I stand by my assertion that Ignatz’s (spoken) English is better than that of his teachers, but I went in and looked at the test that he got a C on, and it wasn’t what we’d thought, that creative solutions were marked as wrong (I should note that I’m using “creative” here to mean “correct, but not on the vocabulary list,” because one of the mistakes he made was using “dangerous” when the teacher wanted “deadly,” which I would dispute except that it is clearly not the real problem here). The problem is his usual lack of basic academic skills like following directions, or even reading them. E.g., the task is write a 100-150 word email to a friend, and he writes like 30 words.
Also, the test with a C was the first test this year. He has since taken another one, on which he got a 5, which has no American equivalent – it’s like an F+. Same problems. He’s just not doing the work.
I am having one of my frustrated moments. More than a moment, actually, since I met with his teacher last Tuesday, and it’s taken me nearly a week to come back here and admit I was wrong. I know that the ADHD is a count against him, I know that makes things harder. But it’s only one count against him, ferpetesake, it’s not like he’s poor, or going to an underfunded or violent school, or coping with illiterate, indifferent, alcoholic, or abusive parents, or moving twice a year – I had a few of those problems, DrBob had a few others, and we still managed to struggle through. He’s not even trying, and I am so sick of his facile attempts to excuse himself: “I’m just lazy.” “I can’t think of anything.” “There’s no point in trying, because I’ll never be good enough anyway.” He’s clearly just saying these things to get us off his back.
I wish it worked. It’s clear he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about his future or anything but his immediate gratification, and I can’t force him to care. I wish I could force myself not to. I wish I could let him flunk out and eat the consequences of his own stupid, stupid choices, but I can’t bring myself to do it. DrBob wishes the same thing, but not at the same time, so every time one of us says “forget it, I’ve had it, he can drop out and start looking for a job tomorrow,” the other one says “now just calm down a second…”
Ever see Weekend at Bernie’s? Where these two guys have to pretend that their dead boss is actually alive, so they do things like hold him up and tie their shoelaces to his, so that from a distance it looks like he’s walking? Yep, that’s the metaphor for Ig’s academic progress. One of the guys is me and DrBob, the other guy is the well-meaning teachers, and the dead weight is Ignatz, just letting us carry him along forever.
I’m so tired.