Fun_People Archive
28 Aug
School Daze - crayons

Date: Sun, 28 Aug 94 16:53:02 PDT
To: Fun_People
Subject: School Daze - crayons

Forwarded-by: bostic@CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: (Craig Good)
From: finch@MCS.COM (Deirdre Sholto-Douglas)
Newsgroups: alt.peeves

W. Blair Haworth Jr. ( wrote:
: In article <331ipk$> finch@MCS.COM (Deirdre
: Sholto-Douglas) writes: 

: >You go ahead with your kidlessness and while you do so, I'll continue to
: >kiss skinned knees, assemble bicycles, and enthusiastically accept popsicle
: >stick 'ashtrays'.  

: Ashtrays!  Godamightydamn, things being what they are these days, I'd've 
: figured that any kid that turned out an ashtray in arts'n'crafts would be 
: immediately sent to Special Ed. for re-grooving and Social Services 
: notified to investigate the home environment.  

<sigh> Your comment reminds me of one of the run ins I've had with the
school psychologist.  After our disscussion, I've gained a reputation of
being unreasonable and my daughter has gained the freedom to construct
anything short of atomic bombs without psychological interference.

If I haven't peeved about this in the past, I certainly should have and
if I have, I beg the readers' indulgence.

It all started shortly after my ill-fated Parent-Teacher Conference (as
did my public school reputation for being unreasonable).  Within a week
of this conference, I received a phone call from said 'psychologist' 
requesting that I present myself in his office to discuss my daughter's
'problem'.  When questioned, he indicated that the 'problem' was different
than the one the teacher and I discussed (which was not addressing adults
by first name), but coyly refused to 'discuss a situtation of this magnitude
over the phone'. 

The following day, at the appointed time, I appeared with offspring in tow.
Horrified looks resulted and said offspring was shuttled off to play in
the gym.  Apparently these discussions are SECRET.

He began by folding his hands on top of his desk and wearing his 'saintly,
patient' expression.  *This* is a man who has not only READ the psych books
but *believes* them.

        "Has Lauren appeared depressed or been behaving unusually at home?"

        "No, she has not."

        "Her behavior *hasn't* changed?!"

        "No it hasn't.  Pardon my abruptness, but precisely *what* are
         you driving at?"

He is now refusing to meet my eyes and fiddling with a paperclip on the
desk.  Hmmm.  I should have trundled my copy of 'Body Language' along with
me.  He could have fidgeted and I could have merrily looked up all the 
underlying pyschological causes.  

        "Well, see, Lauren is using only black crayon when she's
         drawing and studies have indicated that when this occurs the child
         is usually depressed and attempting to deal with repressed emotions."


At this point, I was having considerable difficulty repressing one of my
own emotions....namely laughter.  What rocks do these nitwits crawl out
from under?  Realising that my original response would be a Bad Thing, I
quickly pasted my Concerned, But Amused Parental Expression on and con-

        "Have you considered asking Lauren her reasons for using black

Shock.  Horror.  Complete dismay.  He actually began stammering.  One does
NOT ask the child.  It could cause deep-seated emotional problems, stunt
their growth, cause them to suffer from low self-esteem and possibly begin
hanging about on street corners with gangs of second graders.  

I excused myself from his office, obstensibly to collect myself, in actuality
to collect my offspring from the gym.  I arrived at said gym to find my
depressed, repressed, emotionally devasted monster attempting to deal with
her deep-seated frustration at not being able to reach the rings.  Was she
crying, fussing or sulking?  Nope.  She was trying to negotiate with the
custodialdrone for a stepladder.  At this point, I decided she was entitled
to draw with black crayons the rest of her life, if that's what she wanted.

We meandered back to the office and I ignored the look of distress that
was shot at me.  I parked my recombinant DNA in a chair with orders
to 'Behave like a lady.' (Yeah, I know.  So sue me.)  The conference
resumed, this time I addressed my questions to Lauren.

        "Lauren, Mr. Shit-for-Brains indicates that you only use black
         crayon when you're drawing."


        "Do you *like* drawing in black?"


        "Then why do you do it?"

I was treated to the expression that is reserved for humouring slightly
thick parents and watched as my offspring pasted on her Mom's Old Lady But
Harmless Expression: 

        "They make us line up in alphabetical order when they pass out
         the crayons.  And I'm always last in line...there's nothing left
         *but* black!"

I turned to witness what our psychological brainchild is making of all
this.  He has gone strangely quiet.  Fine.  This interview is over as
far as I'm concerned. Although I confess, I couldn't resist lobbing one
more over the fence at him.

        "Thank you sooooo much for your concern regarding my daughter's
         emotional well-being.  I suppose your job would be *much* easier
         if all depressions could be cured by simply starting the crayon
         box from the other end of the queue.  In the future however, do
         you think you could at least ask *her* before you haul me in here?"

He managed to mutter something which I took for assent neither Lauren or
myself has heard anything from him since.

ObPeeve:  School Psychologists that are looking for deeper meanings in
          simple kids' actions.

!Peeve:   He now scuttles around the nearest corner whenever he sees me
          coming.  I think the poor man probably suffers from deep-seated,
          repressed emotions.

[=] © 1994 Peter Langston []