Sunday, January 24, 2010

Raising Janice Joplin

The oldest child, Janice Joplin wanna-be, refuses to go to reading anymore. At this point in my life, I’m thinking about supporting her in this decision. It isn’t as though she’s going to fall behind in reading. It isn’t as though she’s learned a single thing in reading for the past 2 years. And if 5th grade isn’t a good time to learn about how tough life can be when you don’t play The Game, then exactly when should I let her learn?

The other part of me says I should have Talk Number 7 with the child. That’s the talk about working with difficult people, being respectful even with people who aren’t, recognizing authority for what it is: Authority. But I don’t feel like having The Talk. I feel like being my true anarchist self. I feel like saying, “Right on, sister! Stand up against The Man.” I feel like telling her that if she can’t get the administration to hear her words, then the next logical step is civil disobedience.

Watching the news report of the protests in California when university fees were raised, a thought kept going through my mind. (Just one thought--I can no longer think on multiple levels.) I thought: Did we learn nothing from Berkley, folks? Drop and Cover, you idiots! That’s the talk those parents should have had with their kids before they sent them to college: when involved in a protest, as soon as you see the officer whip out his billy club, drop to your “not gonna hurt you, man” criss-cross-applesauce position and COVER YOUR HEAD!! But am I ready to have that particular talk with the oldest child of my loins? Am I ready to pull out a picture diorama of Berkley in the ’60’s?

So, I guess I have to have some sort of deep discussion with the child. Question is, will it be the Suck it Up And Get To Work talk, or the Cover Your Head When They Come At You With A Stick talk?

3 comments:

Jody England Hansen said...

I lived in the Bay Area during the 60's and saw some of the aftermath of all this. I say mix it up, Mama. Take some of both those talks and lay it on them. That's what I have done with my kids. Oh wait, maybe that's not such a good idea.

Emily said...

Rage against the machine, 5th grader! But btw, Berkeley in the 60's ruined my uncle's career permanently, so don't forget your criss cross applesauce.

打扮 said...

No pains, no gains..........................