Thursday, November 3, 2016

Open House

We attended the recent open house at A's high school and it's interesting, to say the least, to see how intense some of the parents can be. Not unlike the hockey parents are with their kids, though maybe more so because academics is more relevant to real life whereas even the intense hockey parents must, on some rational level, recognize that hockey is just a game. They can't possibly think this will lead to something that will have an impact on their adult lives. Then again, maybe not.

Either way, it was nice seeing what's going on with A's school. Like the loser parents that we are, we missed the previous open house because we didn't our act together. This time we made sure to mark it on the calendar. Truth be told, I'm not sure what they're trying to accomplish other than placating anxious parents and their desire for academic excellence. HHS excels in this respect, no question, but for many parents this is not enough. They want more, more, more.

This was readily apparent in the science class, where it was naturally assumed that if a student was not performing up to speed, of course it was the teacher's fault. During the course of the evening I got a sense that the teacher had her back up against the wall defending herself and her teaching methods. It's honors bio, so naturally the kids are academically challenged and it tends to attract the ambitious kids, or should I say parents? A is taking it because her teacher last year seemed to encourage her to do so, and we know the teacher. Also, it has really stirred up an interest in science in A. I have mixed feelings about this because science is a really interesting subject, but the field of science, at least basic research, is a really crappy field to go in. I know this because I worked in research for 25 years and the best way to describe many these Ph.D.s is socially inept and bitter. At least the ones I've worked with, and I've worked with plenty.

Still, if she does love science, and I think she does, a lot of this stems from this class. I won't go into career directions and all that noise because she's still a kid, but the class has been challenging and rewarding for her. That's all that matters.

For many parents, however, it's all about grades, and this was apparent at the open house. They were going after the teacher because clearly their kids' grades were not up to snuff. It was a little awkward and not completely fair, but who said life was always fair? Not me, that's for sure.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Gareeb for the pic.

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