Yes, I would prefer a nice game of chess

This week has been exhausting.

I started school again on Monday.  My classes are online and I find that online classes are where I excel.  I prefer to stay under my rock and crawl out only when forced.  The occasional group meeting at Starbucks certainly gets my attention, my overwhelmingly enthusiastic attention.  I like Starbucks.  I also like Barnie’s.  In fact, I’ll meet anyone, anywhere, if there is foo-foo coffee drinking involved.  I really like foo-foo coffee drinks.

But back to the story of my exhausting week.  The week I started school after a year-long hiatus between getting the A.A. degree  and realizing even a good portion of Duval County high school students have one of those things by the time they get their high school diploma.  So, Dena – you’re not all that special.  

I hate to say it, but business classes are the most boring classes EVER!  My real love is words or reading or history or foo-foo coffee (okay, I know that doesn’t count).   That’ll have to wait.  I have to be responsible now and get this B.A.S. in Supervision and Management (which I’m hoping is even accepted in other colleges).  In a few years I will get started on my fun degrees:  Criminal Justice, Paralegal Studies, or History.  I say I would love to have a degree in English but I’ve watched my friend and co-worker go through her Master’s degree, having studied English from Day One, and thought to myself, “Why? Why? Why? Why put yourself through all that reading and writing when you can…oh, I don’t know…SLEEP!??

Well, the joke’s on me – I’m not working on an English degree and you don’t see me in bed right now. 

On top of that exhaustion, I have to prepare for an all-out balls-to-the-walls family court case again.  I hesitate to write anything specific about it other than:

a)       I have a job and he doesn’t

b)      He has a Master’s degree in Physics and I don’t

c)       Get a fuggin’ job, dude.

I joked with my lawyer last year about always having to save enough money for the next go-around in court, which comes on schedule like clockwork when he sues me every 3 years.  Well, it’s only been 12 months since the last one and Uncle Sam certainly isn’t my friend right now.  In fact, Uncle Sam can suck my big toe and give me back my income taxes he took from me by surprise this pay period.   CAUSE I KIND OF NEED THAT SHIT! 

At least he gave me financial aid.  This time.

On top of that exhaustion, my daughter is learning double digit addition and subtraction.  Have you seen this nonsense!!!??  Oh my word, I had to walk away.   

Elle:  “Knock, knock!  Hello, Tens.  Can I borrow a One from you?”

Me:  “Why are you knock- knocking?”

Elle:  “Mrs. L. wants us to do it this way, when we need to borrow the One from the Tens. Then we mark it on a little chart like this…”

Now imagine that scene in Wargames when the computer went apeshit and started throwing bombs everywhere, leaving little lines all over the globe.  That is pretty much what my kid’s math paper looked like.

Me:  “Stop that.  I don’t understand what you’re doing.”

Elle:  “But Mrs. L. says that’s how we’re supposed to do it, to borrow the One from the Tens.”

She says borrow the one from the Tens like she says borrow some sugar from the Davidsons.  The Tens are a family…like a gang holding all the Ones hostage.  And she is taught to be nice when she asks for a One because she really, really needs it. 

What she doesn’t know is that back in the day – you know, like 1986 or something – there was none of this mapping and graphing just to borrow the One.  You took action.  You made serious decisions.  You took control of double-digit subtraction.  And I taught her how to do it.

Me:  “Oh, good grief!  Just bust down the damn door and TAKE THE ONE FROM THE TENS, FOR CRYIN’ OUT LOUD!” 

Then Elle cried because of her obvious struggle to do right by her teacher and do right by me, as well.  The problem is that while I usually back the teacher in almost any situation, this is not one of them.  In my opinion, it’s just more work for kids who already have enough work to do as it is.

And this is why I’m not going for my degree in Education. 

My mother eventually had to step in the night when a homework sheet was assigned for double-digit addition.  I thought I was going to lose my everlovin’ mind when I saw even more charts.  It’s addition, right?  Not Al-Qaeda spy code, right?  What’s the deal with all these charts? 

Oh, the overwhelming responsibilities of learning 2nd– grade level mathematics and college-level corporate research papers.


About Dena

I'm a suburban Clevelander by way of Oklahoma City, by way of North Florida, by way of Southern Maryland, by way of Upper Michigan, by way of Northern Italy, by way of Lower Michigan, by way of Texas. Because of living in so many places, I have something in common with almost everyone I meet. I love reading, writing, and American history (especially reading or writing about American history). I'm interested in culture of place, historical trauma, and writing about the kinds of histories most people don't know about.
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3 Responses to Yes, I would prefer a nice game of chess

  1. Kristi says:

    Okay lady, my English degree was/is FUN. And the subsequent poverty and possible sleeping in boxes will be FUN. I refuse to burn my books for warmth.

  2. Chris says:

    Can I borrow some ones?

  3. I can just picture a 25-year-old Elle, trying to figure out how much to tip her waiter, saying to herself, “borrow a one from the Tens…”

    Funny how those weird little learning mechanisms stick with you.

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