Saturday, April 14, 2007

Intervening Ain't All It's Cracked Up To Be

Too bad the show wasn't about a crack addict. Then my title would have been scathingly brilliant. I watched my Intervention last night. It was not quite so satisfying as my previous Interventions. For one thing, this show was more about the mother, because they had to keep the intervention a secret from the kid. Duh. Like they do on every freakin' intervention. We did not get to see him shooting his meth. Doggone it! That's the best part! We got to see his momma cry a lot. And some adorable home movies of him as a baby. When they mentioned how 'he thought he could get away with anything', I knew he wasn't fixable.

I hate to be saying this, in my line of work and all. We are supposed to be believe that every student has the potential to grow up a be a world leader, a gene-splicer, a novelist or textbook writer, a rocket scientist. I would never say out loud that some of them aren't going to make it. I don't treat any of them like I don't think they're going to make it. But sometimes, you have to be realistic. No matter how many chances, and how much extra help some people are offered...they're not going to make it.

The worst cases are those who think they can get away with anything. Or as the kids would say, get away wit anything. They believe they are entitled. This comes in all different flavors. Some believe it because of who they are. They have relatives who have connections, whether it be connections through school authorities, law enforcement, labor unions, etc. They believe they are entitled to have extra chances, break laws, or have a good-paying job lined up for them through no effort of their own.

Others think they can get away with anything because they make themselves so fearsome nobody will dare mess with them. They threaten, they fight, they act just crazy enough that people will back down from them. When they are caught, they make excuses. "Oh, well. I have to go to ISS anyway for that other thing. Another day isn't going to matter." Or "Hey, did you know that I should have gotten 7 days according to the rules, but I only got 5, ha, ha." They KNOW they are getting away with something. They know the rules. They just play the game. And sometimes, we let them. For whatever reason.

Then there are the bailouts. Somebody will always make excuses for them, or fight their battles. "My dad will be up here. You'll be sorry." And the dad comes up, and we may be sorry for the short term, what with having to call the police to cart Dad out in handcuffs, but in the long term, we are not sorry. Because we get to stick it to him, by the book, of course. Not in any vindictive kind of way. My, no. That would just be wrong.

Now don't go thinking I'm talking about my present workplace in all of this. It happens in every school district. In one former place, my room was directly across from the office. Some guy was mad about his daughter's schedule, of all things. He proceeded to tell the principal, (a woman, if that matters), that she was going to change his daughter's schedule to what he wanted. The principal told him that was not possible, what with the course offerings at a rural middle school such as ours. Dad said, "Well, I'm not leaving until you do." He jumped up on the counter in the outer office, crossed his arms, and sat there. I should know. He was facing right into my room, which was a bit disconcerting. He sat there about 15 minutes, until the police came in, handcuffed him, and carried him down the stairs and out of the building. Don't mess with a woman principal, people. She is not you pal.

Anyhoo...getting back to my little meth-shooting friend...though I really didn't know him, I know his type. He refused to go to treatment until the local police, who had themselves 'cut him a few breaks' over the past 18 months, told him they would be handcuffing him, and he would be going to prison for quite a long time. What a surprise, at the end of this Intervention show, that this kid left treatment after only 30 days, due to 'disruptive behavior'.

Sometimes, you just have to call an a$$h*le an a$$h*le. And leave it at that.


DeadpanAnn said...

You knew I'd chime in here..

You're right. Sometimes an a-hole is just that, and that's all you can expect of them. I think everyone starts with the potential to "make it," but I don't think "making it" means becoming a President or a gene splicer. I think making it means being a reasonable, law abiding, employable citizen who knows the difference between right and wrong and understands the concept of personal responsibility. Success means reaching your full potential, whatever that may be.

The odds can be stacked against a person. Being born in a poor area with few opportunities, or being born into a family of alcoholics, or being born with a learning disability-- any one of a million obstacles might be in the way, but STUPID PARENTS are the most dangerous.

I didn't see that whole episode, but the mother/enabler is a recurring character in the series. If I'm ever lucky enough to have a kid, I hope I'm strong enough to hold them to a high standard from day one.

Sorry for hijacking.

Betty said...

How right you are! Some people just arent salvageable. Too bad, but there it is.

Stewed Hamm said...

I've never seen the show before... and frankly watching people wallow in self-destruction isn't nearly as fun if you feel bad about making fun of them.

Anyway regarding enablers and their excuses, I've found that with my young relatives, they will generally rise or sink to whatever expectations you have of them. Sometimes, I wonder if I'm the only person that's talking to these kids about college. It scares me a little to think that nobody else is trying to put (respectable) goals in front of them. They're too smart -- wicked smart, you could say -- to let that go un-discussed.

But I digress...
I agree with Miz Ann. Stupid parents will drag their smart kids down to their level almost every time. Mostly out of fear or jealousy.

(Word Verification: peuukdgn - Puke Dragon - What one emulates when one becomes violently ill on spicy foods. To a man, they will confirm that it is indeed possible for humans to breathe fire.)

Hillbilly Mom said...

Miss Ann,
Of course I knew you'd put in your 2 cents. And how come they don't put that little 'cents' symbol on the keyboard anymore?

I agree. The reason they don't have a chance lies AT HOME. Nuture, baby. That's the problem.

They can make their own decisions by the time they're 17, 18 years old. That's what I try to tell my students. They control their future. They can't keep blaming their circumstances on other people.

I have had some brilliant kids in my At-Risk classes. Unfortunately, they used their powers for evil instead of good. I've had others who were average who are currently making it in college. It's all in the effort they want to expend.