Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Hillbilly Mom Rants Again

Tomorrow is the kids' first day of school. I have been getting stuff
together at the last minute, stuff I found out Tuesday night after
Open House that they need. Silly me, to take the list they handed
out at the end of July, and buy what I thought they were supposed
to have. Which brings me to a rant on school supplies...

Sorry in advance if I offend anybody, but I don't know why my
kids have to drag half of Wal*Mart to school with them the first
day. I pity the poor kids who ride the bus. My #2 son's supplies
weigh more than he does. I forgot them this morning, but the plan
had been for me to drop off the stuff in his classroom today, so
tomorrow he would only have his backpack. His heavy backpack.
Now I will have to walk him in and carry two heavy Wal*Mart
bags as well.

For third grade, my boy needs 4 spiral notebooks, a pack of
loose-leaf paper, a 3-ring binder, scissors, glue, 24 pencils, an
eraser, two dry-erase markers, a ruler, a plastic pocket folder,
5 regular pocket folders, colored pencils, a pencil pouch, a box
of baby wipes, two boxes of Kleenex, a box of Ziploc bags,
and a magazine rack. I'm sure I've left things out. I am just doing
a mental inventory of his backpack, not reading from his list.

My 6th grader needs just the basics of spiral notebooks, pens
and pencils, and two boxes of Kleenex and 4 packs of loose-
leaf paper.

Here's my gripe. There are 36 weeks in a school year. Sure,
some are short weeks, so it will look like more, but of the time
they are in school, it is 36 weeks. How many freakin' boxes
of Kleenex do these people need? Helloooooooo! I am not
unfamiliar with the inside of a classroom. I buy my own Kleenex.
In the severest cold season, I go through 1 box a week. Most
of the time, a box will last me a month or more. If there are
20 kids in a 3rd grade classroom, that is 40 boxes. But wait!
The scandal becomes even more shocking when you consider
that in 6th grade, the kids travel to different classrooms each
class period. Say there are 80-100 kids in grade 6, depending
on the year and how big that group is. If every kid that teacher
has brings 1 box of Kleenex, that is 80 boxes. Even if that
teacher has the kids twice a day, that is still between 40 and
50 boxes for the year. I can't imagine any work being done,
what with kids traipsing willy-nilly to the Kleenex box all hour.

What is this, some Kleenex black-market ring? Do these teachers
have a deal with some professional float-builders? What gives?
Sure, I have smaller classes, but I can go days without a kid
needing a Kleenex. I don't get it.

Another year, I bought the stuff on one of the boys'
lists, and I picked out the stuff he wanted. Which is saying that
I didn't just buy the cheapest stuff available. He picked out
colors of pencils, and his folders, and erasers, etc. Then, I
noticed that some of the stuff he brought home was not what
I'd sent. I asked him about it. He said the teacher just put all
that stuff in the supply closet, and took it out when they needed
it. So he didn't get his own stuff, it was given out randomly.
That does not set well with me.

I know that some people can not afford all the stuff on the list.
There are resources and agencies that can provide that for them.
Our school social worker even announced at our meeting that
if we noticed kids who didn't have what they needed, to email
her, and she would get it. She has a fund for that stuff. I am
petty (only one letter from PRETTY!) HM today. I don't like
the idea that the teachers ask for 40 boxes of Kleenex, with
the hopes that maybe they'll get 20. I don't like footing the bill
for others. And that is what I feel like I am doing with some of
this stuff. Who needs 20 boxes of Ziploc bags? What about the
20 boxes of baby wipes? Are they doing community service,
roving around and wiping random babies' butts? I use less than
one box a year, and that is cleaning my white board, cleaning
desks, and letting kids clean their white shoes if they get scuffed.
Why do they need 40 dry-erase markers? I've used the same set
of 6 for over two years now. Put the caps back on them, people!
I'm thinking they ask for so much hoping to get just a part of it.

I am not an evil ogre. When the school sells ice cream for $.50 on
Fridays, do I not give my kid $1 and say he can give the other
$.50 to a kid who doesn't have it? Do I not send $2 on $1 pizza
day? Do I not bring treats to my own students? (And the Gummi
Mary appeared, for real!) Do I not purchase my own Kleenex
(for two classrooms, mind you!) instead of making the kids bring it,
or setting out a roll of the school toilet paper like some teachers?
(I know you remember who I'm talking about, Mabel!) It is one
thing to need stuff, it is another to take advantage of the system,
and act like you're entitled.

Oh, I always send it, because I can. I am fortunate that I can afford
it. But I become irritated when the kids who never have pencils or
paper, and brag about getting free lunch and breakfast, spend $2
a day at the snack bar for chips and candy and soda (as well as
taking their free lunch, a $1.25 value), and say they always just go
to the ER when they need a doctor's excuse for too many absences,
because it's free for them, and tell me about getting back $4000 at
tax refund time, and talk about their 4-wheelers and big screen TVs
and PlayStations and swimming pools and wear $100 skater shoes.
My kids wear $15 Wal*Mart shoes!

But they have 2 boxes of Kleenex to take to school tomorrow!


Cazzie!!! said...

I so get what you are saying about people who are not entitled to what they think they are entitled to and get it anyhow because they act like they are..well...entitled to it!!!
A few months back we drove through a suburb of Geelong that is renouned to be a less than affluent place, everyone living off the Government..or off my taxes as I pay so much in tax every year (Hmph!)..anyhow, the amount of Plasma screen TV's I could see on through the windows of these Government Housing Dilapidatede Buildings was amazing..either they DO get my tax money on pensions or they are stealing the blasted things from somewhere...and then I betcha they go and whinge at the schools and the doctors and anywhere else they can that they cannot afford anything!!! To top it off, I bet they buy up on fast food (fast food city there) and drink like fish and smoke like chimneys..but cannot buy kleenex for their sniffling shoits of kids :)

Redneck Diva said...

Mr.Diva was LIVID when he found out that the teachers just put everything in the closet and make one big community pot o' crayons and pencils. Oooh he was enraged even! Our kids get most of their supplies through the indians, but there are several things we don't get and buy ourselves. I'm certainly not complaining and wouldn't even bat an eye if they said tomorrow that there would be no more school supplies for the indian kids. I'm not entitled, but I'm sure glad my tribe takes care of them. But at the same time, I know that the parents who buy all of their supplies can spend upwards of $40 and I wouldn't want to see my kids' Crayolas that they picked out in with the El Breako brand from the dollar store. I'm not being a snob, I shop at the dollar store, too. But I'm with ya on the ridiculousness of it all! Grr!!

The boys had to bring paper towels and the girls had to bring baby wipes - add that to the 40 boxes of kleenex in the room and well...there'd better be some serious recycling and planting of trees as a result of all that paper! And the Ziploc bags I just don't get - my boy brought home ONE baggie all year last year. What happened to the rest??????

My kids wear $15 Wal*Mart shoes, too....even though when I was a kid I swore my kids would never be outfitted in such cheap footwear. Funny how reality makes us eat our words sometimes.

MrsCoach2U said...


Lessa said...

Heh. Yeah. My sister gets all bent outa shape because of the communal buckets of stuff too. I've been doing this so long that it seemed odd to me when mine went to jr. high (and this year. HIGH SCHOOL. SOB!) that they got their own supplies and omg KEPT THEM. *L* Now I can't WAIT for the younger one to get that old too!

I've always been the mom who has to 'do what she can' - I picked up my kids free school supplies yesterday, and sitll had to go to the store to pick up the rest of the list. I'm thankful I didn't have to get the whole gambit because man. It's expensive! We're down to just needing gymshoes for the girls, and I think we're set until dividend time when we get the winter clothing. (which, I've also noticed, as they get older? They refuse to wear. *L* Thus, i refuse to buy.)

But as a mum who does have state medical for my kids, and gets reduced lunches, I gotta say I *hate* those other parents too, that use and abuse the system like that. They give me and mine a bad name. I use what I need, and that's it. I don't use and abuse the system at all. It's not my style - and parents for whom it IS their style? Man they make me mad.

Or as HM would say - People Piss me OFF! *L*

um. /rant. *g*

Chickadee said...

A friend and I had a similiar discussion earlier this week. She has a 9-yr old and she didn't understand why she had to buy a magazine rackc/container thingie for the teacher...especially when there was going to be about 30 kids in the class. What was the teacher going to do with 30 of those magazine racks???

I worked as a paramedic for awhile and I could never understand when I walked into a house that was in absolute squalor, but low and behold there was a large, expensive TV in the corner and an expensive car in the driveway. The way we look at money and spend it mystifies me.

Hillbilly Mom said...

OOOHHH!!! More things to complain about!

I forgot to mention these kids also smoke. Not in school, because we have rules about that sort of thing, but they talk about it, and smell like cigarettes first thing in the morning. Who is buying the cigarettes? The kids work fast-food jobs, and spend the money on cigarettes. The kids who don't work? Their parents give them the money. The money they don't have for school supplies and doctors.

I, too, was livid. They should mention that in the little handouts...pencils will be put in the classroom pencil bin. Sometimes, the kids use stuff left from the year before, and theirs are stored until needed. So they don't even have a random chance of getting their own stuff.

And the Ziploc bags! My kid also brought home ONE bag of stuff. What gives? Is someone selling pot because they didn't get the meth memo, and need a lot of Ziplocs?

And why is it I never hear about free Oklahoma peanut butter, huh? When I was a child, my family got *FREE CHEESE* and free peanut butter. Have you been holding out on us, OH AMBASSADOR OF FREE CHEESE?

Here's my gripe about the free medical. They use it as an excuse to miss school. When my 8-year-old had the rapid heartbeat back in February, and the doctor kept saying he'd be fine...he wasn't fine, so we took him to an ER in St. Louis while we were up there. We had to pay $100 right there in the exam room. Yeah. Not even the usual billing of the insurance and then covering the deductible. What if I didn't have $100 to find out my boy's pneumonia had gotten worse, and gave him the rapid heartbeat, and he needed a stronger round of antibiotics? But a kid could get a DR's excuse for free.

That's my whole point, Lessa, that those kids go bragging about getting the free stuff, and then pull out a wad of money when the FCCLA is selling candy bars and buy 3 or 4 a day. I guess to tide them over until they can have a cigarette.

I finally found out they keep workbooks or some such thing in the magazine racks, and set them by their desks while working from them. Then they go on a shelf.

Oh, and the car thing bothers me, too. HH says those people live payment to payment. They'll never own anything.

Stewed Hamm said...

Well well well. Looks like I'm not the only one who's ever been accused of getting emotional over a Kleenex box. (40 of them, to boot! You sure do get around HM)

Like ray-hee-ain on your wedding day, and whatnot.

Hillbilly Mom said...

How could I forget how much the Stewhamm loves him some tissues? Are you planning to be an elementary teacher now, just for the fringe benefits?

I used to get around a bit. As my Ozark Mountain Daredevils sing "...I've been a lot of places, and seen a lot of things I didn't need to see..."

But I wouldn't change anything I've done. I could write a great memoir, if it wasn't for all the people who would sue the pants off me.