thumping the second-graders

“How did they do last night?”  A hunched, elderly gentleman shuffled diagonally across the empty parking lot, wearing a black jacket and matching hat emblazoned in orange with  San Francisco and SF respectively, popular attire this week.  Two steps from our paths crossing,  “Oh! They thumped ’em!” said he, straightening up a bit, “eleven to seven”.  “Allright!” I replied, clapping my hands together loudly in the early morning quiet. 

I love the word “thump”, it reminds me of bunny rabbits , anyone remember Thumper? 

The dictionary describes “thump” as a sound beating, and a beating with a blunt object, and the muffled sound created by such a beating.  Blunt object being a baseball bat?   Is baseball the only sport where thumping is possible?    

Later:

I parked my car, hoping it wouldn’t get broken into while I was inside.  Kids: “are you a witch?”, me: “yes, the kind that turns little children into frogs”.  Unsmiling adult enters. “Can I help you?”.  “I’m so and so, here to volunteer for the afternoon.”  “Go upstairs”.   Nice to meet you, too. 

“We’ve got a special student for you to work with”, a gleam in her eye.  Sit and observe.  Five dark-skinned students.  Second-graders.  One white-skinned teacher, 60-ish, anorexic, bleached-blonde, designer jeans, high-heeled shoes, little black bows dangling from her ears.  Mean. “This one”, she grumbles, exasperated, gathering a mountain of phonics papers and workbooks, nodding at Nico, “no initiative”.

Nico and I spend the afternoon alone in the director’s office doing his homework.  “Don’t come out ’til you’re done” she tells him.  We sneak out anyway and take a break in the tiny outdoor play yard, where Nico runs laps along the erratic fence line, leaping across the concrete spillway that divides the yard in two.  It took three hours of steadily plugging away for him to finish his homework.  I read to him the book he is supposed to read himself.  He was in school all day and then from 3 to 6 he does homework.  In second grade?  Hmmm…

That is all.  Plenty of room for comments, aye?

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About Zahara

gardener, cyclist, student, mom,
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4 Responses to thumping the second-graders

  1. Did 34 years high school history inner city minority. #1 KIDS’ FAULT: First I hate politicians and pundits saying “schools that are failing our kids.” Except for the college bound self motivated the rest of this generation and one before could not give a rats butt about school and as long as they are not participants in their education all the money, initiatives and demagoguery come to naught. I think most schools and teachers doing great job. #2 EDUCATORS DON’T KNOW KID DYNAMIC: Kids are so tired of being in that cooped up classroom all day. So what do the brilliant educators say?”Let’s add an extra hour to day and add an extra month to school year! Let’s give them more of what they don’t like in the first place. Give me a break. #3 EDUCATORS DON’T UNDERSTAND DIFFERENT LEARNING ABILITIES/TRACTS: They have everyone on a college tract esp math. Many kids can not do algebra and upper maths(nor can I). Not all brains do number theory well. We know that from Psych studies. So kids turn off and drop out of school can’t pass math test to graduate. In Miami(4th largest district in nation) less than 10% grads to college, so why impose college math on kids that will not work for NASA? How about book keeping and accounting as math credits high school? Now that is employment skill and makes sense. How about house hold management math or blue collar work math? These would be great and increase graduation rate with functional math skills for non college bound. Yeah, my granddaughter only 7 and 2-3 hours HWK per eve is ridiculous. THUMP EDUCATORS AND BUREAUCRATS. PS The Yankees Shall Return! (as always)

    • Zahara says:

      Teach life skills, social skills, art, yes, functional skills. All this homework is ridiculous. If the kids don’t have parents available to help them with it, they’re screwed. Playtime is important and necessary. There will be plenty of time as adults for them to be too busy to play.

  2. Homework!
    Eeeeks.
    I mean, I have nothing against homework, I like it, even.
    But SO much homework, it’s really too much.

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