Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Math frustrations

Remember all those times when your parents told you life isn't fair?

Remember when you realized they were right?

Remember when you had to share that bit of wisdom with your own kids, and watch their bewildered, crestfallen faces absorb this information?


Dominic was chosen for a math Olympiad team at his school.  And yes-- I'm sure you're asking if Chris was a little amused by this.  He has called them the denominators and asked if they were getting matching t-shirts.

The arbitrary group of four that compete together that he was placed in includes a child my son doesn't care for.  Actually, this kid bugs me, too.  This child can be best described as a really smart screw off.

Dominic went to two practices, and came home frustrated and agitated at this other child.  I asked if he needed me to intervene.  He firmly said he thought he could handle it.  Turns out, he couldn't.

I talked to the teachers in charge, and they were disappointed I hadn't said anything sooner.  This was not in reflection of my son.  Just a fact.  These teams are already established and they can't change them.  The only option is for Dominic to drop out and be replaced by someone else.

When I explained this to him, he realized he would have to spend the competition day with this other child.  His exact words were, "No way am I spending eight hours in competition with (unmentioned name!)"

So... he forfeits his spot.

I feel frustrated for him.  I feel frustrated, too.

It is very hard to gage when to say something, when to see if it gets better, or when to give up.  I didn't want to be that parent that came in after just one practice and complained.  I assumed (yes, my first mistake) that they would tell me to just wait and see how it plays out.  I guessed wrong.  They would have changed the teams.

Now it's too late.

There is no fault here.  It just is what it is.  And why?  Right- because life's not fair.

Now I get to give him the second part of that lesson:  Life's not fair, and it never changes.

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