Tag Archives: education

How to Properly Decode Your Child’s Parent-Teacher Conference (via The Loop / Golf Digest)


The Loop / Golf Digest — It’s fall! Which means the football team you’ve loved since age 8 is being used as ugly political currency, your preferred cereal brands are all issuing pumpkin-themed novelty editions that taste like orange garbage and your children’s schools are contacting you about parent-teacher conferences, those annual events in which teachers take time out of their languid, relaxing lifestyles to schedule some time in which they can be directed by parents to pay more individual attention to their daughter’s snack habits.

Sure, parent-teacher conferences may seem like they exist primarily to make you scramble for child care at 6:45 p.m. on a Wednesday, but it turns out the people raising your kids for seven hours every day do have information they wish to impart. They just can’t do that using their grownup words, because as a rule, parents deeply object to negative commentary about their children, forcing everybody to use strange circular patterns of conversation that only occasionally say what they mean. Here now, a helpful translation to what’s really going on.

“Your child is so full of energy!” = WHAT IN THE NAME OF SKIPPYJON JONES DO YOU FEED YOUR UNGROWN CHILD IN THE MORNINGS? Is there a Skittles cereal? Is he just eating smushed-up gobs of Lucky Charms marshmallows? Your overcaffeinated wombat couldn’t remain stationary if I duct-taped his butt to his tiny chair, which I can’t do because of the “school board,” thanks a lot Obama. Look, I’m not saying ADHD, you’re not saying ADHD, but if you guys haven’t worked out a strategy about such things, it’s probably worth a Google. Meanwhile, tomorrow, for breakfast, TRY SOME FRUIT.

More at The Loop / Golf Digest.





Cursive – foiled again! Or, Scribble Jam


GateHouse — When I was a kid in the late 1920s, elementary school teachers taught us the capital cursive letter Q as a sort of hieroglyphic, something like the number 2 with pretentious and goofy curls exploding off of its ends. It was, I remember, the one letter in all the cursive lesson that didn’t make a lick of sense; it looked like it came from some long-dead alien alphabet and certainly wasn’t something you ran across a lot in “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. But, wanting to be good students, we all dutifully picked it up, mastered it in the third grade and immediately stopped using it in the fourth grade.

But kids today don’t have to learn the flowery, stupid Cursive Q That Isn’t A Q, for the very logical reason that they’re not learning cursive at all. Kids these days, because of the texting and the hip-hop and Obama’s Kenyan health-care plan, do not spend a lot of time worrying about their handwriting, especially their cursive; in fact, my generation — Generation Y, another letter that looks wicked silly with the whirlydoodles all over it — might be one of the last to deal with the fading style at all.


  • More writing on writing from the Inverted Soapbox: “D.O.H.”

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