Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Monday, June 6, 2016

Reserved reactions

 Tonight I get to enjoy another proud Grandpa moment. My Granddaughter Morgan is being inducted into the National Junior Honor Society. Naturally Grandma and I will be in attendance, camera at the ready. We have been witness to many a band concert, dance recital and church play. Now we get to witness her reach the pinnacle of academic achievement. A pinnacle reached not only through academic excellence, but by way of a selection process. A written essay and personal interview process is involved. Morgan cleared every hurdle ! Did I mention I was proud ?
 It pleases me to know that programs still exist where not every student gets to join in. I am one of those that feel our failures add strength of character and are necessary. All this " participation award " and that nonsense teaches our children nothing. We all need to learn that we don't get everything. It is not prejudicial to award people for their achievements even when you cannot personally achieve the same. I've said it before and will continue to preach it, some are smarter than me, some are better looking and some are more popular. That's life and that's reality, deal with it. I don't believe in awards for , " nice try. " Applying for membership in this group is taking a risk. There is no guarantee you will be selected for membership. Being selected also carries a stigma with it, you may be labeled as a geek or one of the smart kids ! Yes, it was a long time ago but I do remember the dynamics of middle school. I remember the cliques and clubs. Membership in the Honors society was a bit of a flag to those of us that were not. Of course hindsight is 20/20 and it was pretty silly but it was very real then.
 As parents and grandparents it is easy to forget about all of that stuff in school. The politics of it, if that is what you want to call it. We just want our children to succeed. We also want them to do the very best they can. We are the ones best able to asses their capabilities as well. It is true that most of us will overestimate those abilities. Blinded by pride and love. Academics are easier to assess than personal motivations and feelings. Yes, children have them too. In middle school popularity is of utmost importance. The teenage years are just beginning and they are attempting to display maturity. Ask them, they will tell you they are not children anymore. Children or young adults ? Does the name make a difference ? Now Morgan has determined, on her own, to make the mature choice. She is risking a small portion of her popularity by inclusion in this society. It is in that decision that my pride resides. She is not only smart and beautiful, but is displaying a mature attitude. Making a choice that will prove to be of benefit in her future, all the while jeopardizing the school dynamic she currently enjoys. Or is that just Grandpa overthinking things ? My thoughts are a product of my experience and education. In my experience the " smart " kids were a separate group from the rest of us " commoners. " The " smart " kids did not associate with us. The popular kids could move freely from one group to another. Popularity was and still is an elusive quality to me. I'm not sure how you get that. Oh, I know of methods that may gain you temporary popularity but that isn't what I mean. The " jocks " provided an amusement and the rest of us were just there.
  So tonight her name will be added to the roles of the National Junior Honor Society. Her older brothers name is on that list as well. But tonight is about her. The new dress has been purchased and the spotlight awaits. Now that the kids are older the external excitement level is lower. One has to maintain the proper decorum. A few snapshots is fine but please Grandpa don't embarrass me. I get it and am fine with that. It is no big deal, but really it is. We just won't say so out loud.