Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Way In Which I Ruined My Kid's Life (this quarter)

So, we are only in the third month of the year and I've already ruined G's life forever.  Well, at least for the next two years.  G was placed in an intro Spanish class last semester for one of her nine week "connections" classes.  (They change out connection classes every nine weeks unless you are placed in one of the few semester long classes.) It was more of a study of Spanish culture and some basic language than a hard core learn to speak Spanish class.  G said it was okay but kind of boring, and she was glad when it ended.

A month or so ago, G brought home a letter explaining the school's two-year Spanish program.  By completing this Spanish program in seventh and eighth grade, students earn high school credit.  Students have to apply and (get this) fill out an essay on why they want to be in the program.  When G showed us the letter, she said, "I didn't even want to show this to you but knew I'd be in trouble if I didn't." That should give you a clue of how thrilled she was at the prospect of applying.

Hubs and I sometimes have differing opinions of how to handle what the kids want to do.  I am much more soft and gushy in this regard and sympathetic to when kids don't want to do something.  (Something voluntary or interest-based like this, not things like brushing teeth or going to school.  I'm not a complete pushover.) I kind of sympathized that G adamantly didn't want to take the class.  Plus, she was in Spanish before and didn't like it, the class is a two year commitment, and she is already in an all year connection class (orchestra), so she will not be able to take any other classes for the rest of middle school.  Sad face.  Hubs, on the other hand, is the Honey Badger in these matters. (Google "Honey Badger Don't Care" if you don't get the reference.)  After much discussion, we agreed that this was a great opportunity, it is important for our kids to learn another language, and that she needed to apply.  G was as excited as you might imagine.  The first couple of essay drafts were, while hilarious, inappropriate.  Getting a kid to explain why they want in a program they don't want in, with the stipulation that they try not to lie, is not easy.  Ultimately, she wrote something we could all live with and turned it in, I'm sure hoping she wouldn't be accepted.

So, of course she was accepted.  It probably didn't help that G came out of Spanish last semester with an A. Or that her teacher probably liked her because she is generally quiet and does her work.  I asked G how she felt about it a couple of days after she was accepted.  She said, "I can't get out of it, so I've decided to accept it with as much emotional detachment as possible."  Well, okay.  She's twelve, so we're getting into that tough (for me) arena of what decisions do we still make for her and what kind of independence do we start giving in greater doses.  I hope she ends up really enjoying the class and decides it was a good experience.  If not, I'll just blame Hubs.  ; )


  1. Have you told G about "la lista"? Hopefully she'll end up actually enjoying learning a new language (plus she can say insulting things about other people--her sisters, for instance--without them being the wiser).

    1. I was kind of shocked she didn't like her intro. Spanish class because she loves reading about different countries, cultures, etc. Somehow, she already learned one curse word in French, so I expect she will pick up lots of rude things to say in Spanish. : )