Kadi (aka The Innkeeper) from Womb at the Innsane just put up a post that got my wheels going. Instead of hijacking her comments and starting a great feud with anyone I thought I would attempt a respectful counter post here. I know! A respectful counterpost?! Who knew that could happen in the blogosphere!!
Kadi is reflecting on high school today and posed a lot of questions. The one that is sticking with me is the question of why administrators and teachers aren't doing more to foster character and encourage grades and the bigger picture over the popularity contests and cliques.
I was the Invisible Girl in high school. I kept my nose to the grindstone and I really couldn't have cared less if the popular people noticed me or not. When you are popular in history class because you actually prepared for the current events quiz, you really don't expect to be popular for much else. I had friends and I dated. It wasn't like I was completely invisible. But the rest wasn't important to me.
My parents made sure that I knew that my grades were what was going to get me through college. My parents made sure that they fostered civic responsibility in me and showed me that it would be as much fun for me as it was for the people I was serving. It wasn't important because my parents reminded me at home that there was life after high school.
In today's day and age, I think teachers and administrators have enough on their plates with shrinking budgets and metal detectors at the doors. I think they have enough disengaged parents who expect them to teach their children proper manners and behavior standards, that they really couldn't care less who is popular and who is a geek.
So I guess my response to Kadi's post is this. It's time for parents to be parents. The garbage in high school is going to happen. But if we as parents show our children where the true worth is and if we push them to rise above it (even if it means being an "outcast"), perhaps our children will not be the high schoolers of the adult world who have to put others down to lift themselves up. Perhaps they will be the civic servants of tomorrow who don't need people to look at them and give them ovations for them to make the world a better place.