Thursday, 26 March 2009

"Like sand through the hourglass ...

.. so are the days of our lives." (cue annoying music here)

I can remember thinking, back in the dim, dark recesses of time when I was a know-it-all teenager, that soapies were so unrealistic in the way they portrayed the same problem going on for weeks, then finally being solved, only to have the same problem re-appear in a slightly different guise a bit further down the track.

'Surely once a problem was solved' thought my very unworldly self, 'it stayed solved. People don't keep making the same mistakes over and over again, do they?'

I have now realised that, barring demonic possession, kidnapping, marrying a sibling or having oodles of money with no discernible job, my life is a little like a soap opera. There are problems that last for weeks, or even months, seem to be resolved, then rear their ugly little mutant heads in a slightly different form.

If there's anything I should be used to around here, it's weird little mutants, yet I amaze myself with my lack of ability to see them coming, lack of knowledge of how to deal with them yet again and total faith that once resolved, they're gone forever. Did I learn nothing from ditching the occasional day of school just to watch the countless never-ending angst-filled dramas? Obviously not!

I now give you .. (drum roll please) .. the Alex saga!

(otherwise known as "As the world turns .. around me. And not just the world .. oh no .. the entire Universe revolves around me!)

As you are probably aware by now, we have been having a few problems with Alex and school, namely suspensions last year for violence and numerous detentions for not doing homework.

After much discussion between Peter and I, we took him for an enrolment interview at our local public high school with the view to enrolling him there, seeing as he obviously wasn't prepared to put in the effort required to stay where he is. Peter had been threatening to take Alex out of his private school for quite some time so he finally put his foot down and arranged the interview.

(I just want to clarify that I don't think private schools are necessarily any better than public schools. I just think that in our particular circumstances, this particular private school is better for Alex than the public alternative.)

Alex's overall attitude was one of resignation to the fact that he would be changing schools and leaving his only friend behind as well as some curiosity about the school itself. The enrolment interview went well, as did the tour of the school but once Alex had it explained to him that this school was not geared toward the student who wanted to attend university, his whole attitude changed. He wants to become a science teacher or some sort of scientist/technician/engineer, all of which require university degrees and therefore university entrance subjects in high school. All of a sudden he was promising Peter the moon and stars for the opportunity to stay at his current school.

After a meeting with the current school's principal and deputy-principal (pastoral care), Peter seemed a lot happier with the current status quo. He appreciates that Alex has improved greatly from last year and while there is still some concern about his lack of completed homework, he is getting better. The two of them have made some, for want of a better word, 'deals' regarding his homework and attitude towards school so hopefully, they will start to have some effect from here on.

It just amazes me how much has changed in schooling since we went to school. As I explained to Peter, Alex was suspended for the kind of 'push-me, shove-you violence' that would have gone completely unpunished and probably completely unnoticed in our day. (Just hold on while I go grab my zimmer frame will you?) If you weren't bleeding, unconscious or had bones sticking out of your skin nothing much was done. Oh, and homework was never chased up. If you didn't do it, there were no repercussions from the school; just from your parents at report card time. (I can still remember that feeling of dread walking home to give Mum and Dad the report card that had my first ever D on it .. quaking in my boots I was!)

So all in all, the soap opera status quo continues but stay tuned for further developments. You never know, there might be a murder next.

Or the discovery of a secret bunker under the house where we could keep him locked up for years, only letting him out when he finishes all his homework (in about 30 years!)

Or even that he's a little alien mutant beamed in from another planet sent here to test human patience levels. Yeah, that one sounds good .. and scarily enough, the most believable!

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