Monday, January 23, 2012

Publick Skewl Lessons

Φ:  “So, did you have a good time in public school today?

Γ2:  “Yes.”

Φ:  “What did you learn?”

Γ2:  "Spanish!”

Φ:  “What Spanish words did you learn?

Γ2:  “Um . . . I forget.”

Φ:  “Well, at least we’re getting our money’s worth.  Have you joined all the right cliques yet?

Mrs. Φ:  [. . .]

Γ2:  “What’s a click?”

Φ:  “A clique is a type of alliance.”

Γ2:  “Uhhhh . . . lyeee . . . “

Φ:  “An alliance is a set of people that cooperate to prevent outsiders from doing mean things to them, and help each other do mean things to outsiders.”

Mrs. Φ:  “Okay, stop it!”

Φ:  “Why?  What part did I get wrong?

Mrs. Φ:  “Well . . . I’m not saying you got it wrong, but . . . you sound like you’re encouraging it.

Φ:  “I shouldn’t encourage our daughter to have allies?  You and I both know what public school is like without them!

Γ2:  “I made friends!  I have six friends now, and four of them are close friends.”

Φ:  “Well, friends are all well and good, but allies are what’s important.”

Mrs. Φ:  “Hey, listen, Mr. Asperger, I bet Γ2 will be way more successful at making friends than you ever were!”

Φ:  “Quite probably!  And she’ll be more successful at making allies, too, for that matter.  I don’t have any practical advice to offer here, I just know the theory.”

Γ1:  “How do you know theory?”

Φ:  “I read stuff on the internet.”

UPDATE: For anyone having problems with the word verification, I turned it off for the time being. Let me know if you have any more problems.


Justin said...

Napoleon: So, we're pretty much friends by now, right?
Pedro: Yes.
Napoleon: So, you got my back and everything, right?
Pedro: What?
Napoleon Dynamite: Never mind.

Elusive Wapiti said...

What was really interesting was the different take that you and the missus had on this life lesson.

And I LOL'd at the theory on the internet bit. Because I was nodding my head the whole time.

Dr. Φ said...

EW: Well, if I didn't have a wife to deliver the standard-issue Be-Nice-To-People lectures, I would probably ease off my role as the hard-bitten cynic.

Justin: That's good. I watched ND (again) just the other day.

Anonymous said...

Happy to be of help!

Regarding Napoleon Dynamite, the town where it takes place in (Preston, Idaho) is actually known in the greater area for official corruption.

It's also in Franklin County, Idaho, the most Mormon county in the country.

Note: I'm not trying to tie these two things together. Just two interesting-but-different facts.

Anonymous said...

What was really interesting was the different take that you and the missus had on this life lesson.

Maybe I've badly missed the point, but I don't really see any "life lesson" here, or that Mrs. Phi even had a "take" on the affair at all. I read the conversation as pretty much of a teasing, good-natured back-and-forth that was not very serious.

Also, Phi, you can't leave it there - why are your kids now in public school? I'm not accusing, I'm genuinely curious as a parent.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I'm glad you removed the captcha - I tried for nearly hour (off and on) to comment the other day.

Dr. Φ said...


A fair question.

To clarify, only our youngest daughter is in public school. The older daughter is still homeschooled.

The reason is that after a semester of threats, the younger one still wasn't doing her work. To be fair, the older one has this problem too; the difference is that the older is diagnosed ADHD while the younger is just lazy. In any case, Mrs. Φ was unable to find a way of providing the two of them with adequate oversight at the same time.

The threats of public school were insufficient to motivate her; on the contrary, she is enjoying her public school experience, what with all the movies on MLK and whatnot. She is, by our community standards, an average child both mentally and socially, and she fits in well. I don't have that confidence about our older daughter, who despite her genius-level cognitive test scores would probably flame out spectacularly in public school.