Thursday, November 08, 2007


I have observed "Celeste" in her natural habitat for some time now. I think I understand as well as most what her motivations and desires are. And my own humble opinion is that, of the things I can actually give her, cash ranks right up there.

How convenient. I have a few dollars burning a hole in my pocket. And The Wife attended parent-teacher conferences tonight, learning that while "Celeste" got Bs almost across the board (a couple of B-s and B+s in there) they feel she is certainly capable of As.

Now, I try not to push kids for better scholastic performance than they can do. If a kid just isn't more than a C student, I'm down with that...but I'm also going to torment them until they damn well get their grades up to Cs and keep them there.

I decided shortly after I met "Celeste" that she was probably a thinly-disguised A student, and now we have documentary proof that the pros agree. But how to get her to feel the need to live up to her potential? I've found that nothing works on most kids better than bribery, and with "Celeste" it's a sure thing.

She painted most of a deck for a fairly cheap MP3 player, and did a pretty passable job on most of it. I told her that if she got the grades for her core courses (Math, Science, English and Social Studies) up to As while keeping her other grades at at least Bs, she would receive $10 for each A.

True to her character, she thought about it and then grumped: "I suppose this means I have to start doing things."

Yes, "Celeste." Yes, you do. But in about 5 to 10 years, you'll understand that it's not for me, The Wife, or anybody else except for you. November Fool. You think you're doing it for me because I've got some "stupid hangup" on your grades. My hangup isn't on your grades, it's on your education. And your character. You're plenty smart, but you need work in those two areas, and if I had a better idea to get you motivated, I'd use it.

I don't. So do you take plastic?



At 12:17 PM , Blogger Jo said...

Cash is always good...then again so is a trip to the mall or a fairly largish town that has the best goth stores...Maybe you could bribe her with promises of gift cards from favorite stores...


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