Saturday, December 17, 2011
Leadership & Coming in Hot
Trip down had dreary rain and it gets dark here at 4 in the winter, so a big chunk of the drive was in the dark.
I got to hook up with Kristy who I hadn't seen in it seems like forever. Always a good time.
She reminded me a story I knew about her daughter who was dropped off the first day of school at their house on a busy road despite the after school care Kristy had lined up. Every parent's nightmare is not knowing where your kid is.
She was thankfully safe and sound (and cold) holed up on their back deck hiding for two hours until her Mom pulled in the yard on two wheels sobbing. The interesting part to the story is what the principal asked Kristy. She asked why Anika had not alerted anyone that she was not supposed to be dropped off at the house.
Kristy said she had been teaching Anika not to question authority.
Obviously, the event was a learning lesson for both of them as authority figures can and may fail you.
So, on that same subject of leadership, I made a five hour drive down to attend a Christmas party on Friday. And of course, a five hour trip back in darkness and snow.
I wanted to hook up with the guys I chat with on a daily basis in our never ending quest to provide excellent service to our customer. Wasn't mandatory that any of us attend, but our boss is pretty amazing and humble for a guy who started with just himself and a few other guys working part time and now have a room full of people almost overnight. I should say, a room full of guys. I am one of five women that work there. It's not because Joe has a problem with women. First off his wife would pound him and secondly, he'd be ignoring huge talent. However, in civil engineering, it's more a male dominated field from what I can tell.
Which is not to say I am an engineer, despite what I've been called at parties. Degree is in Geology, so a Rock Jock, whatever. Not like I do it on a daily basis. College is just a means to an end. Which brings me around to what you learn in 5th grade.
It appears to me, educated in rocks (so take this for what it's worth), that 5th grade is a pivotal year. My oldest started 5th Grade and despite her high honor role status has managed to get in trouble a number of times from losing recess to now having her second detention. I got that news on the way home so got to stew over it for five hours.
Her three offenses this time were not putting her number on her paper twice (she is #16), getting caught reading a book while her teacher was teaching, and not turning in a home work assignment. As I write this, I know you might be wondering why I would put my 11 year old in a military academy. I assure you, this is public school. What is really comes down to for Lexi (and I know this because the teacher used this word during our parent teacher conference) is that she is independent. Yes, I know that is a good word. In this context, she is so independent that the leader of the class finds her difficult.
I would maintain however, that a good leader can pretty much get anyone to follow them, but I digress.
I am pretty sure it's her Mama's fault.
I didn't raise her to be pushed around. If she wants to be in a male dominated field, then so be it. She has to be able to handle it. Or any field these days for that matter.
I also don't want her leadership at school to put her in a bad spot like Anika and not speak up.
BUT, she also has to do what she is told regardless of the value judgement she places on it. She forgets the number because she feels the teacher is being lazy. She didn't turn the home work assignment because she thought it was silly to make 5th graders write a letter from Santa to Mrs. Claus (they live in the same house, hello!). And she got caught reading a book because when they go over things three or four times she gets bored.
Don't get me started on the detention. She will get to sit nice and cozy in a room for an hour and get to read a book. Not to mention they will be punishing her with something she got in trouble for?? I want detention! I have told the school they should leave punishments up to me. I have way better ones. My basement is always needing a vacuum not to mention dog chores in the yard.
There really never is a clear cut answer when you're trying to grow kids up into the best possible people they can be and I'm still mulling my way through on how I want to handle.
My Mother didn't raise someone to be pushed around either.
So, today, in honor of her, I am publishing some photos of her lovely stained glass. I love this piece! The little hummer is beveled!! OH MY.
She made this panel for friends of the family and I am super excited for them, the lucky ducks.
This is all her own design, inspired by a Tiffany panel she spotted in Chicago. If you look really close at the first photo, you can see their front birch trees and the snow. I like the flowers and hummer better!
Anyhow, hats off to all you parents out there struggling with similar issues. I am going to go apply some art therapy, myself. To be followed up with a cup of hot coco and home made marshmallows!