Wednesday, April 16, 2014


(My retarded son is driving me toward ritual suicide.)

Yesterday, the Dragon Lady worked late.  So I had to make dinner for the family.  I prepared spicy pork and white rice.  The meal was fantastic.  My culinary skills are becoming more and more advanced.  I washed the vittles down with several glasses of Coke.  I'm a maniac when it comes to sugary soft drinks.  I simply can't get enough.

I fear my eldest son James-uh could very well be retarded.  He failed his latest math test with a score of 55 percent.  Talk about disappointing.  Last night, we studied basic algebraic equations together for nearly five hours.  It was a real angry father and son bitch-fest.  On several occasions, I had the urge to snap his neck. 

Why so long?  He has a test today, and the little bastard was woefully unprepared.  He never opens his book.  James-uh is ranked the lowest in his entire class.  His poor grades are filling me with a sense of shame.  If the problems persist, I might be forced to cut my belly open like a war-weary Japanese soldier.

I paid homage to the Christ God.  I said the Lord's Prayer on bended knees.  No big surprise.  After all, I'm not some filthy nihilist.  I begged Jesus to grant me the gift of patience.  Stress is killing me.

I went to bed at midnight.  I had a dream about being in a boat with my dead father.  We drove through a narrow bayou going full-throttle.  The bayou eventually led us into the Gulf of Mexico.  After that, we crashed and drowned.  The end.

I woke up at 6 a.m. and drank several cups of coffee.  Then I read the paper while enjoying a bathroom break.  The Indiana Pacers are the top seed in the Eastern Conference.  It makes no matter.  The team went flat at the wrong time of year.  Miami will kick Pacer ass once again.

I turned on Fox News.  The Five talked about tax day.  They bemoaned the fact that poor people aren't required to give their money to the federal government.  The rich often demonize those of modest means.  By blaming poverty on laziness rather than greed, they get to sleep better at night.

Anyway, it's time for the song du jour.  Here's Roll Me Away by Bob Segar.  God bless.   


  1. Hang in there. Maybe you need to take a trip to Fiji....

    1. Fiji sounds nice. Thanks for the thought.

  2. " He has a test today, and the little bastard was woefully unprepared. He never opens his book. James-uh is ranked the lowest in his entire class. His poor grades are filling me with a sense of shame. If the problems persist"

    Rule of thumb is 2 hours of homework for every hour in class. At least for college.

    you could try tying Grades to a Bonus. I don;t know what to tell you that I am sure will work. In high school my father just out and out gave me some money after I got the grade and never said before hand that he was going to do it.

    It was one sum for a B and twice that amount for an A.

    the kid has to believe in himself at some point. But prior to that good ole quid pro quo might work just fine.

    If a kid can calculate baseball stats or memorize them because he collects baseball bubble gum cards or can spec out a World of Warcraft character, they can do math. If they can do those things but say they cannot do math, they are lying. Tell them that hard truth and remember the carrot though bribery works.

    I have had some success and yet I have no room to throw rocks. So play it by ear.

    1. He can do it. But he has no desire to apply himself. Plus pre-Algebra to the average 13-year-old is very formidable. I'll just have to try harder.

    2. Mr. Smith, you hit the nail on the head... I spent 2 hours last night with my 11 year old son on fractions. I have to spend more time with him and get in the habit of checking if he has homework because he let 5 days build up then tried to do it all in one sitting (also,"checking" means more of a thorough inquiry than just the first "Do you have homework tonight?").
      I find that the kids are taught shortcuts (e.g. "the butterfly method") and not the basic fundamentals of mathematics (e.g. least common denominator). If a kid doesn't get the fundamentals down pat at that age, they'll be winging in math for the rest of their school career and it won't be pleasant.

      Steve in Topeka

    3. I'm with you, Steve. Being a father is a real pain in the ass.

  3. Have you considered having James tested for dyslexia?

    Poor school performance can become a self-reinforcing cycle, feeding on a growing sense of uselessness of applying oneself.

    Identifying a source of difficulty can help -- even if it is only to offer a reason for a student to take make a fresh attempt at studying

    1. I don't think he's dyslexic. In fact, his reading skills are quite good. The problem? My boy is probably just another dumb ass. The world is full of them. That's OK. Could be worse. At least he's a healthy dumbass.

  4. James-uh might not be a dumbass, Smith. It's more likely that his talents are not in the numerical sphere. I remember the trouble I had with algebra when I was about his age (two years older, actually, because the Army posted my dad to Charlottesville, Va. and those Southern schools were not as fast as South Korean ones.) I had a hell of a time with basic algebra -- the first time I ever got a "D" grade in my life. I struggled with it, and chemistry, again when I had to take them in nursing school.

    Not to brag, but I reckon I'm smarter than 90% of the people I meet (the other 10% being doctors). I'm well-read insofar as books and current events. My memory is excellent, in spite of smoking a bit of weed, and I'm able to recognise Big-Picture patterns of human events such as the machinations of Lloyd Blankfein et al. I'm good at simple math. When I was a newspaper reporter I could add, subtract, calculate percentages and do other analysis of government budget documents, etc. in my head. Ditto for the mathematics in the medical field where I have to calculate dosages for IV antibiotics and such. I don't need a calculator.

    But quadratic equations? Fuhgeddaboutit. Maybe James is that way. A word person, a tactile skills person, a people person. Not everybody is going to grow up to be an electrical engineer. Like I'm always harping, our brains are wired to work different ways. If we all evolved as hunters, who would be the farmers, or the tanners, or the smiths? (Pun intended)

    Ask yourself -- what are James' natural abilities? How can you guide him to where his brain will click, instead of trying to jam a triangular peg into a poly-dimensional hole because that's what the Tiger Mom system is geared toward over there? I'm not saying ignore math, but don't make it the be-all either. If he keeps running head-on into his limitations but is forced to keep banging that head into a wall of failure, he might internalise the sense of "I'm stupid." Which could lead him to hang out with the stupid kids who break into cars and huff the spray paint that they graffiti train windows with.

    Would you go all seppuku if James grew up to be a chef, or a hotel manager, or an auto mechanic? Does he have to be an architect, physician or computer programmer? I'd be happier if my daughter had gone with her natural manual abilities to sew and design clothes, instead of going to grad school to get a master's in her economically valueless field of anthropology. Better a happy tradesman than a miserable, semi-incompetent white collar drone, I say. (Not that my daughter isn't happy. Grad school means another two or three years delaying becoming an adult, and my ex-wife's Miami Jewish millionaire family plus my mom's piles of dough from the government will mean she doesn't have to take any student loans.)

    1. My boy has a devil-may care attitude which I find infuriating. I told him that he might have to enlist in the air force if he doesn't get his grades up. He didn't seem concerned. So what's a daddy to do?

  5. As for why James stinks, he's at the age where he's starting to masturbate a lot. You might know a bit about the topic, because I recall on FLB you yabbered a bit about your favourite hairy porners. Even with S. Korea's prudish censorship filters, you know that kids will find a way to get around them to watch sex with that blazing-fast Internet speed the country is known for.

    Teenage boys' bodies are full of testosterone and other sex hormones. When we wank, that cranks out extra hormones. Some naturally occurring, stink-producing bacteria in the armpits and the groin thrive on these. Plus, people smell differently at various stages of life because of the chemicals we emit at that point of development. I can't stand it when a crowd of primary schoolers gets on a train I'm riding because en masse, they smell like rancid milk to me. And old people, as their kidneys start to fail -- inevitable decline because the glomeruli that filter waste products die off little by little and are not replaced -- begin smelling a bit pissy, even if they don't dribble incontinence.

    Get him some good-smelling deodorant and teen cologne that he'll like. Pitch it as a way to attract the K-Pop bitchez. Your Soviet-style flat has decent hot water, eh? Convince him to take a shower twice a day. Hell, he could even rub one out using that manly scented soap you're going to get him. Although I don't know of any non-creepy way for a father to suggest that.

    1. There's a time to study. And there's a time to wank. Never the twain shall meet.


Thanks for stopping by. Smith.