We went to a parent-teacher conference yesterday with Kane's R.L.C. teacher Mrs. Webb. These things are always a little nerve-wracking; you expect that the teacher will say a bunch of really wonderful stuff, but you're afraid she'll tell you a bunch of stuff that you weren't ready for. "Your child likes to beat up other children and then rub feces on them." Having said that, we are always pleased after going to these things; Kane and Jude are the best.
Yesterday was no exception. Mrs. Webb said that Kane is extremely bright. In fact, she said, "This being R.L.C., all of the kids are bright. But Kane is brightest among them." She went on to say, "You know, he doesn't just sit around doing math problems or anything like that. This kid has got ideas; he's got stuff to SAY." And I knew exactly what she was talking about, because I complain regularly about this aspect of Kane's geniusness. If you've ever wanted to eat a meal whilst being told, IN GREAT DETAIL, about every, single, minute movement that is made and word that is said on an episode of "Family Guy"- I mean you can't even say "Pass the butter." because this kid doesn't even stop to BREATHE- then you need to call Kane, because he can take care of you. He can take care of you all day long. If you value ridiculous, petty, outdated ideas like "peace" and "quiet", don't come to our house. We cannot help you.
Anyway, we were so proud to hear her say what a joy he is in class, and how smart he is, and how much he deserves the best schools we can send him to. Jason and I have been concerned for some time about Kane's staying in the Leeds city school system. I love Leeds, folks, but the school system has been on the long, hard road to hell for quite some time. The elementary school is an award-winner; the junior high is in a neighborhood where you can buy drugs from eight-year-olds. Junior high is the barrel we're staring down currently, since Kane is in fifth grade this year. We're working on a couple of ideas, and I'm confident that we'll figure something out. Because he DOES deserve to be challenged, just not in the "Who in my school sells the best crack?" kind of way.
This conference brought up clear memories of Kane's teacher at Vestavia telling us that Kane had ADHD, and needed to be medicated for it. We were also told that, in October of Jude's kindergarten year, after being there for only a little over two months, with seven months left in the school year, Jude needed to repeat kindergarten. We said, "Oh, is he behind the other kids? Is he having trouble keeping up? Are the other kids ahead of him with reading and counting and stuff?" She replied, "No. He's the youngest in his class." (Jude was five at the time. I was five in kindergarten, Jason was five in kindergarten, most people are five in kindergarten.)
I have since read articles that talk about a practice called "red shirting", in which children are held back until they are six to go to kindergarten, because it allows them to test better and it gives them the advantage over younger kids- meaning they'll probably do better than younger kids, and therefore stay at the top of their class all the way through high school. That particular article was saying that parents did this to keep their kids ahead of the rest, but I realized that a school could encourage this in order to have really high test scores. Vestavia is considered one of the best school systems in the state, based on their really high test scores.
Jason and I spent a lot of time freaking out about Kane getting drugged because some TEACHER diagnosed him with ADHD, and Jude being held back for no particular reason. These were the deciding factors in their coming to live with us; we wanted better for them. We wanted them to have teachers who were excited to see them in the morning, and who enjoyed their uniqueness and creativity. It still surprises me that we found that in Leeds, a town that is going broke and can hardly pay its teachers. Thank you, Leeds, for taking care of my kids, if only for a little while.
This is all just a really roundabout way of saying "HAHA, VESTAVIA! I BEAT YOU! I KICK YOU IN THE BUTT! SUCK IT, YOU BRAIN-SUCKING, CROWD-FOLLOWING, FLOCK-OF-SHEEP-MONGERING, HOLIER-THAN-THOU, PRETEND-SUPERIOR ASSHOLES! I SHIT WITH GLEE AT THE OPPORTUNITY TO LAUGH IN YOUR COLLECTIVE FACES!!! WE'LL SEE YOU WHEN KANE'S THE PRESIDENT, SUCKERS!!!"