Parent-Teacher Conference: September 8, 1999

Parent-Teacher conferences waste time.

Mom and Dad want to know why little Johnny/Suzy is flunking your class. Johnny says you are too hard. Suzy says you don’t like her. Mom and Dad have no idea that you assign homework. Johnny said nothing. He always has so much free time and this has not happened in his other classes. Suzy never said anything about her two D's and one F on three consecutive tests.

They want to turn their fucking kids over to professionals, have them fixed, and returned better than they got them. 

I met Joan’s folks. They came in with the Concerned Parent grin sketched across their faces. Both were lean like twin railroad tracks.  They looked like an uncomfortable living room set in a minimally decorated apartment.  When I showed them Joan’s progress report – satisfactory work and a B – they sniffed, smiled, and left, having as much of an impact as a bug slicking off a windshield.

And lately I can't get any sleep.