Holden tries to convince Old Spencer, his history teacher, that he really cares about his academic future. Unfortunately, Holden's not very convincing. Truthfully, he doesn't give a shit about his grades or his future. Perhaps he's suffering from what most kids his age suffer: the mistaken notion that he's going to stay young forever.
I never thought I'd reach the age I currently am. I always thought I was going to die young. As a teenager, I slipped into a diabetic coma and almost died. That's how I found out I was diabetic. I spent a few days in the intensive care ward. As a diabetic, I always thought I'd never make it past 30 years of age. I thought I'd succumb to a heart attack, stroke, kidney failure. It's easy to die when you're diabetic. Just go to bed without testing your blood glucose. You'll wake up with some paramedics working on you, or you won't wake up. The future wasn't a big part of my thought processes back when I was Holden's age.
I went to parent-teacher conferences with my wife this evening. We spoke with my daughter's teachers and my son's teacher. For my daughter, it was all rainbows and silver linings. She's quiet and polite and helpful and sweet and talented. She's got all "A's", except for Reading Renaissance. That's right. She got a "C" in reading, thereby crushing her English professor father's ego. For my son, it was all about personal space issues and impulse control. Basically, he's smart and talkative and friendly, but he does things like sticking crayons in his ears and blowing in the faces of his classmates. That's right. Puckering up and blowing at people is an invasion of privacy. He's got a lot of "needs improvements."
I suppose as a parent I should be concerned about Reading Renaissance and crayons in inappropriate orifices. However, I do not believe my daughter's or son's admission into a university is going to hinge upon Crayolas or arbitrary reading levels. The academic world doesn't work that way. Harvard isn't going to read my son's kindergarten transcripts. And Yale won't care about my daughter's Reading Renaissance percentages.
The future is too far away. My daughter can barely remember to brush her teeth. How is she supposed to care about college admissions? Answer: she can't and shouldn't. Kids should be allowed to be kids, without all the grown-up drama. That's the point I'm trying to make. I'm all for letting my kids go play in the rye field with Holden at this moment in their lives.
And that's a piece of Saint Marty's mind.
|Run for the rye field! Run!|