But Montague is bound as well as I,
In penalty alike, and ’tis not hard, I think,
For men so old as we to keep the peace. ~Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (1.2.1-3)
Kyle is such a stinker, and he’s driving me absolutely batty! Granted his attitude has certainly taken a slightly uphill turn, but there are issues lurking in the shadows that everyone one seems to turn a blind eye to (except me), yet need addressed, immediately. I am somewhat laughing over the details of the situation, even though it’s not really funny. What now? Kyle’s ninth grade second quarter report card.
Over the summer, we made a deal, if he brings up his math grade, then he wouldn’t need a tutor, one I paid for. A Dip in the Grades / Teenager vs. Aunt Heather – Part 1 Math Tutor. Being the reasonable Aunt Heather that I am, I agreed, even though he moaned and complained about going, every time, and only gave half effort. Whatever.
The moment of truth was revealed last Monday. On a side note, I love how Kyle still tries to hide his report from me, like I can’t find out or perhaps I’m going to forget, not probable. I don’t forget, and I won’t waiver when it comes to Kyle’s well-being. The verdict? His Geometry grade did come up slightly, as did his Biology. Great! That’s a step in the right direction. It’s wasn’t by leaps and bounds, but I’m still happy and a deals a deal.
Now what’s the problem? A few other subjects dropped. When I told him to bring up those problematic subjects, I didn’t mean sacrifice the other subjects to do so. My heart is truly broken. Why? The subjects that dropped, and I mean considerably, were US History II and Honors English I, two my favorite subjects. First of all, history doesn’t change! Read the material, memorize a few details and done. It should be an easy grade. Kyle loves reading, what could be so difficult? When I asked Kyle about said subjects, he simply shrugged his shoulders.
Honestly, I never took note that all of Kyle’s classes were honors classes, which I do give grace. However, I will never accept below average. I about fell out of my seat when I saw the English grade, especially when it originated from a solid B.
Even better, Kyle informed me he was getting a little extra help. Obviously, that wasn’t working. In a very calm yet confused voice I asked, “Kyle, why didn’t you call me for help?” His response, “I don’t know.” There was more to it than that, but my blog isn’t about pointing fingers and I don’t need additional family drama. The gist of his explanation included a college degree, although not specialized in English or literature. It’s true, I don’t have my masters degree, but I do have two undergrad degrees from Seton Hill University. Not to mention, I write, that’s what I do. I’m in marketing and I write, ad copy, television and radio scripts, press releases, articles, stories, testimonials, website copy, I ghost write blogs in addition to mine and the list goes on. I’ve even written books! Although, unbeknownst to Kyle (a surprise for later). Wanting to find the root problem, Kyle informed me he’s required to write a lot of papers. To prove my worthiness, I explained my qualifications and I even explained I was on the deans list. I’m not just talking out my butt and making a claim I can’t back up. If I don’t know something, I’ve always been honest with him, and I’ll gladly admit to it, hence the math tutor. How frustrating! What does that kid think I do all day?
With sincerity and confidence, I told Kyle I can help him get his grade back up by the next quarter. I asked him to please call me with the next assignment. Kyle’s response? He shrugged his shoulders and clearly wasn’t about to ask me for help. Why? I have no idea. Again, I believe there’s more issues lurking in those shadows that he’ll never admit, it’s called ego, pride and self-esteem, not on Kyle’s behalf. Personally, if I was a teenager with an attitude, I’d want to see my aunt take the challenge, either to fall miserably to rub it in, or to assist me with my grade. Either way, Kyle wins! Not Kyle, he doesn’t want to succeed if it means I’m helping. He should at least call my sister. She may not be a creative writer, but she’s an excellent technical writer and elegant with the written word.
All his grades weren’t bad. In fact, his Band and P.E. remained at an A+ status. Times have changed, in elementary school, P.E. was Kyle’s only class he didn’t excel. I even told him, “Kyle just look like you’re sweating and I bet you’ll get an A. Run around and show a little effort.” Since Kyle’s in the marching band, I would hope his Band grade would be nothing less than stellar.
I know all grades are important, especially keeping up his GPA for college, but I’m picking my battles with the Video Game Design I class. It too dropped a letter grade. I’ve asked Kyle what they’re working on, and he never did give me a real answer. Perhaps, that’s why his grade dropped, due to a lack of attentiveness. Moving on.
Now one class I’m in a little shock, yet I’m very proud of, a class his grade increased, Chinese I. At one point in the conversation, I said something along the lines of, “Your English tanks, but your Chinese gets better? How is that possible?” I know I said it as a half joke. I was a bit confused and yet astounded. I’ll admit we both laughed over that revelation. Come one, how can you not? His native language is English, yet he’s improving in Chinese? My guess? He needs to work at it, and chose not to give up.
This past week I contacted his tutor, who is a great lady and I’d highly recommend her, to cancel our tutoring until the next report card. She understood and was very kind about giving me requested advice. She simply said Kyle has to want to bring up his grades and has to want to earn them. She also stated the obvious, that he needs to mature. Little does she know, we Piper’s mature late, ever. She’s right on all accounts. But how can I just sit back and accept this? The answer. I guess I need to do some heavy praying.
Honestly, I don’t have a problem with who’s helping Kyle, as long as it’s working. If not, then it’s time to consider another option. It’s about what’s best for this young man. I don’t care if Kyle chooses the family dog over my help, as long as it works. I wish they’d give out grades for stubbornness and blasé behavior because Kyle would ace those every time.
I love Kyle so much, I want him to succeed at anything he does. He’s already expressed an interest in going to Carnegie Mellon University for engineering and I want to see that come to fruition. Perhaps the tutor is right, he needs to find his own path. Of course, that doesn’t mean step back entirely, because he still needs guidance and help along the way.
Am I pushing too hard? If you could see what I’ve seen, you wouldn’t think so. When Kyle was around four or five, he could add up a few items at the store and figure out the tax before the register gave the total. By that age, I got him a wooden puzzle of the United States. He could tell the state by the shape, show where it was located, name the capital and give a fun fact about each. No he’s really bright, he just needs encouraged by the right people.
This quote was not by happenstance. Kyle was working on Romeo and Juliet this quarter during English class. Basically, Lord Capulet comes to terms with his age and doesn’t want to be apart of the family feud any longer. He remains a peacekeeper from here on out. Not saying that I’m old, not in the slightest, but I’m saying perhaps I need to assist from the sidelines.