Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bullying Update; Cap and Gown Measurements; Nintendo 3D and the Corruptness of Corporations

I thought I would give everyone an update about the bullying incident involving HSB. The story continues that not only did the Vice Principal visit the classroom unannounced, but also that while HSB was out of the room; she read the class the proverbial riot act. She made it clear that picking on, bullying or making fun of another student for any reason what so ever will not be tolerated and that there will be repercussions. Also, HSB told me that the main bully was continually staring at him in another class; however, he said that that seems to have stopped as well.  HSB’s special ed teacher did try to tell him to ignore that particular student and I am not sure how much HSB could actually do that, but it seems that this episode may be over. I did find it creepy that the bully would stare at HSB so I did make another call to the school and spoke to the Vice Principal. They assured me that this child has no history of violence and was for lack of a better word, just a jerky kid who liked to be the center of attention by doing stupid things. Unfortunately he decided to be the center of attention by picking on my son and that was not going to happen anymore. Hopefully the bully has learned his lesson and will just ignore HSB from now on.

Of course, if he doesn’t hubby has devised an entire plan on how to ruin the boy’s family. He even spent a night googling the family and finding out what the father does for a living. Hubby is in no mood to have someone pick on his son. In fact, HSB has been really lucky that he has basically escaped unbullied from school (only a few minor incidents), unlike so many of his aspergean fellows, including collegeman. Now hubby was just not going to let some kid, ruin the last four months of HSB’s high school life. He has been doing too well this year and quite frankly is so much happier than he has been in such a long time, so hubby was on a lawyer’s warpath. I could see the wheels going and the legalese threats begin to appear in his brain. If we were in a cartoon with thought balloons you could actually see them pop-up over hubby’s head. You so don’t want to mess with one of his boys. And as I have mentioned before, it has been a really hard couple of years and hubby has no patience for nonsense of any kind from anyone.

I did have an interesting exchange with the Vice-Principal though. We were talking about how HSB does have to learn to deal with people that are jerks. I told her my philosophy that I teach the boys, “wherever you go in life there is going to be at least one asshole. The trick is to make sure that YOU are not that asshole.” Not sure she appreciated my colorful reference to the anal sphincter but she definitely liked the life lesson. The truth is that HSB does have to learn how to deal with mean people. There is always going to be someone somewhere who will try to make your life miserable if you let them. He needs to learn the emotional defenses against that. In some respects he has been very lucky in that he never had to learn those defenses, but on the other hand he really doesn’t know what to do when people are just not nice (Except when its his brother withwhom he usually gets into a fight). He doesn’t understand it when people are mean and he definitely doesn’t like it. Now he does handle it better than when as a freshman some idiot upperclassmen stole his backpack from the locker room (kept wondering if those students were morons who can’t read since his name was on his belongings…HSB doesn’t really get the idea of practical jokes and why some people think they are funny. You can rest assured that he just feels people who like these jokes lack any basic intelligence.) Honestly I didn’t like the joke either. Since HSB’s name and picture were in his backpack along with his housekeys, and alarm fob, I had to have the house rekeyed and the alarm reset besides having to buy a new backpack, and school supplies. Needless to say I kept the bills for a rather long time just in case I ever found those stupid children and was going to hand the bill to their parents.

Well, this recent incident is behind us and so far so good with HSB. He even said he wants to go to graduation now too. They did come to measure for caps and gowns last week and it seems that little by little HSB is getting used to the idea that there is a next step in his life. College does seem to be an ok idea, even though it’s only more school and he is steeling himself for the transition. While on the phone with the Vice-Principal we did discuss the possibility of him attending the graduation. Oh not that they would keep him away, but the reality that HSB would sit for hours and listen to speeches without interjecting is not something I would really want to chance. Yes, I know that he needs to learn to handle his impulses to yell at people he disagrees with but the time to learn is not at the graduation ceremony. Meanwhile he finally did attend a school-wide assembly and the para did mention that he did interject during the speeches (even though he was generally just loud enough for those around him to hear but still you don’t want that during graduation). So we will discuss exactly how to include HSB in the ceremony without taking away from anyone else. When graduation does get closer, we are going to put our heads together to come up with a way for HSB to enter towards the end of the ceremony, so he could be called up to receive his diploma like the rest of his classmates. Of course, the upside for me is that I don’t have to sit through all those horrible speeches.

On another front, HSB was welcomed into the world of realistic economics. As I have mentioned before the boys earn money to put towards their video games by doing chores in the house. Of course, they don’t have to buy video games with the money; they can buy mangas, music, and yugiyoh cards, basically anything that is not a necessity or needed for school (these things we buy). So we were in Game Stop and HSB was turning in older videogames for money to put towards a new game that he wanted. (It’s actually a really nice program. Of course Game Stop makes out really well, but on the other hand, your child learns that things cost money and that there can be some kind of exchange of goods. Basic and simple economics but it is a beginning.)

Meanwhile HSB wanted the new version of the Nintendo DS that is coming out because lo and behold it is going to be 3-D without glasses. So we took the money he garnered from the returned games and put down a deposit on the handheld. Well as we got back to the car, I told him that he had a month to get the rest of the money together by doing chores. He looked at me as if I had lost my mind. For some reason he had not thought that he was going to have to put his own chore money toward the new system as opposed to using the money to buy new games. He was so not happy with me to say the least. Yelling, name-calling and basic infantile behavior did ensue, however, I did stick to my guns and guess what he decided that the system cost too much money.

He decided that there is no reason to have to spend so much on a new system when his works just fine and that Nintendo is a corrupt corporate monstrosity. He railed against the corrupt corporate giants and their hidden agendas. He decided that corporations have no feeling for the average person, especially in this economy and that it was an abhorrent abuse of power. My conservative son suddenly sounded like he was at a Communist Party Rally. (I have to tell you, I figured out why Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto, his mother told him he would have to pay for whatever was the hip-kid fad of the mid 19th century.) Needless to say, we got the deposit back without a problem and HSB has bought several games with his chore money. Also not to worry, he is back to his old capitalist ways, trying to hold me up for more allowance, because he is doing so much better at school this year. (4 A’s and 2 B’s for the first semester…yes this time I gave in.) OK, he still gets allowance too…after all if it is tied to school he is earning that money. Except I also use allowance as a tool to get him to do things he would seem to forget, like use his braces rubber bands every night and pick up his dirty clothes and put them in the hamper. No rubber bands, loose $1 and no clothes picked up loose another $1. Let me tell you considering how lazy he could be, those no pick-up your clothes dollars adds up really quickly.

In many ways I suppose that this too is a lesson in economics. Just because you receive money for a job well done, doesn’t mean something isn’t going to come along the way and take your money from you before you get a chance to spend it on what you need or want. Take care and protect your money and yourself by doing what you are supposed to in this life. It is a little life lesson, but on the other hand, hopefully he can extrapolate it and apply it to other situations in which he will find himself. Listen he learned that just because you may want something doesn’t mean the older version isn’t just as good and that you have to make choices in life on what you have to spend your money on. Of course we haven’t gotten to the part where he has no disposable cash to spend on games because gas, food and electric bills are inflating while your paycheck isn’t growing, but that is a lesson for the future. The truth of the matter is that he is still allowed to be somewhat of a kid and not have to have grown-up financial problems. Those will come fast enough in his lifetime and once they come they really never go away do they.

Until next time,