Brain Teaser

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 11.00.14 AMI’m feeling perturbed. I was up at my son’s high and noticed nothing had been done about a complaint, well really more of a concern, that I had shared with the principal, in what I thought, was a very nice and chatty email, a freaking year ago.

The equally chatty, somewhat new and I’m just going to say it, handsome, very handsome principal (Okay, so I may have a bit of a mom crush on the principal, big deal. I also had a mom crush on my son’s elementary school principal. Oh my, this has just gotten awkward) had gotten right back to me after I wrote the email and due to the quickness of his response I figured action had been taken. Wrong. Because as I walking through the school gigantic posters, really more like face flags (I’m telling you the quality of the photography and the flag fabric is top-notch) of students holding balls or ball hitting implements were staring at me.

I had no complaint with the lovely posters, flags, whatever, of student athletes. What I did have a concern about was the quid pro quo of it all. Because just around the corner, in a dimly lit hallway, are teeny tiny 5 X 7 photos that look like they were the by-product a mediocre laser jet printer of the National Merit Semifinalists and Commended Scholars. WTH? And this is why I wrote the principal last year. I figured I was the perfect person to spearhead this concern since, at that time; I was not the mother of an athlete or a scholar.

In my email I asked the principal why the National Merit kids couldn’t have posters 10 times the size of their heads? In a delightful phone call he explained that the Parent Booster Club paid for the posters. I shared that I’m sure the National Merit kids parents, would with glee, shell out money for a face flag. Because he was so charming, I figured I had wooed him to my way of thinking.

I’m now more than a little angry and adding fuel to my fury is that I recently heard the author of the new book The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way talking about how no other country in world let’s sports dominates their schools the way America does. (P.S. We’re currently ranked 36th in math.) Now before you get all upset I do not want to see sports de-emphasized. I’m a Texas girl and I was raised on high school football but I was wondering what’s stopping us from shining the same LED floodlight on academics.

For instance, why don’t we start recruiting math teachers with the same zeal we use for football coaches? Instead of win loss records we could have teacher stats. As an example, “Mrs. Smith is currently leading the state in the number of students getting a 5 (highest score) on their Calculus Advanced Placement test and more than 63% of her former students have sought post-graduate degrees with an average income of well over six figures.”

Even better would be the pep rallies. I would suggest holding at least two. One in the fall when most students take their first SAT or ACT and one in late spring when the AP tests occur.

Think of the cheers – “Tangent, derivative, theorem, aren’t so hard because you’ve studied they’re your lucky charms.”

Or this one for AP Euro History. “French Revolution, Russian too, don’t forget to write an amazing FRQ!”

I can already see the marching band playing the theme song from the Big Bang Theory as a salute to the quantum theory portion of the AP Physics exam.

Imagine a world where instead of telling just athletes to be a-g-g-r-e-s-s-i-v-e we would instead use that same cheer on the brave, young, souls about to embark on the biggest battle of their teen years – the SAT’s.

“Competitive colleges are okay but you’ve got highly selective wanting you after today!”

The best part of all is that it would be so easy to do. What’s a couple more pep rallies and huge face flags. For sure, you would want those.

**For more Snarky check out my book  Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. 

Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.  If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you. 

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