Thursday, June 19, 2014

Making the grade

There was a Mashable thingie the other day which listed the 15 saddest truths about summer school.   Although humorous, the 15 items ("Everyone else is at the beach"..."Everyone else is at a picnic") hardly sum up the awfulness of summer school.

I was invited to attend SS following my sophomore year in high school.  I had pretty much given up on Algebra II by October of the previous year, but Algebra II did not give up on me.  I passed, but it was recommended that I go to hell summer school to become more familiar with quadratic equations, plotting things on a Cartesian graph, and figuring out what time the train has to leave Chicago, all skills that serve me well to this day, some 47 yrs. later.

Imagine being a teacher in a room filled with kids who scraped by, or even failed Algebra II, at the end of June, all of July and 1/2 way through August. Mrs Doris Saunders, a woman of with the patience of Job, drew this short straw and did her best to lead us lunkheads toward mathematical sufficiency.  Something she did must have worked; at the end of the course she handed me a yellow card with my final grade marked as an "A," marking the one and only time I got a grade like that in any course involving numbers.

In life, there is no summer school, but sometimes we get sent back to the minor leagues.  I found it interesting to note that light-hitting baseball catcher J.P. Arencibia, whom the Toronto Blue Jays had no interesting in having play for them in 2014 after he hit .194 in 2013, was signed by the Texas Rangers and was not hitting much better (.233) this year before being sent to play for the Round Rock Express of the AAA minor leagues.

The happy couple
This did not stop People Magazine from identifying him as "Texas Rangers catcher J.P. Arencibia" when they wrote about him last weekend.  He married Kimberly Perry of the "country" band The Band Perry on Thursday last, while the rest of his team was playing baseball in Albuquerque NM.  I guess it wouldn't have been so splashy to call him "minor league ballplayer J.P. Arencibia."  The magazine goes on to report that the newlyweds met in 2012 at a strawberry festival in Florida.

J.P, you've been sent to summer school, and it would be better for you to attend class every day.  Go get an A and get out of AAA!


Mary-Lynn said...

My poor, hard-working, Algebra-loathing son almost got to enjoy summer school this year...passed by the skin of his teeth after a school year of daily class, tutoring at school EVERY day, and a tutor we've used sporadically with both kids since middle school. His sigh of relief may have been audible in your neck of the woods...

XO, Mark!

Mark said...

Congratulations to your son for working hard enough to avoid the hell of summer school! Now when you go to Wegmans with him he can help figure out what time the little toy trains should leave their respective stations!

Mark said...