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Back to School

Sep
8
2006

Things have been a bit nutty around here lately, what with getting back into school routines and all, so I’ve asked Moral Certainty Mommy to help out with any questions you might have about school.

Q: My children go to three different schools, each of which expects hours of volunteer time plus buying into every week’s new fundraising scheme. I just don’t need any more wrapping paper, and I feel like I’m running a cookie factory. Am I allowed to say “no” every so often?

Moral Certainty Mommy: No. Where would we be if everyone said “no”? Your children’s schools rely on parents to compensate for the items we as a society feel are educational extras, things like gym class, and math books and roofs. Thanks to your fellow parents, your children will be getting a better education than your mere tax dollars would provide. I hope you can come to fully appreciate their efforts. To help you do so, sit down with your children and tell them about the importance of working together and teach them the only way to respond when the PTA volunteer or the room mother asks them how to contact their parents: “I’m an orphan.”

Q: I really hate getting up early, but there’s no school bus and if I don’t get the kid in the car on time or there’s traffic or something and he gets to school late, he has to go to the principal’s office and then I have to go in eventually too and get a lecture. I mean, wtf? I’m a grown-up, right?

MCM: Yes, but you’re obviously a grown-up whose education was flawed. If you kept up with current events, you’d know the current administration has an educational program called “No Child Left Behind.” Some might say this is simply a poorly thought out imposition requiring schools to further “teach to the test,” but really one must only exercise a little reading comprehension. Obviously if no child will be left behind, then all children will be brought to school. Leave your son out on the front porch. A school bus from Washington will surely come along to get him to class on time.

Q: My teenager only gets about three hours of sleep a night because of extracurricular activities, volunteer work, sports and keeping her grades up in advanced classes. I worry about her, but she says she needs to do it all to get into a good college. So do I need to be concerned about all the weird soft drink cans in her trash, because, I don’t know, coffee seems more natural?

MCM: Children seem to prefer energy drinks to coffee these days. The only area of concern I can see is if they make her so jittery she kicks the waste basket by mistake and rattles the cans, thus disturbing your sleep. Because while she is young and can recover from a touch of overdoing it, sleep is a more vital commodity for us, the older generation.

Q: Yes, and I do need to get my sleep so I can get to work, because how else can I pay for the college?

MCM: Oh dear. I’m afraid if paying for school is a concern, perhaps your daughter had best get her sleep. Schools receive many applications from the overachieving middle class; applicants who tend to really stand out are those whose parents can send a donation for a new building to campus along with their freshman. But try not to be preoccupied about school. Bill Gates, for example, dropped out of college, and his is a common success story.

Moral Certainty Mommy is off now to make some lunches, so I’ll just thank her for her help until next time.

Share  Posted by Deborah Klosky at 11:17 AM | Permalink

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