For all parents, the end of the school year is looming. In no time the kids will all be on holidays for about two months (we workers can only wish), wondering what to do with themselves, and bleeding the parental ATM dry.
We survived the end of year exams, although the results are not in yet. But that in itself is a major triumph, especially since we were at the school only a few weeks ago for a meeting to discuss one of the men-children and basically to receive a warning that his results would not be good. (I really hope they’re wrong and we’re pleasantly surprised – is that naive or just optimistic?). They basically told us that whilst they couldn’t fault our son’s commitment to sport at school, he needed to show similar commitment to academic subjects. They, like most other mainstream schools, make no apologies for being an academic school first, with a multitude of other “opportunities” second. It seemed a little late to be telling us this to be honest, although it didn’t come as a complete surprise. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink! (Ditto homework).
Following our “meeting” we tried to ensure the men-children made the most of weekend study time. That basically meant curtailing their social lives for two weekends and not allowing them out on a Saturday night. As they still had serious sporting commitments, this wasn’t actually a bad idea in our minds. However, in the eyes of men-children, spending a Saturday night at home with your parents is about the worst thing you can do. Honestly, you should have heard the carry on. You would have thought we’d asked them to walk naked down Glenferrie Road after school.
We also received some interesting correspondence from the school during the year about an “incident” involving both our men-children. I can’t help but love the tone of carefully crafted letters to parents that are so politically correct in describing an event. So the “serious incident” that involved a number of boys (including ours), followed “ongoing negative interactions” and “verbal interplay”, resulting in a “physical interaction” breaking out between some boys. In other words a bunch of testosterone-laden boys who had been egging each other on all year finally had a shit fight and tried to punch the crap out of each other. Thankfully both of our boys were deemed to be fringe dwellers only, and one was even credited with helping break up the fight. He later admitted that he’d actually managed to land a great punch, and even accidentally slugged one of his mates (LOL). All part of being boys especially at an all boy’s school. Of course I completely understand the school’s need to write a letter to all involved, and I’m thankful that ours didn’t do anything too bad.
As for how they’ll amuse themselves over the holidays – thankfully we love camps, and so do they! Especially the summer camps and sporting camps that the school offer. They will both be away before Christmas and again in late January. We think it’s great for them to get away with mates on camp, and also to have time away from us. We (that’s Father of a Man-Child, Sister of a Man-Child and myself) also enjoy the unusual dynamic that a house with a single child brings. It’s incredibly quiet and we seem to enjoy spontaneous outings more frequently!!!
So onto the end of Year 9 and exam results next week. You may recall the bribe we handed to the boys earlier this year – $100 for every B grade or better in their exams. I suspect one will have a windfall shortly, and the other will be looking for lots of odd jobs he can do over the holidays.
Read about the bribery here.