Friday, August 30, 2013

Opinion Dump

I don't have a real blog post, but I do have an abundance of short opinions that if I don't get out I might explode.
I wonder if there is a good guy in this fight. Is there a side we, as a county, can stand on and know that we are in the right? I do know that we all need to be watching very carefully.
Fast Food Strikes:
They want $15 per hour for a "Would you like fries with that?" job? It does ease my mind a bit to hear that many of the protesters were not actual employees of the business they were boycotting, but paid union lackeys. Even still, it is disturbing that there are so many people out there that don't seem to understand our economic system well enough to know what the end result of such a high minimum wage would be. People like to throw out how high the minimum wage is in Australia, but they forget to look also at what it has done to their cost of living. For fun I checked. If you are curious, here is a link comparing Atlanta (not a cheap city) to Sydney.
1. Miley Cyrus: If Britney and Christina hadn't already been there and done that then I might be shocked, but they did, so I'm not. I'm just sad for her. This topic is so much not new that even Annette Funicello did it. (see Walt's opinion of her in two piece suits for beach movies) Don't forget, Haley Mills did a nude scene after she left Disney. That's right. Miley isn't even as bad as Hayley Mills. 
2. Robin Thicke: He is now on the list of people not allowed to be in the same room as my daughter along with that creepy guy who lives on Heardsville Road by the park, and former president Bill Clinton.
3. Parents: I have no sympathy for the parents outraged that their child was watching that. When have the VMAs ever been safe for kids to watch? Even if you did think it would be okay, you should have turned it off the second the giant bear opened to expose the horror inside.
The high school has drink machines with soda in them. I'm cool with that. Sure it isn't the best thing for you, but a lot of kids do better with a little caffeine. My problem with it is that they only have diet soda. So, caffeine is fine, carbonation is fine, but we just can't have natural sweeteners? I've promised Nix that I won't stir up trouble about this. We both know that the end result would not be regular cokes appearing, it would be everything except water being taken out. Because that is how public schools work.
Okay, I feel better now.
To reward you for putting up with my opinions I leave you this picture taken on the emergency exit door at Chili's

Here in Georgia, even our doors are packing heat. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Following Rules

Our character is not defined by what we do when people are watching, but by what we do when they aren't. 
My kids have been in school for a little over a week now, and the biggest lesson I have learned is that parents do not play by the rules. My first warning should have been open house. The mom in the halter top swimsuit with short shorts and the one who felt it was okay to bring her dog, should have clued me in. Basic rules of etiquette were going to be ignored. 
The next big warning sign was car line. There is always that parent who thinks it is some sort of race track instead of a parking lot, and the parent who ignores every posted sign by stopping by the door to drop off instead of pulling forward to allow others space. Then their child gets in trouble for being a "line cutter" in the hallways and they wonder why. 
The automated calls to parents the first week back were telling. One school reminded parents that there was a dress code clearly outlined, and it was expected that parents would pay attention to what their child wore. The problem has not improved. Another school was reminded that parents could not bring in fast food lunches for their child and their friends, leave it at the office, and expect it to be delivered. Rules do not apply to me or my child is the message that is sent. 
I have a book suggestion for next year’s summer reading list

The problem is that the school exists to educate our children, not police them. They don't have the time, resources, or energy to enforce rules that should be taken care of in the home. We, as parents, can choose to either teach our child that rules are to be followed even when they are not enforced, or we can teach them that cheating is okay when no one is watching. The school is supposed to help grow their minds. We are supposed to help shape their character.
Your child is watching you. If you show no respect for their teacher, then they will show no respect in the classroom. If you take short cuts to get ahead, they will have a "me first" mentality. And maybe most importantly, if they know you are not completely honest with them, they will never be completely honest with you. 
My teacher friends joke that they have no problem students, only problem parents. I'm starting to realize just how true that is. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Opposite World

Picking Nix up at high school is a daily test on my self control. No matter what the school says officially, the county dress code is not enforced. When I'm dropping her off and I see girls walking in with super tight clothes and low cut shirts, I like to pretend that their first period teacher sends them home to change. When I pull up in the afternoon and see a girl wearing stretch pants as pants I can no longer pretend. 
On a side note, in case you haven't heard, it is never okay to wear stretch pants as pants without something covering your backside. This is regardless of your size and age. It is one of the most basic fashion crimes.
Believe it or not, this post is not so much a rant about what kids are wearing to school as it is about where the line is drawn. 
Gym uniforms haven't changed much, but what has changed is that they aren't available in just any size. The smallest size they have is adult unisex small. The shorts, made out of a semi-transparent fabric, are enormous. "Oh, they have a drawstring waist to fit even the smallest students." When you can fit both your legs through one side and still have room to move, it doesn't matter that they don't fall down. They fall up. You are not allow to substitute better fitting shorts even if they are the same style and color, but smaller. It is silly, but I can see how things could go badly if they relaxed that rule, so  I get her bike shorts to wear under the school approved clothes, because the school approved clothes are inappropriate. Since they like to take PE outside from time to time and it can get a bit chilly in the mornings, Nix took a zippered hoodie to wear. The PE teacher informs the class that you can not wear anything over your PE shirt, even if it is a sweatshirt with the school logo.
To sum up, cleavage, painted on pants, and underwear showing gym shorts are fine, modest shorts and covering sweatshirts are not. 
Can we please have school uniforms now? I'd be happy with just polo style shirts and jeans. You could hardly call that an uniform.
On a funny note, Nix came home the first day with the observation that in an effort to be "unique" all the goth kids were dressed alike.  

Friday, August 09, 2013

Accidentally about drinking

I'm going to be a bad band parent. I went to my first high school band booster meeting. I knew I was getting ready to hear about fundraisers and volunteer needs. I hate fundraisers. I despise asking people to buy overpriced stuff so that an organization can get a small cut of the sale. Even still, I'm a band parent now and wanted to give the "team player" thing a try. I'm already getting out cheap because Nix is only doing concert band, so I don't have all those horrendous march band fees. 
The boosters were really excited about fundraising this year. There are two major events. We can either sell $10 beer at the Verizon Amphitheater or promote a poker tournament. They were so excited about all the money they were getting, how much easier it was, and how we no longer had to try to sell candy/fruit/gift wrap. I wonder now if I was the only one in the room uncomfortable. Maybe I should have stood up and asked if there was an alternative for Baptists. That's unfair, not all Baptists keep a sober house. 
There has actually been several very good Christian blog posts recently about the choice to abstain from alcohol. It has very much become an issue that is considered a personal conviction rather than a demand if a religion. There are two main points that I go back to when faced with the choice. 1. My father's life was negatively impacted by abusive alcoholics. I honor my father and what he went through by not drinking 2. Both Rocky and I have had alcoholics in the family. If alcoholism is even a little genetic, then one or both of my children could have that gene. If one of them grows up to struggle with alcohol, it will not start in my home. To be perfectly blunt, the idea of alcohol in my house scares me more than a gun.  If you are going to have a gun in the house then everyone in the house should know how to safely handle it and how to respect it's power. I think most gun owners follow that guideline, but somehow we miss doing that with alcohol. I'm not trying to shame people into not drinking. My point is that if you are going to have it in the house, be mindful of how, in the wrong hands, it can ruin lives. Take the time to explain the lines you don't cross to your kids before they hit partying age. 
Well, this post took a much more serious turn than I intended, but it is something I've had on my mind a lot lately. 
As far as the poker tournament goes, I just can't bring myself to encourage bad math skills. 
"Support the band, but only if you are over 21" just hasn't set well with me. It is one of those times when my personal convictions makes me odd man out. It is a good thing that I'm comfortable being odd.