Thursday, January 22, 2009

shiny teakettle

I decided that a shiny teakettle would be comforting. More comforting than the 85% cleaner walls my magic eraser gave me. I made the accidental discovery that when the kettle is very hot, i.e. when you've just used it to boil water, the congealed grease comes off without too much effort. Of course, there's the risk of blistering your fingertips but what are second-degree burns compared to a teakettle that looks like it lives in the house of a woman who has a cleaning staff?

Speaking of blistering, I had an internal struggle this morning over whether or not to send an email to Drama Queen's gym teacher. Drama Queen's high school allows kids to squeeze an extra class into their schedule by having the non-academic classes of gym, health, and driver's ed available an hour before school starts. If you want to participate in this, the school provides an early bus, but there's just one bus for the ENTIRE city, with few stops. Our stop is the first one and catching that bus means that Drama Queen has to stand alone in the dark on a busy corner, far from our house at 6:45am and then spend nearly an hour on the bus before getting to school. She did that for a few days at the beginning of the year until a teacher at the school who lives in our neighborhood and also has a daughter taking early gym offered to pick DQ up and drive her every day.

This has worked out great, although that teacher tends to run a little late, but all through the first semester Drama Queen had health and driver's ed and those teachers didn't mind if she was five minutes late for class. Yesterday was the first day of gym and the teacher yelled at her harshly in front of the entire class, and when she explained that she couldn't help being late because the parent who drives her is late, he told her that it was HER problem and that she needed to be on time no matter what. How, pray, is a fifteen year old girl who is entirely dependent on others for transportation, supposed to have any control over when she gets to school? Does the gym teacher expect her to buy a car and drive herself? Or maybe I should drop out of nursing school--an entire three years of my life down the toilet--just so I can drive Drama Queen to school myself and she will not miss a precious five minutes of his gym class. And so she is stuck back on the early bus--the long walk from our house in the DARK and then waiting in the freezing cold alone at 6:45am for an hour-long bus ride, just so this fucking gym teacher won't humiliate her in front of the class. On the days I don't have clinicals I can wait with her, but I can't drive her to school because on non-clinical days I have to be in class by 8:00. I wanted her to continue to ride with the teacher and to hell with the gym teacher, but Drama Queen insisted on getting up early for the bus.

Gar. I'm so worked up about it. At least she was on time today and didn't get yelled at.


  1. This is where I would totally be that obnoxious parent who goes to the teacher and says this is how it is, and if he gave me any flack, I'd go over his head.

    Under the circumstances, I'd say safety is a real issue. I know very few school administrators who would not accommodate your daughter's special 5 minute late needs. You just gotta be willing to be that parent. Go for it. And then report back here.

  2. I'm going to disagree with bythelbs on one small point. I don't think it would be obnoxious to explain the situation to the gym teacher. If the gym teacher cannot or will not be reasonable, go to an administrator.

    Tardy students are definitely a problem in CCS, but I think you make a very vital point - it is not her fault. If she were old enough to drive herself and was in charge of driving herself, different story. On my way to work, I often drive past students waiting for the bus to W or B.

    I think you've and DQ have found a reasonable solution to the problem of being alone, cold and in the dark while waiting for the bus. At the risk of making the PE teacher unhappy, it's not like those five minutes will be the difference between passing and failing the class.

  3. Ditto what C'ville Teacher said.

    And on a tangential note, can I infer from this that there is a way to get out of P.E. in high school?

  4. This is where I quote Tom Hanks' immortal line in that classic sitcom "Bosom Buddies": All gym teachers are fascists.

  5. I don't think it would be obnoxious either, but I was imagining that the gym teacher would. :)

  6. First off, I'd like to apologize for the typos in my first comment. Sigh. I'd fail my own class.

    Secondly, bythelbs, I think the gym teacher needs a little obnoxious in his/her life.

    Honestly, when I get some push back from a parent on a policy or decision, it certainly makes me think hard about the reasons for the policy and whether there are other ways to get where I need to go. Some days I decide I decide I'm right. Other days, I'm grateful someone pointed out the absurdity of my position. :)

  7. What a jerk. It's gym. I think an intervention is in order--as the other comments suggest. Good luck!

  8. I am really proud of DQ- you are raising quite a child there. (RE: update)