Saturday, October 3, 2015

FTT Off-Topic: Every Parent-Teacher Night

No, Let's Not
Not sports, I did back to back nights with this last week, so let's get something out of it.

OK, let's start. I'm Mr. Eponymous, and I'm your child's teacher. Is everyone in the right place? Would anyone admit it if they weren't? Great, great.

First, I'd like to reassure all of you mouth breathers that I'm from this quaint little suburb. As a matter of fact, I grew up here and went to this very school! Which means that I'll be infusing your child with a great object lesson that if you don't have dramatically different life goals and values than I do, you could spent the rest of your life in the same room you hated as a child, as some sort of perverse ironic torment for a life poorly lived. Every place can be Appalachia, if you just shoot low enough!

Next up, we'll get into the grading system, which is the exact same overly complicated rigmarole that you are going to hear in every other place you go tonight. I will deathlessly intone it as if this is vital information, because if I don't do this, you will not think that this system is Very Serious, and not something we pull out of our butt every year while trying to figure out how to go through the motions for nine more months without upping our meds. It's a lot better than last year!

Did you meet our principal while they were droning their way through the PTA meeting that you were tricked into attending at the start of tonight's festivities? I know I shouldn't say anything bad about the waste of sperm and dignity that occupied the seat last year, but wow -- such a change. We're all hoping that we don't break their spirit like an underfed mule, because that happens. Oh dear God, yes, that happens.

A few words about this class. It's really above average, just like every other class that I will speak about tonight. Does that make you all feel better, or is my veneer of bull exhaust starting to stink up the room? I feel flop sweat. I feel that a lot.

I know some of you are mad about how much money you had to pay for supplies that seemed arbitrary at best and punitive at worst, but it really makes a difference when your kids use the only product on the market, typically ordered from a web site with rush delivery, that I've threatened them into buying. Try not to pull your hair out by the roots when it breaks, or your kid loses it, in four to six weeks. It's a partnership!

Did all of you sign the sign-in sheet? Good, good. It's true that this proves that you are better parents than the people who didn't come, but honestly -- look around the room at yourselves. Grading on a curve, people.

(Crackling, barely audible PA announcement with feedback, reciting a list of numbers) Here comes the sad little gambling ritual where we sell lottery tickets and keep half of the money, because you people seem to enjoy skill-free games of chance. I hope you win!

Getting back to my sad little Powerpoint deck, here's my contact information, as well as my Web site, which uses the finest clip art that 1990s Geocities has to offer. Isn't it fun?

A brief word about cell phones. Like every teacher on the planet, I hate and despise them with the fury of a thousand suns, except that I'm on mine a lot, and your kid will need it for whatever app or PDA that I order them to use. Cognitive dissonance is a life skill that's taught early!

Email, in that it's the medium that I can ignore the easiest, is the best way to get a hold of me. I'm obligated to list a phone number as well, but if you ever reach me on that, I will treat your kid like a piece of performance art for the rest of the year. And if I were any good at that sort of thing, do you think I'd be here in this classroom?

Is that the bell? Yes, and you've got two minutes to get to the next classroom, which is located somewhere in this rabbit warren of rooms, filled with some of the slowest and most annoying people on the planet, all of them as lost as you are. I'm sorry for keeping you after the bell, but I need to talk for at least another thirty seconds to prevent any meaningful conversation with any of you people before the next herd gets here.

Thank you so much for coming out! Buy promo stuff that no one wants or needs before you leave, and show your school spirit!

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