Dec. 16, 1999

Assorted Rants

Update on last entry:

I finally caught up with the doctor Wednesday afternoon. He didn't seem too concerned (sure, it's not HIS father!) and suggested Dad stop the medication for a week and then have me get back to him. I called Dad and he said he feels a bit better anyway. He sounded more like himself. So that situation is stable.. for now.

Older Son's girlfriend paid me a visit at bowling yesterday. She came to have lunch with him to say goodbye. (They'll be separated for about four weeks.) I saw her and asked where Son was, and she said, "At home."


I can feel her pain.. she won't see him for some time and he wouldn't even spend as much time with her as he could on the last day. He said he wanted to "relax" and play the video game he rented.

He tells me he needs some "breathing space". She is smothering him. She actually asked me, in all seriousness, to "not let him talk to strangers" on holiday. The boy is 18 for heaven's sake! She is worrying about his road trip far more than I am. He was a little late checking in this evening, and she was frantic, while I was only moderately annoyed, thinking he had forgotten. He finally did call, from Richmond Va. That's one honkin' one-day road trip from Montreal! The farthest we ever got was Fredericksburg.

And I did have to attend a meeting to make quorum, and I didn't get to accompany Hubby and help deliver Son to his friend's home. I explained it to him as follows: even though HE is more important to me than any committee (than anyTHING at all) it was a question of consequences. If I went with him or didn't, he ended up in the same place. If I didn't go to the meeting, I delayed a decision-making process that was necessary to enable the principal to run the school. (The organizational structure of our schools is in a transition period and this emergency meeting was one of the growing pains of the new system, I suppose.)

Was that explanation a cop-out? I hope not.

In other news:

I'm worked up all over again about the state of the history education in Quebec schools. (Background is here, towards the end of the entry.)

Last evening I attended a meeting at the high school which turned into a debate about how much teaching time to allot to the History of Quebec and Canada course. The committee in question is composed of parents, teachers and other assorted school staff. This history course has a very high failure rate, for various reasons. Most kids don't take to history in general, and Canadian history is perceived to be particularly boring. Only the history teacher was in favour of expanding the class to every day, but it was the attitude of the other teachers that floored me. I would expect them to protect their own territory but it went beyond that. One of them as much as said, cram into them what they need to pass the exam, and then they can go on to take other subjects.

I hated history as much as the next student. But the value of a course is not necessarily proportional to how much one enjoys it. This school system is graduating children who have never been formally taught about the World Wars from a global perspective.. to name just one of the many critical concepts they're missing. These same children will soon be running our society.

In a sobering moment, I commented to Younger Son that kids nowadays might not even know what a Nazi is.
His response: "You can't teach these kids about Nazis!"
Meaning, it would be dangerous to put Nazi ideas into their heads. While I can't argue with that, given recent events, I still can't accept that burying the past is a better idea. Human nature being what it is, this kind of evil does happen and while education won't prevent that, it might.. it MUST change what happens in response to that evil.

End of rant.. for now. Thank you.

On the CD Player: Simon and Garfunkel, the Concert in Central Park. Soothing and strengthening.

Yesterday's Bowling scores: 98 (I was distracted!) 148, 140, total = 386.
Last year's average: 132
This year's average: 121.
Bowling on hiatus for the holidays, to resume Jan. 5 when I should still be in Florida.

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