571: Maybe it IS you…

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There is a huge culture now of “accept me as I am.” It is the “be yourself, and don’t change who you are for anyone or anything.” Yeah, well….I get that idea, but I see the problems this healthy self-acceptance beginning eventually leads to – and it isn’t pretty.

See, in the old days, people celebrated bettering themselves, and overcoming character flaws, not congratulating themselves on refusing to change for any reason whatsoever (deserving or not). Literature abounds with heros who have to overcome their flaws to be successful. Those are character flaws. People have them. These character flaws need, and deserve to be, overcome, conquered, mastered, vanquished. For the good of the individual, and for the good of us all.

Sometimes, the problem really, truthfully IS YOU. And it may be genuinely you, but it is a part of you that genuinely needs to be changed, repaired, fixed. And, sometimes, it’s me. I’ve been working on me for several decades now, and there are still some things I have not yet mastered that need to be fixed.

If I can recognize that I can be a better human, so can everyone else, because I assure you, there isn’t anyone breathing who could not use a little self-improvement.

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570: My bad

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In this culture of victimhood that current society is wallowing in (pig in mud inference deliberate, here), where everyone and everything ELSE is to blame for everything I do and everything that happens to me – even at this seemingly simple task, I FAIL.

I am totally to blame for all of it. I have been unable to weasel out of anything….EVER. I try, believe me. I try. I figure if everybody else can slime their way out of any and all responsibility, I should be able to do the same: after all, I am female, have two adult (mostly) children, am regrettably white, old, fat, college educated, and employed full-time – a reasonable victim by anyone’s standards.

The problem is that pesky conscience, which I am assured that most modern people do not possess, as evidenced by their behavior laid out for all the world to see. I have not found the switch to turn that sucker off. And I am unsure which government form to fill out to evict the troublesome conscience as a result of its no longer being required or desired.

It can’t be as difficult as I am making it, this conscience-shredding process, or most of the world’s people would not have managed it so effortlessly.

*sigh* I’m a failure at being a failure.

569: Bygones

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Used to be friends,

much beloved kitties,

men I thought were mates – who weren’t,

belongings I lost along the way (that I still randomly include in my dreams)

plans I had for my life,

hope for the future.

That smoking hot body I remember,

the fruit trees I planted everywhere I used to live (that someone else is harvesting now),

the books I read and passed on to other readers.

The children I raised, and set free.

The person I was.

Life.

568: Effort

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As another school year winds to a close, I am forcibly reminded that many, many, many people have a ridiculous sense of entitlement. I posted in my classroom a few weeks ago (for exactly this time) the statement “Don’t be upset over the RESULTS you did not get from the EFFORT you did not invest.”

As a teacher, I provide students with multiple learning opportunities: assignments. I count (grade) most of them. Our school uses a continuous average grading system, which means we do not set in stone your grade as a student each reporting term. So, your final grade is not determined by the averages of your first, second, third, and fourth grading term results, but instead, the overall average at the end of the year.  This allows students who do poorly to bring up their averages and earn credit for the year.

It also means students who have done moderately to marginally well all year can fail the entire year (even posting a passing average for the first three quarters) by slacking off at the end – which is RICHLY coming to pass. It is amazing how seven or eight zeros at the tail end can drop a close to failing year-long average right over the cliff.

I have warned students in every class that if their averages are in the low 70’s, that they are in danger of failing the course for the entire year, and they are, as usual, ignoring me. Problem is, time is short for completing work, and I am not grading anything turned in late now at full credit, PLUS, I am not accepting work from FIRST,  SECOND, and THIRD TERMS at this late date. Seriously?? You even bothered to ask?

I watched you sit and do nothing for days and weeks, while I chivvied you and reminded you and redirected you countless times, and NOW you get concerned about course credit and passing averages? NOW you want me to provide you with “extra credit” work? Nope.

In twenty-six years of teaching, I have NEVER, EVER, not even ONCE, had a child fail a class I taught with low grades on work they submitted. Not once. Every single child (and I work mostly with high schoolers) who fails has done so on ZEROS: work they just chose not to complete and submit for scoring.

I can work with a student who shows me some effort, even if it is not up to standard. As an employer, I want someone to work every day at the tasks I have set for them to do. As a teacher, I want exactly the same thing. I can help you if you are working. You can ask questions, and we can fix your work on the spot to provide you with better scores. You can get feedback on where this work could be improved.

I do not “give” grades: you earn them and I post them. I can credit someone who is working, even when they do not possess the native ability to do it at A or B quality work. THAT is not required. It is wonderful and appreciated and celebrated, but so is the determined effort to get the work done and submitted on time when assigned. I cannot post credit for something that is not submitted.

And the time of reckoning is at hand.