I Hope I Don't Hack Off Too Many People...

(This began as one post, but even I can't stand to listen to myself drone on for too long...so I broke this up into two posts. The totally random background is today...tomorrow I'll post the question I'm really curious about. Back to regular programming.)

But since it's Tuesday, I'm going to vent. You thought I reserved that only for Fridays during the "Friday Frustrations"? Oh no, dear reader. You are sorely mistaken...and should know me better than that.

I had some art that I was going to post today - but I'm not on my own computer. That (the computer) takes about a gazillion years to load anything (which is why I haven't been doing Entrecard drops like I had been...my apologies to everyone I've ticked off) - so I'm borrowing my son's computer. It belongs to the oldest beast. He had such a "stellar" year last year...Ok, I can't even say that with a straight face. He failed his sophomore year. Miserably. It wasn't because he's dumb. (Well, other than in that "I'm-a-16-year-old-boy-and-you-can-only-get-my-attention-by-mentioning-boobies" sense.) He just refused to go to school. Something about 5:30 being too early to get up. I will take responsibility for my male 'beasts being spoiled - at 13 and 16, neither of them can get up with an alarm clock. Nope. Neither of them hear it. (Or so they say.) I have to go in and physically wake them up. Although my 13 year old - who could sleep all day - doesn't particularly like getting up, he does it. And without too much grumbling. Said 16 year old, however, won't. He does not like getting up if it isn't in his plan. It usually starts with me gently rubbing his shoulder, but ends up with me throwing the covers off him, threatening to squirt him with the water bottle we use for the cats, and promising to take away ALL his privileges. (He only cares about that now because he's found a very cute little 17 year old who can stand to be around his pubescent self.)

Usually, the first words out of his mouth are too offensive to print here - but let's just say the phrase ends in "you". Not good when your mother's biggest pet peeve is hearing her children talk like a toilet. (Which is probably why he says it!) It takes me a good 20 min of standing in his room, kicking his bed, taking all his covers, listening to his sewer-like language, getting the squirt bottle and aiming it at him, and promising to take away all privileges, before he finally gets out of bed. You can see why I love getting him up...but this went on every single school day last year. I would start at 5, hoping to have him out of bed by 5:30 to catch the 6 am school bus. Not a pleasant way to start the day.

A lot of times I couldn't even get him out of bed. He began missing more and more school, simply refusing to get out of bed. Now I realize getting out of bed that early stinks...but really. Put on your big boy boxers and deal with it. I had to get up earlier than that in order to wake him up. But I digress...his absences got so bad that his teacher began calling over here when she would get up (yes, from home), and have me put the phone by his ear. I would put it on speakerphone for the entire house to enjoy, and she'd let him have it. That worked twice - then he used his infamous phrase (the one ending in "you") with her. We soon had the police (or the "po-po" as my kids call them) over here, trying to sternly get him out of bed. They threatened him with truancy proceedings. He didn't care. Since the police obviously have better things to do, I gave up on that after 3-4 calls. It wasn't having any effect either. So at the end of the school year, I got the chance to go in to the high school for a truancy meeting - where they explained that even though the school district, his teacher, the local sheriff's dept, and probably my neighbors were all aware that I was doing everything possible to get him to go to school, the punishment for truancy was to begin fining the parent. If that didn't work, the judge would order the parent to go to school with the teenager...and eventually the judge would put the parent in jail. How fair is all this?

After that meeting, but before receiving his grades in the mail, I told him we had to do something different. He's a special ed kid - and our school district, although it's one of the best in the country, quit offering special education services to students after 10th grade. Instead, they transfer kids like my son to this other school, where kids who struggle with drugs, are on the edge of being expelled by the district, are just coming back into the district after expulsion, or similar issues, can all be schooled together. There is no school bus to this school - the kids ride the city bus. Apparently I'm the only person in the district who sees an issue with putting kids like my son (who struggles with ADHD and bipolar, but can be a great student if he's got a good teacher and is not distracted by other kids, say, offering him drugs)...anyway, I'm apparently the only person in the district who sees an issue with putting kids like my son together with kids who have behavioral issues. (It should be noted that my son hasn't had behavioral issues in school for several years. Not that we haven't been there/done that - but we haven't in a long time. And I'd like to keep it this way thankyouverymuch.)

This school didn't start until noon - and it's over at 3. Not bad...but I knew my son would never make it to school if he were to ride the city bus. Are you kidding? I never would have made it to school if I'd gotten to ride the city bus when I was in high school. Too many other fun places to go! Besides, I knew putting my son in school with a bunch of "troubled" kids would just cause him to become "troubled"...and I've just had enough of that. He was like that for the first 15 1/2 years of his life - and I don't want any regression going on. Which meant we had to look at other education alternatives. (He thought dropping out was an "alternative"....bahahaha! The stupidity of youth!)

We settled on him attending an online school. Which is why he has his own computer. It's on loan to him for the school year - but it's a nice computer. And the grooviest part? It has Windows - so I'm not spending hours trying to figure out how to tame Linux. I began "borrowing" it from him yesterday so I could do my EC drops.

Check back tomorrow for the reason I'm really annoyed...and see if you have an answer to the question I'll pose.


The Coolest Blog Makeover Contest

DianasDailyRamblings Custom Blog Designs

You've seen her button on my sidebar for almost a year. I've even blogged about her incredible designs before. And now...here's your chance to win a fab blog makeover by her!

Who is "her"? Diana, of Diana Rambles and Custom Blog Design fame, of course. I've been trying to get my junk together for a looong time, because she is the person I'm dying to have makeover my oh-so-blah blog. These digs are very unbecoming of royalty, don't 'cha think? Unfortunately, I'm not nearly as brilliant as Diana is...so I'm stuck with what I've pasted together for now. Her prices are exceptionally reasonable, her work is top notch, she's done a lot of popular blogs, and she holds terrific contests. She's something else - and anyone who has her design their blog is very lucky.

Not only is Diana a fantastic designer, her services are broken down into very affordable pieces. You can do the grand package - which includes everything you need, plus stuff you didn't even think of! - or you can just order one service. A great concept and smart way to do things.

I hate that I'm late getting this in...but the contest ends today, so don't mess around...you'd better beat feet over there for your chance to win. If you've missed the contest, check out her blog anyway. You may be inspired by her designs to get a new blog makeover, button, signature, or something else, from her!

The Problem with the Country...

My 16 year old son is looking for a job. (The one on the front of the Hallmark card you just hav'ta have. If you haven't gotten one yet, don't miss out - get yours here! Hurry!) He's been looking for quite some time - but there just aren't many positions open to 16 year olds right now. With the economy the way it is, adults are taking the jobs usually open to teens.

So he's filling out an application online. He's in his bedroom, I'm in thedining room. He keeps yelling various questions from the application out to me, not sure how to answer. The recent questions are about the experience he has. This will be his second job - currently he he has an eight week job as an intern at a government office, his paycheck coming from stimulus money awarded to our state just for this purpose. The idea behind this program is to help adolescents gain experience in the work force - beyond flipping burgers or working in retail. He's been in this "position" for exactly seven business days now...four of which I've had to "make" him go. He does "grunt" work - everything the social workers and other employees either don't
want to do, or don't have time to do. He spent three days organizing a supply closet, taking the inventory of its contents. This is the full extent of his work history.

Ok. He's filling out this online application, for a company that has about 6,543 stores throughout the country.

Our conversation:

"Can I build a display?"
"Yes...you can put like items together in a pleasing way."
"Can I lift more than 10 pounds on a continuous basis?"
(I say to a 16 year old, 5'11", 215 lb man-boy.)
"Can I handle cash?"

"Can I do customer service?"
"Yes, honey."
"I can work a computer..."
"Yes, in general - but you don't have experience with any specific computer programs."

"I can do bookkeeping..."


"I can do bookkeeping."

"Since when??"

"At my job, I put books in A-B-C order...so I can do bookkeeping."

"Uh - I don't think that's what they mean by bookkeeping."

"But I organized books and kept them in order. That's bookkeeping, so I'm checking that box."


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