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3.10.2011

"you can't fix stupid" - Ron White

I'm making another attempt to get Tio engaged in academics. He's smart and bright but lazy. I met with his teachers to get some advance level work for him and picked up a copy of Huckleberry Finn to start reading. So far...it's a mixed bag. As an A student he doesn't see why he should be compelled to work harder. Unfortunately, his school has such low standards of learning that they're on the brink of losing accreditation. This means that an A level assignment in grade 6 is mediocre at best and multiple grade levels down at worst. During our bout of 'strenuous' homework today he was red in the face shaking with frustration and silent anger. I sent him downstairs to cool off.
After 10 minutes I went down and said, "Do you think the standards at your school are low?"
He agreed.
"Do you think if you continue to get good grades that you'll get a good education?"
He allowed as that might be hard to do.
"Do you think you can do better without too much effort?"
Probably.
"So what's got you so frustrated? That you don't think you should have to, that you don't want to spend the time, or that you don't want to use your brains?"
Just lazy, he said.
"Then here's the thing. You're a real smart boy in a crappy school. It's not going to get any better because the middle and high school have problems, too. We can't afford private school and we're not moving. That means it's up to us, you and me, to make sure you come out ahead. Let's invest an hour a day to hand in the best assignments you can muster, to learn a bit extra about subjects you're good at, and build a foundation for learning and thinking that will carry you through life. There's no way you'll ever be stupid. But you can stay ignorant forever."

He understood, he agreed, he accepted it. It still remains to be seen if he'll do it. I sure hope so because I'm not going to back off until he does.