celebrating mediocrity

Punk attends elementary school in the morning.  This way he gets to hit the gym, the art studio, the music room, and Mrs. Z's absolutely wonderful language arts class.  We are not the kind of homeschoolers who eschew the public system - ours happens to be a good one as far as they go - Punk just needs more.

So, as part of the 5th grade class, Punk was asked to participate in elementary school "graduation" today.  Bearing in mind, that my fifth grade "graduation"  consisted of cleaning out my desk with commercial grade 409, watching the librarian inspect all of my textbooks for microscopic scratches, and acquiring a small case of mesothelioma from banging 12 erasers - this whole ceremony was a new experience for me.

I love that the school recognizes the transition these kids are making - it's important.  However . . .  I'm not sure that finishing less than half of your state mandated education is worthy of the rumpus that some people make over it.  For example:

Eleven year old Allie was wearing a corsage - like it was prom.  Either Allie has a really rich boyfriend, or parents who are overly impressed with her ability to find all 7 continents on a map.

When Ashlee was called to the stage, there was much hootin and hollerin - as though she'd just won the Miss Cheese Curd Crown or some such redneck title.

When poor Luke crossed the stage (and having volunteered in the Punk's class, I am familiar with this child - a perfectly capable kid with no disabilities that would make this next statement necessary)  - these words rang out through the crowd.  "Yeahhhh!!! Luke!!! Way to go!  You MADE it!"

He MADE it?!  Like there was a doubt that this poor kid might not be able to handle making change and using a ruler?  Was somebody in this dude's family actually concerned that the kid was incapable of getting at least a 70% in 5th grade spelling?  And how does this bode for Luke's future?  Is this the pinacle?  I mean, if he MADE it, what more can there be?  Is it possible that in the 80 some years of life left for this guy,  that he's peaked already?

According to Punk, it is a good thing that tomorrow is the last day of elementary school, because Luke "will never be able to show his face in that school again."


The Guptas said…
This post reminds me of something that was said to me last summer after we made the decision to pull our kids out of school. A VIP at our rural school asked me if I was up for teaching them at home. Making light of the situation, I responded "We'll soon find out."

She then told me that she was currently reviewing the 3rd grade math curriculum. "And, boy, what they want these kids to learn these days is hard." Is she trying to freak me out? I'm wasn't sure.

She then adds "Now, math was never my thing but I'm looking at this stuff and thinking to myself, what are these kids ever going to do with this stuff around here?"

3rd grade math? Really? You don't think they should progress beyond that? "Around here?" Really? You don't think these kids should venture any further out into the world?

I was speechless. If she was trying to freak me out, she did but not for the reasons she had probably intended!

Congratulations to Punk!