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I now should realize that NOTHING can surprise me anymore.

After a long day working with the kitchen and the serving staff, I sat down at a table with two female servers.  They were just about to launch into a discussion of what was happening least their version......

So one says to the other......"Why are the news guys calling GEORGIA a republic and how did the Russians get here so quickly without anyone knowing?"..............The other server looked perplexed, but not for the reasons we would think of.

 Server #2 answers,  "I don't know, but  why are they fighting in Georgia and not the other states?"

Good news for us......neither of these 25 year olds are BLONDE.


Bad news for all of us.........they were educated in our public school system.


Why does this story not surprise me?

My step-daughter, who is now living with us for the school year while her mom continues to recovery from a complicated surgery, informed me this week that at her high school, Wednesday is "Early Release Day".

Wondering what she meant by that...this 14 year old girl entering her Freshman year in high school, she casually said, "We get out of school on Wednesdays at 12:45.


My only question is:  WHY?

No wonder your servers didn't know that there was another Georgia, and it was a country next to Russia.

Why don't the school administrators just shoot straight with these kids.  They should make a PA announcement at the end of the day on Wednesday:

"'re getting an early release day thanks to all the budget cuts this current administration has foisted upon the educational system. Have fun going home to your empty homes cuz your parents are busy working trying to make ends meet what with gas prices, the recession, war and all...and make sure you enjoy your teenage years:  Drink, have sex and experiment with drugs...cuz no one’s around to see anyway.

See you on Thursday."



Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Rebelliouswoman wrote Aug 15, 2008
    • Teacher in-service days, you mean those days when we teachers have classes about how to reach and inspire and, yes, entertain kids, may of whom only want to listen to their ipods instead of the person in the front of the room explaining about the world and life, and how to find either of the Georgia’s on a map. And now with GPS systems, they probably will never even need to use a map.

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Kelly-Williams, M.A. wrote Aug 15, 2008
    • Hi Laura,

      We appreciate your comment and the point you are making.  However, we invite you to remember we are a HUMOR column and EVERYONE gets poked fun at:  ourselves, our husbands, children, in-laws...and yes...even the occasional sacrosanct teacher.

      The more serious point of our blog was not directed at teachers, but rather at the problems large chunks of unsupervised time creates for teenagers.  As a therapist, I meet with many parents who are struggling with these afternoons off while they are at work giving their children all kinds of opportunities that, to put in mildly, aren’t in their best interest.

      Because I’m from Boulder and very PC, I’ve removed the offending phrase and replaced it with a potentially offensive phrase towards the current administration.  I may get slack for that too, but, again, our intention is never to be malicious...we just find that when we get too serious about anything, our need for blood pressure medication goes up significantly.

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Kelly-Williams, M.A. wrote Aug 15, 2008
    • Laura,

      One further question while we‘re on the subject.  I have often wondered why public schools allow students to sit in the classroom with IPODS on or any evidence of a cell phone device where students are spending their classroom time texting their friends (this gives spelling a whole new meaning) rather than learning?

      Call me old fashioned—I went to Catholic schools for all 12 years, and yes, this was back in the day, but structure and discipline were part of the curriculum and teachers were treated as role models and authority figures.

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Rebelliouswoman wrote Aug 15, 2008
    • OH NO ipods and cellphones or electronic devices of any kind are FORBIDDEN in class, or even in school during the day. I have the power to confiscate them if seen and only the parent can get them back. And I have used this power! How is this done you ask? Well, when I see the bud in the ear or the hands on the lap for too long I walk over in a surprise attack and say “give it to me.” Then, believe it or not, I put it into a ziplock baggy with a little note and I walk it to the office. Only a parent can get it back. Bothering the parents is apparently the deterrent factor.  

      Oh, one last comment, I loved your line about teachers being seen as role models and authority figures. I think one of the problems here is that we all TALK to our kids so much that the kids think that they‘re on the same level of importance as the lady in the front of the room.

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Aug 16, 2008
    • Thank you thank you thank you!!! My husband has been in education for 30 years and what you both say is absolutely true. Even in a tough economy my husband’s school, an independent school, has a waiting list of potential students at a tuition of $16,000 a pop. Thankfully, we’ve doubled our financial aid and we have a scholarship program for native Hawaiian kids funded by a very wonderful and generous benefactor. The public school teachers here, in a place where the cost of living is over the top, are some of the lowest paid in the U.S. Most of them just don’t care! I know the problem is nation wide. There needs to be a major overhaul of our entire education system for our public schools.

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Aug 16, 2008
    • Yana’s Take

      We can’t blame the teachers, the administrators before we blame the PARENTS.

      YES, parents. Apparently everyone is tooo busy about their own life to spend quality time educating kids on values, moral, and instilling in them that first comes books, after you’ve read enough you can have an ipod, and after you have a job to pay for that cell phone you might just get it.

      Saying NO is always harder then saying YES.

      I have three kids in college, and let me assure you that it just as bad....if it wasn’t for my father  sitting them all down and explaining to them what actually happened in Georgia and why, they would not have a clue. Let us all remember that what CNN reports is not always the case.

      Mary, Loraine, THANK YOU GIRLFRIENDs for calling it like it is....

      And Parents, CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?????
      While school education in great, college degree is helpful, the training of the mind starts at home. TALK TO YOUR KIDS while they still listen.

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Rebelliouswoman wrote Aug 16, 2008
    • Yana,
      Yes, a problem in the mix is parents and their expectations. The assumption is that education is a partnership between parents and educators working to the benefit of the child. But I can tell you that on more than enough occasions, the parents are fighting the teachers and supporting their kids, providing crutches for them, making the teachers accountable when it should be the child.  

      If I write the daily agenda on the board everyday, why do I also need to have it available online? Why aren’t the kids accountable for writing down their own homework? And why do the parents get mad at me if it’s not online rather than their child who didn’t bother to write it down?

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Kelly-Williams, M.A. wrote Aug 17, 2008
    • Rebellious woman:  Love how you take charge and take the IPODS away and the parents have to pick them up!  Brilliant.  Call me crazy, but it would be nice if parents made sure the coveted IPODS were left at home during the school day.  Would make your job a lot easier.


      Your husband’s school is a prime example of the wake up call needed. Personally, I’m thankful for my private school education.  2 of my 4 children went to private high schools.   Our local public schools are fantastic, but they got lost the 2000 students.  My hats off to any teacher...whether they teach in pubic or private schools.

      Yana, you rock!  As a parent who completely enabled my children’s poor habits by rescuing them and giving them material things they hadn’t earned...I’m guilty as charged.  Now that my children range in age from 21-26, they lovingly remind me that their father and my greatest mistake in raising them was not having them take more accountability and responsibility for things like cars and grades.  You are serving your children well by making them actually earn things like cell phones and IPODS.

      Rebellious woman:  I do not envy you and teachers for the latest and most horrific phenomenon:  THE HELICOPTER PARENT.  These parents are making teachers lives miserable and stunting the growth of their children.

      I found this great article on helicopter parents:

      Definition of helicopter parent:

      A helicopter parent is a term for a person who pays extremely close attention to his or her child or children, particularly at educational institutions. They rush to prevent any harm or failure from befalling them or letting them learn from their own mistakes, sometimes even contrary to the children’s wishes. They are so named because, like a helicopter, they hover closely overhead, rarely out of reach whether their children need them or not. In Scandinavia, this phenomenon is known as curling parenthood - describing parents who sweep all obstacles off ahead of their children.

      An extension of the term, “Black Hawks,” has been coined for those who cross the line from a mere excess of zeal to unethical behavior such as writing their children’s college admission essays. (The reference is to the military helicopter of the same name.)


      The term “helicopter parents” is a pejorative expression for parents that has been widely used in the media; however, there has been little academic research into the phenomenon. Foster W. Cline, M.D. and Jim Fay defined “helicopter parents” very precisely in a section on “ineffective parenting styles” in their 1990 book “Parenting with Love and Logic: Teaching Children Responsibility“[1].  

      It gained wide currency when American college administrators began using it in the early 2000s as the millennial generation began reaching college age. Their late-wave baby-boomer parents in turn earned notoriety for practices such as calling their children each morning to wake them up for class and complaining to their professors about grades the children had received. Some of these parents had, in fact, chosen the child’s college, and hired consultants to help fine-tune the application process. Summer camp officials have also reported similar behavior from parents.[2]

      Today some parents of students in the primary and secondary grades have attempted to neutralize the term by openly referring to themselves as helicopter parents and wearing t-shirts sporting the logo “helicopter parents.”


      The rise of the cell phone is often blamed for the explosion of helicopter parenting — it has been called “the world’s longest umbilical cord“[3]. Parents, for their part, point to rising college tuitions, saying they are just protecting their investment or acting like any other consumer. Newer federal laws, such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), have also recognized the importance of family in the educational process.

      Beyond college

      As these students graduate and move on to the job market, personnel and human resources departments are becoming acquainted with the phenomenon as well. Some have reported that parents have begun intruding on salary negotiations[4].

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