Monday, December 3, 2012
Aunt to a Snowflake - an inside look at Snowflake -ism as a family affair
But she was such a problem, could not listen, could not focus, had all the hall marks. My sister and her husband tried a variety of things in lieu of discipline and/or medication once their pediatrician made the diagnosis, such as no wheat diets, gluten free diets, a very expensive long term chiropractor, whole food diets, oh gosh, you-name-it. The kid drove me crazy when I had my own kids, some years younger, because of the totally unpredictable way she'd act, never with malice but always with trouble, around my little ones, beginning with too hard hugs. Finally, after she was kicked out of catholic school and doing so terribly in public school, they took their pedi's advice and put her on some kind of medication. I am not sure if it was Ritalin.
But the whole family was in awe....just in awe. My niece became a normal, sweet kid! She was an honors student! Totally different person...able to have great conversations, just able to function so well. Did I mention that this kid is smart? Very smart.
Then, when she was in 9th grade, her father had guilt for "curbing her independent spirit with meds" and took her off them. Total plummet. Right back to square one. One year later, they thought, "huh, maybe that was a mistake" but it was too late. The kid would not take the meds now. Spit them out-----just did not work.
So, now my niece is a college freshman! I tried to give some advice as a sister and an auntie that my niece, let's call her "Melly"----go to her local community college. My sister and her husband are not rich. Why throw big money away, I thought? Melly is a wonderful actress----she is in a drama program, a competitive one, at her State University. Well, wouldn't you know, the community college near where they live has an award winning drama program. Kids from that program move on to very impressive four years all the time. It's always in the newspaper. "No, oh God no" my sister said to me. "We'd never do that to her-----she'd never forgive us for ruining her life like that if we tried to do something like that to her." Something like send her to a Community College, like the one where I teach as an English Professor. Oh God, the horror. I pushed it in true sister fashion, giving all my logical reasons why it was a good idea for Melly to prove herself, and for them to save money and also to keep an eye on her.
No dice. Finally, I did the smart thing and shut up. In fact, even though Melly lives only 10 minutes away from said State U with the award winning drama program, my sis and said hubby paid BIG bucks to have her live in the dorms. I did not even give my advice on that one. Fuck it.
Now, the fall semester is ending. Melly has withdrawn, failing, from her only two academic courses, Comp I and Intro to Hamster Society. Oh, the litany of tirades against her profs! They are so stupid! They don't post things correctly on Blackboard! They count attendance too highly! Her English prof apparently, at least according to Melly, misspelled grammar! How could she bother to attend a class where her prof misspelled grammar!! The horrors!
So, one consequence of Melly not passing any course was supposed to be that she not live in the dorms the next semester. You guessed it, that plan is out the window. Melly is quite the great debater. She is going to make up those failures by retaking the courses over the summer, at her own expense, at the easy peasy but ruin-your-life community college. Hey, they thought------don't you teach Comp I online over the summer? Wouldn't it transfer back to Great-Drama-Program-State-U?
OMG. I squelched that one, I THINK.
One final annoyance------my mother called me up the other day. Melly was over. "Hey, Bella-----did you know about a site where kids post things about their college profs? Melly and I are looking at things they say about YOU right now! Did you know that someone wrote....."
Lord help me.