Thursday, April 2, 2009

My Fair-y Tale

It was a long day at the junior college Science Fair today. I usually enjoy it. We took a lot more kids this year. It was quite different from last year, when we only took 11, and every single one of them placed in their categories.

My boy did not win Best of Fair (he never has)
My boy did not get 1st Place (like he did for both previous years)
My boy did not get 2nd Place
My boy did not get 3rd Place
My boy tied for Honorable Mention in the Engineering category.
I am proud of him.

The other kids, not so much. I don't mind that they don't place. I mind that they don't follow the rules. The other science teacher had it worse than me. Two kids showed up who never submitted to her the necessary paperwork to enter the Science Fair. Just showed up, with a project. Another showed up, but his partner and the project didn't. The teacher sent them back to school. One of them, she had to DRIVE back to school. Oh, and two others that were sent back never showed up at school. Then a bunch of whiners started asking her if they could leave.

Keep in mind that we sent home letters, and told these kids that they would be sitting around all day until the awards at 3:00. They knew. Yet at 2:00, they started asking to leave. Almost all of her students left. They are the drivers. My freshmen and don't-have-a-car kids rode the bus, and knew they weren't leaving. Oh, but a couple whose parent drove went to lunch an hour early, and then left before the awards. Pity. They won 2nd place. That's a money position. Last year it was $25. Too bad, so sad. I did not pick up their ribbon. That means they did not fill out the paperwork to get their monetary reward. I did not have an address to furnish for the mailing of their check. The Science Fair sponsor looked at me funny. I told her, "We expect them to honor their obligations. They left. They don't deserve the prize money. It is their own fault that there is no address to mail them the check. We don't think they deserve it."

Do you think that is cruel? I think it is teaching them a life lesson.

Oh, and at 2:00, a girl said I was going to have to give her a ride home. She said her dad had to work, and her mom couldn't pick her up, and that her dad wouldn't even give her money for lunch, and a Basementia sponsor had to loan her money to eat, and her dad said that the school would just have to give her a ride home. I asked her, in a not very nice way, why she came, knowing she had no ride and no money, and why she was just now telling me. I told her that if I had to, I would give her a ride, because otherwise I would have to sit at school with her all night if she didn't get picked up. And as a parting shot, I told her that I was NOT her parent.

After that little exchange, I had to walk off, because my blood was boiling so much that it was in danger of thawing my cold, cold heart. We can't have that! My point is that earlier in the week she said something about not being able to get a ride, and I told her that I guessed she just couldn't go. And if your dad tells you that he's not giving you money for Subway, for cryin' out loud, bring a gosh-darn sandwich! The world does not owe you a chauffeur and a $5 foot-long. Snap out of it! Oh, and in case it explains my bad behavior any further, this is the family of five who all came to our school science fair and ate two dozen Devil's Playground iced St. Patrick's Day cookies and drank a gallon of fruit punch that was provided for the competitors.

I called school after I lowered my blood under the boiling point, to see if I would be in any legal trouble for driving a student in my personal vehicle. What a coincidence! The secretary said, "That little girl's grandma just called and I told her the bus was getting back at 3:45. So she has a ride.Don't you worry about it." I explained that the bus was going to Basementia, not Newmentia, which the secretary said the grandma didn't know. I told her that it was all in the letter we sent home, and the secretary said, "Well, I'm not going to worry about it. She knew and didn't tell her family, and that's HER fault, and I'm not calling the grandma back to tell her! These kids need to get it together!" Precisely.

You know what? That kid got off the bus and went straight into a car that was parked and waiting. Amazing what a little tough love can accomplish.

Oh, and on a side note, we had 10 students place this year, in 15 categories.

1st Place-1
2nd Place-1
3rd Place-2
Honorable Mention-5

Not too shabby, considering we're a small school. The Science Fair is NOT divided into Class 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, like sports. We run with the big dogs.


DeadpanAnn said...

After that little exchange, I had to walk off, because my blood was boiling so much that it was in danger of thawing my cold, cold heart.


Congrats on your science fair wins. I too say they deserved to miss out on the money.

And if it makes you feel any better, I never could get anyone to turn in paperwork for the reading fair, and only had a few of my students place in the 2 years that I did it.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Miss Ann,
But that's READING fair. I love to read, but I don't think I could get all hyped up for READING fair.

Our freshman English teacher has assigned the kids to make a diorama about a children's story, using PEEPS. One is doing "If You Give a PEEP a Cookie. And there's Little Red Riding PEEP. And Little Bo PEEP. Somebody wanted to do Stephen King's IT, but was overruled because it is not exactly a children's story. If that was not a condition, I would like to make one of The Bad Seed, aka The Bad PEEP. Murderous little Rhoda in soft pink marshmallow.