Happy Festivus: Time For The Airing Of Grievances
Grievance #1: Poor Homework Excuses
When I first got into teaching, I was struck by the creativity with which some students approached the doing - or not doing - of homework. It always occurred to me that if they had taken to doing their homework with the same desire to excel as they approached the excuses they came up with for not doing homework, they would be a lot more efficient at getting their homework done.
Now, with the advent of technology, it seems some students have come up with ready-made excuses - the everlasting failure of technology.
"I emailed you the assignment - didn't you get it?"
"I've hit my limit of what I can print in the library."
"My printer died this morning."
"My computer died."
There are a litany of excuses that anyone can use that pertain to the failure of technology somewhere along the way of getting homework done, but let's try something different - tell us the truth. Being straight up about why the homework didn't get done just eliminates the dance of why you didn't get things done and the ever-lasting excuses that teachers here. Tell the truth, and explain what you're going to do to get everything done on time in the future.
New Excuses All The Time
Grievance #2: Kids That Suddenly Hate Something They've Liked
Parents know this pain all too well. Your kids tell you that they love a certain food item, and assure you that you can grab it at the grocery story and that they will eat it for their school lunches. Even better - it's nut and allergen free, and they like the taste.
Then you're emptying their lunch bags and you see the item they said they liked sitting in the lunch bag, sitting unwrapped and untouched. What happened?
"I didn't like it."
Boom! That would be the sound of a few neuron bundles exploding as you're trying to understand your children's logic and find the words to muster a decent reply. But you can't find a decent reply, because there just isn't one. Sometimes trying to explain something to kids is like running uphill in a heavy rainstorm. Your feet slip and slip until you lose traction and you land flat on your face.
Your kids, of course, are blissfully unaware that they've caused you any hassle because the notion of making lunches (depending on the age) is so far off their radar screen. They just know you packed something they don't really like and don't feel any obligation to eat it.
Just once - eat everything in the lunch box, and watch your parents' blood pressure drop as a result.
The Nightmare Of Packing Lunches
Grievance #3: Your Head And Your Mouth Stop Communicating
You know those moments when you're on a roll, either in a conversation or while presenting something to someone and all of a sudden, it's like your brain has cut all ties with your mouth? There seems to be no rhyme nor reason as to why this even happens, either.
I'm an educated woman, and I know there are plenty of individuals out there for whom this happens. You might be in the line up at your favorite coffee place, and as you're about to order your coffee, the only thing that comes out of your mouth is, "Cow..."
Or you try and be deep and profound and start by saying, "When life gets you down, just..." and the rest of what you were going to even try to say just blasts completely out of your head, and your sentence is over.
If there's even a slightly logical reason for this happening, I'd love to hear it, as I'm sure many others would.
Head And Mouth Disconnect
Happy Festivus To All
This is only a tip of the iceberg as far as the airing of grievances is concerned, as we still have to do the feats of strength, in addition to marking the Festivus Miracles, and having the Festivus dinner.
We also have to, at the very least, acknowledge the aluminum pole, and mention that Festivus was not actually a holiday created solely for Seinfeld; one of the show's writers, Dan O'Keefe, wrote about Festivus in 1997 as a way of paying tribute to his father's creation of the holiday, which the younger O'Keefe recalls celebrating as early as 1966.
Festivus is traditionally celebrated on December 23, and was originally established as a way for the elder O'Keefe to pay tribute to his first date with his wife. Once his wife passed, O'Keefe reportedly said "A Festivus for the rest of us," referring to those loved ones left behind after O'Keefe's wife died.
While generally, O'Keefe said he recalls that ham or turkey was traditionally served, the Seinfeld episode which featured Festivus had the Festivus meal being made with a reddish meat of some sort. In addition, the aluminum pole was a creation of the Seinfeld episode.
Whether you choose to honor Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or another observance of the holiday, may you do it with your loved ones and honor it however you see fit.
If you do decide to try the feats of strength, though, make sure you stretch first - any holiday is made worse by unnecessary injury.