Sunday, June 29, 2008

Make it stop (seriously)

Over a year ago, a man wrote in the New York Times about how, although he went to school in Boston, his children, especially his teenage twins, are not quite Boston material. These twins may not go Ivy, but presumably they're capable of reading simple English, which is why I was surprised to see that this same man has yet another article in the paper about these very same twins, about their continued mediocrity:

"My twins never had the same view of high school that I did. Through ninth grade I’d pressed them relentlessly about their class work. But as much as I yelled, as much as I grounded them, they did not become the top students their older brother and younger sister are. I don’t know how to explain it. They’re smart. They’d been in gifted programs. They just weren’t interested."

I didn't immediately remember the author's name, but soon enough it was clear this was a follow-up to that other, memorably cringe-worthy parenting article: "I had been a top student [...]" Ah yes, the Harvard man coming to terms with his academically-challenged twins.

He seems to have outdone himself this time, though, mining the family photo album for an adorable childhood shot of the twins (Overshare of the Year Award, we have a winner; I know I'd like to see my own childhood pics juxtaposed with tales of my high school failings), and by offering up a passage that so one-ups any from the previous year's installment:

"As an education columnist, I had long advocated for vocational schools, but thanks to Adam, I saw the importance firsthand. Adam had been miserable in A.P. English Composition during junior year, but in senior year he loved the carpentry course at our county vocational school, hopping out of bed before dawn to catch the bus."

Really. The time has come to end the first-hand-account parenting articles once and for all. Or, if newspapers refuse to take that step, then at the very least, how about refusing to print the ones whose subjects are more than old enough to read the piece at the moment it appears.


Melarky yan Brueinhear said...

First thing we do --

ban the chauvanists!

the gaullists!

Aw heck--ban all francophiles who do not like people who like their kids!

Anonymous said...

What can one expect from a person who writes "I don't know how to explain it" and seven words later does just that: "They just weren't interested."

His twins are likely smarter than he is; and he probably hasn't yet realized he resents them for it.