non-existent, at best.

But wait: believe it or not, it gets even better. You might recall that particular buddy whose mom picked up her son and Derek at noon-ish earlier in the week because they didn't have a Final in the after-lunch slot. Well, today she was back, retrieving her child....and the rest of Derek's pals (to hear him tell it, at least) bring them home for pizza! Holy...Parentally-Endorsed Hooky, Batman--that's...heck, I don't quite know what it is. As stunning as that was, however, Derek saved the biggest shock for last. On the bus trip home today...he was the ONLY rider. When he strolled in after his solitary walk home from the bus stop of his choosing--as the driver had allowed the sole passenger to decree where he wished to be dropped off --he began making his case for why he should be permitted to just write off Thursday and Friday. At this point, I admit I was finding it hard to argue with him, especially when he reasonably pointed out, "I'll be more productive if I stay home."  And you know he must be bordering-on-desperate when he added, "Seriously, give me chores or something if you want; that's fine with me."

Good grief--the kid is willing to do whatever random household tasks we dream up for him, rather than parking himself in mostly-empty classrooms for 7 periods. And you know what? Husband and I just can't seem to come up with a good reason to make him go. So anyway, this is all just a huge news flash to me, I tell ya. I don't know whether it's a Chapel Hill thing...or more of a universal  High School phenomenon...but we went ahead and accepted the Petition for Excused Absence, nevertheless. I guess we can chalk this up (ha! sorry...) to "live and learn", right? Just so long as it's not after the designated Brain Shutdown Date of, say, June 9th, or so...

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