Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Sign Showing I'm Growing Up

I had an interesting night this evening.  I was in charge of AKV for the early evening while the Wifey rested up.  So, I cooked us a dinner consisting of reconstituted mashed potatoes (they came out great!) and soy "chicken" nuggets.

We both chowed down heartily and then I proceeded to watch the rest of the "Lemmy" documentary I taped and only got half-way through.  AKV ran off quickly and all of a sudden got quiet.  when he acts like that, it normally means that I'm going to have change a poopy diaper pretty soon.

I called out to AKV and he responded pretty quickly so I knew that it was just a matter of time before he would need me.  So, I decided to continue sitting at the couch while he took care of his business while I digested my food.  I watched about 10 minutes of the movie then called out again.  He responded by asking me to play with him.  So, I got up and decided to play with him.

He ran into the office and showed me what he was playing with - my work laptop!  He managed to pull off a ton of keys and stack them next to the computer.  I've popped keys off a laptop and it SUCKS trying to get them to pop back on.  I was so shocked by what he had done, I just started laughing.  AKV saw my face and saw me laughing.  I reached for him and gave him a bug hug and just kept laughing.  He then started apologizing profusely ("I'm sorry, Daddy") for the next 15 minutes.  I had to take a picture of it because I had a feeling we were going to have to go to the local store and buy a USB keyboard, and I wanted to share this moment with everyone.

I then showed the Wifey the picture of what he did and she gasped.  I laughed and told her it was okay.  It was weirdly funny to me.  Granted, I didn't look forward to putting it back together but I eventually did.  No harm, no foul.

I was really proud of my reaction.  If I had done this to my Dad, I'd get the belt.  However, I chose to just laugh and recognize that this is just the start of fawked up shite this kid is going to do.  The fact he was sincerely apologetic really helped.  He felt bad about it and now know it's not cool to take apart Daddy's computers :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What's A Teacher Supposed To Do?!

This teacher got suspended with pay over people freaking out about her blog posts.  I didn't make it a point to go back and read the cached version of her website, but in order to make my own opinions about the things she brings up in her blog, I don't need to.

Teachers are held to some fraked up moral and ethical standard that we ourselves don't hold ourselves to.  I definitely don't want my kid molested or harmed by anybody especially at a school; however, it does highlight a number of things wrong with our educational system. Those who teach know that teaching children (21 and under) isn't just about the subject matter at hand.  They are expected to not only give them tools to use in the real world but also to discipline and correct behavior at the same time.  That's boolsheet.  The paltry sum many teachers receive to me doesn't cover the emotional and physical distress caused by misbehaving, disrespectful students.  I have yet to have a typical K-12 teacher tell me about a class they took in their training to deal with behavior modification.  It's on-the-job-training for most and not compensated.  So, yes, I think she has a case to vent a bit about how unruly kids can be.

Also, parents as a whole don't have a running dialog with their kids teachers. The assumption of "No news [from the teacher] is good news" is dead.  It seems that it has changed to "If there's some news, it better only be good news otherwise you failed my child."  C'mon.  That's such a disconnected view of your child's performance.  My son isn't at an age where he's going to school yet but when he does, if he fails at something and I didn't do everything I could to help him, e.g., help with homework, talk to his teachers about his progress and what I can do to help, work with him to achieve something greater than himself, or talk to tutors/doctors/etc., then I failed him as a father.  If he and I did everything in our power to make a valiant effort at success and he still fails, then we gave it a shot and learned a ton of life lessons out of it.  Basically, I'm saying that parents must accept responsibility for their own children's education until they are self-sufficient enough to take control of their own lives (not using the "18 - you're an adult" rule.  Most 27 year olds I know still don' have a frakin' clue.)

I look back at my own academic performance and think, "Man, I could've done so much better."  I was lazy, dim, and nerdy in a lot of ways that hampered my own performance.  So, I don't blame her for calling it like it is.  Teachers, tell me my son is lazy if he's not doing his homework.  It'll hurt but probably light a fire under my arse to change that perception about my kid.  Tell me to get more involved in my child's life.  My ego will take a bruising but for you to be brash enough to be honest with me perhaps you have a point.

With regards to her being fired/suspended, that's up in the air for me.  She was dumb enough to post all of this stuff online which does make her subject to scrutiny.  Just like everyone of who blog, your employer can read it and terminate you for things outside of work.  I find it a bit unprofessional that she allowed it to go public even if it was hard to find but by no means is she barred from speaking her mind.  Just like the parents she lambasted for their kids behavior, she needs to take responsibility for her own actions as well (which I believe she's doing).  I think she shouldn't be fired but she might as well quit as she's burned a few bridges there and there won't be a future for her to grow now.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Almost Had My "N" Moment Tonight

tonight I went to an area in my psyche that I hardly ever go to.  It's that area that would actually make me want to get into a physical altercation.  I avoid fighting with people as much as possible.  I hate it.  It's normally over something stupid and completely unnecessary.  However, tonight I almost let an annoying situation turn into something even bigger.

The family was headed to the United Center tonight for a surprise showing of Toy Story 3 on ice for AKV.  We had some time to kill while he napped in the car and the Wifey had to go to the bathroom.  I spotted a Starbucks on a corner and suggested she go there.  She agreed so I saw that the corner was open and chose to drop her off at the top of the corner as there were walls of icy, dirty snow every where else except at the top where someone had shoveled the ice away.  Seeing that Jill was pregnant, I didn't want to risk her going over those walls.

As I stopped to let Jill out, a cabbie pulled behind me after making a turn on the same street I was turning onto.  I positioned the car as far as possible to the right of the street to let traffic through.  He could've gone around me.  But no - he pulled his cab into an awkward position behind the left part of my car and then honked.  At first, I was ok.  The cabbie is just being a Chicago cabbie - obnoxious and just in a hurry.  He hadn't seen Jill getting out of the car just yet so he just assumed I was being a dumb driver and making his turn harder.  Jill opened the door and got out.  Then he pissed me off - he honked on the horn and laid on it for a while.  I lost it.

I rolled down the window, looked back, made eye contact with him and said, "Hey! Can't you see I'm dropping off someone here, fucker.  Go around!".  I was hotat  this point and could feel the adrenaline pumping into my bloodstream.  I had the feeling that if the dude wanted to fight, I wasn't going to back down this time.  In fact, I almost looked forward to it in a strange way.  Perhaps I wanted to get my ass beat or I just wanted to get an emotional release by laying waste to someone else.  I don't know but I do know that logic had pretty much escaped the event horizon of this hateful black hole I was making.

Th cab driver then proceeded to roll up next to me car.  My mind raced to what in the car I could use as weapons; keys, snow brush, and my fists were the first things that came to mind.  The dude rolled down his window and I immediately yelled, "You didn't see that I was dropping someone off?  What's your problem?" The guy then replied, "You are dropping people off in the wrong way."  I immediately saw red.  I don't know how to drop off people?!! Me?!  A cab driver, who is in a league of people that consistently break traffic laws during the course of their shift is telling me I am not dropping people off.  As usual, time slowed down and these words came out of my mouth:


He pulled away as I started cursing at him and then what did he do?  He parks his car in a illegal tow zone so he can run in and get some coffee.  He was angry at me because I took "his spot" in front of the shop.  I was ready for him to get out of the car to confront me and that when this childish behavior was broken - by the sounds of AKV saying, "Daddy, I want to get down."

I stopped, turned to him, and said, "OK sweetie.  It'll be just a minute."  My son was woken up by the foolish nature of our actions.  I didn't want him to see me get hurt or hurt someone else.  That wouldn't be a good example to set for him.  So, just like that I drove off to drive around the block to cool off.  If I got out of the car, it would've been bad all around.  I could've gone to jail, been hurt/killed, or worse.

After I picked up the Wifey and told her what happened after she got out, she informed me she saw him in line waiting for his coffee.  I then told he was lucky AKV was there to stop me from acting a fool.  And I was lucky too that my son kept me from having an "n" moment.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

That's What Fam Is For...

Got another lesson in family this week.  I shoveled snow by my lonesome for the last 3 days.  I have no idea how much snow shoveled but I do know is that I was the damn bulldozer scooping up snow on my street made getting out of the end of my driveway nearly impossible.  It created a 4 foot wall of snow & ice that would take me at least 3-4 hours by hand to cut through.  With my new son due any time, it was imperative to keep the drive open so we can throw the fam into the car and speed off to the hospital.  I was dreading doing the last 5 feet of the drive when help came a calling.

My in-laws offered to truck their heavy snow blowing equipment to assist with the dig.  The roads were treacherous at best and it seemed like a lot of hassle for them just to come over to do that part.  They came over anyway and not only finished up the part of the driveway I left but also created a space for a third car to park, did the sidewalks, cleared a path for the mailman, and parts of our neighbors driveways (brownie points for the future I am sure).  All I could really do was shovel snow here and there and watch (and plot & scheme for what blower I'm buying during the summer at a reduced rate).  So, all-in-all, they helped me out.

I paid my worker with a load of beer and gratitude.  I'm heavier on the bubble now when they call looking for some assistance :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

We Get A Ticket To Crash And We Don't Care!

Flying Cheap

Flying Cheaper

Watching these videos followed up by this report from my hometown, makes me very wary to fly now.  It's just a matter of time before a place goes down and then the faux outrage begins.  I can't pretend to know much about what it takes to make a plane fly and keep an airline running, but it seems to me that the airlines are sacrificing safety for greed again.