Tag Archives: Classmates

I Know I Put That Apple Around Here Someplace

It’s early, but it’s happening. Although the young dudes and dudettes in the public schools won’t be starting their first-of-the-year trudge to the bus stop until Monday, Hyper Lad is at his first full day of school today.

He’s starting at The Falcon School, a k-12 private school for kids with learning disabilities. It’s the same school from which his older brother, Zippy the College Boy, graduated high school.

Our oldest little dude, Sarcasmo, who’s not anyone’s definition of little any more, graduated from the public high school. It was, and I say this with a touch of understatement, huge. Many buildings on a very large campus. Trudging back and forth between classes. Despite his size, it was easy for Sarcasmo to get lost at his high school.

Because he was quiet during school, he also began to slip between the cracks socially as well. That combination didn’t make for a very good high-school experience for the guy.

At Falcon, Zippy the College Boy stood out in his very small, maybe at-most, 10-student classes. The teachers knew him. They knew his issues and they knew how best to motivate him. No matter where he went in that school, he stood out because everyone stood out.

Because the issues that Sarcasmo was dealing with weren’t more noticeable, he didn’t get many accommodations at his high school, even though he needed them. At Falcon, the entire school is an accommodation.

The teachers at Falcon take a success-first look at every single student. That is, they find where that student can succeed and then work from there, moving forward, finding ways that each student can learn, no matter what obstacle stands in his or her way. It is a fantastic scenario and makes for a great learning experience.

Hyper Lad took a good, long look at the experience both his brothers had, and ended up believing that he’d rather have Zippy the College Boy’s experience. Good choice.

He’s actually pretty ecstatic about starting at Falcon. See, even though today is his first full day of school, he actually had school yesterday, almost a full week ahead of his former classmates, but he didn’t care. Because yesterday was a half day and he’s never had one of those before.

Hyper Lad was able to attend school and then leave just after noon. A new experience and one he’s looking forward to having more often.

Which means it’s quiet around the house again. And the youngest has just embarked on yet another new experience, turning the page on yet another chapter of his life.

In other words, he’s growing up.

Maybe I should think about doing the same.

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Revenge Is A Dish Best Served. . . To Someone Who Won’t Send It Back To The Kitchen

by Richard

It used to be that we nerds would comfort ourselves in high school by saying something along the lines of, “Well, someday he’ll be working for me.”

That was right after we wiped the tears from our face and finished picking three-day-old mystery meat from our hair. When we had it.

Turns out? We were lying to ourselves even then. Or maybe especially then.

(S)tudents who were more popular in high school make more money later on. They measured popularity using a concept from social network theory called “in-degree”—basically the number of friendship nominations a student receives from his classmates. (The number of nominations a student gives is called out-degree, and it doesn’t correlate with increased income, since it only measures how popular the kid thinks he is.) These researcher people found that just one more in-vote in high school is associated with “a 2 percent wage advantage 35 years later.” That advantage is equivalent to 40 percent of the wage boost you’d get from another whole year of education.

Yep. No matter if they were secretly smarter or really a much better boyfriend for our cute next door neighbor. It didn’t matter if they were forcing some poor nebbish to do their homework so they could have more time to play football. Or something.

If they were popular then, they’ll be earning more money now.

Good thing I was a different kind of nerd back then. Because now I’m raking in the bucks. As a part-time tutor. In an elementary school.


Maybe I was that kind of nerd back then.

Anyway. These researchers, Gabriella Conti, Andrea Galeotti, Gerrit Mueller and Stephen Pudney, used information gleaned from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, which has been tracking friendships among white, male high-school students since 1957.

So, okay. Yeah. It’s got a somewhat narrow band when it comes to diversity, so maybe we can take solace in thinking this only applies to those stupid white dudes. It’s just I’ve got a sinking feeling that isn’t the case. Even though I am one of those stupid white dudes.


The authors propose that the popular kids understand the ‘rules of the game’ socially and know how to gain acceptance and support; when to trust; and when to reciprocate.

Crazy, right? In case you’re wondering, the three biggest determinants of friendship nominations were whether someone had a “warm early family environment,” whether they shared attributes that were common among a lot of the students (this idea called homophilysays that we flock to people who have similar characteristics to us, in terms of age, race, gender and religion), and whether they were “relatively older and smarter” than their peers.

And me a younger kindergarten baby, too. Double rats.

So, to all my fellow nerds, looks like we have to dump the secret schemes of delayed revenge and start sucking up to the popular kids. So, how is this different from the normal?

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And The Countdown Begins. Again.

by Richard

Well, you dudes have had a good month and a half off from having to hustle out into the cold, cruel world and search for the perfect gift for your wife, girlfriend, partner, significant other. That’s far too long.

So let’s shake things up and we’ll invent something called Valentine’s Day and we’ll make it all about love and then we’ll amp the commercial aspects of this thing and force school kids to send Valentine’s Day cards to all their classmates even if they don’t like them and we’ll make sure you can’t get through this and keep your relationship going without buying something nice and. . .

Okay, I might be exaggerating just a tad there. Maybe.

Still, Valentine’s Day is an interesting beast. Coming as it does in the middle of February, there’s not much around it, thankfully, so it seems as if this holiday got put there just to break up the winter monotony. Sure I could be wrong, but the cynical choice can be depended on to be the right choice a lot of the time. Even when it’s not, it still sounds like you know what you’re talking about so you will do it again and again.


Valentine’s Day is coming up on Feb. 14 and it’s this day, no other, that we’re supposed to celebrate our love for the people with which we’re in a relationship. Never mind the other 354 days in the year, don’t worry about showing your love on those days, no this is the one that counts.

Blow this one and you’re in a ship-load of trouble. A veritable ship-load, I tell you.

So, you know, no pressure.

The traditional gifts are flowers and chocolate. You know you don’t want to make either of those the centerpiece of your gift. You’ll get that polite smile and smek on the cheek, but behind her eyes you’ll see the crushing disappointment, the despair and the sure and certain knowledge that you really don’t understand her and never will, you jerk.

What are you supposed to do, then, if you can’t go with the traditional?

Oddly, I’ve found that one of the best ways to do this is just to ask. Not blatantly, you understand, subtly. Look over mail-order catalogs with her, see what she likes; or force yourself to go window shopping with her.

No matter what you choose, make sure it’s something personal. I mean, she might really need and want a new iron, but that’s not going to get you any points come Valentine’s Day.

Best of luck, dudes!

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