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Tag Archives: Grendel

Grendel’s Closed Door Policy – Part 4/4

I know how important education is to the Chinese. I’ve been to China many times.

When Chinese mothers gather, they usually don’t talk of American Idol, fashion or the latest Hollywood gossip.

Chinese mothers talk about their children and how they are doing in school and recommend the best schools.

Most Chinese parents start saving for college when the child is still in the womb. The sacrifice the average Chinese parent makes for their children’s future education is mind-boggling.

My wife is Chinese and our daughter came home and did homework without the TV on.  She earned straight “A’s” since third grade and graduated with  a 4.65 GPA due to the AP and honors classes she took.

If she had not earned those grades … her mother would figuratively break her legs.

Anyway, back to Grendel.

After that staff meeting with Grendel, he left the room followed by a cloud of tobacco smoke.

The rest of the teaching staff sat stunned.

Soon, we were on our way home to correct papers and plan the next day’s lesson.

For the rest of that school year, true to his word, Grendel stayed behind closed doors—most of the time—while the teachers struggled to provide a liberal education.

No, not what Republicans mean by liberal.

Return to Grendel’s Closed Door Policy – Part 3 or start with Part 1.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

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Grendel’s Closed Door Policy – Part 3/4

Grendel was right about too many of the parents—at least some that I met while teaching at Alvarado. They were a brutally bizarre bunch from another world. They must have been Republicans.

I’ve heard the parents around Alvarado have changed since the 80s. The Chinese moved in and the wasps with the stingers fled.

Anyone who knows Asian cultures like India, China, South Korea, the Philippians and Japan, knows that the parents tend to respect and support teachers and most of the kids are great to work with. We can thank Confucius for that.

Most Asian-American students pay attention, read, ask questions, seek help and turn in homework.

They even study for tests. None of the usual excuses such as “my dad used my book report for toilet paper and flushed it and now he’s in South America on business”.

Asian students also earn high scores on standardized tests no matter who teaches them.

Those facts are ignored by neo-conservatives and Christian Evangelicals who want a voucher system to replace the public schools so waspish parents can control what their children learn like all good Nazis—no more liberal education.

If vouchers arrive, education will be a form of tunnel vision.

Continued in Grendel’s Closed Door Policy – Part 4 or return to Part 2

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

 

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Grendel’s Closed Door Policy – Part 2/4

During one of those Soviet rotations at Alvarado Intermediate, a new principal arrived, who I will call Grendel. In a few years, half the teachers at Alvarado quit or requested transfers to other schools.

On Grendel’s first day at Alvarado, we had a staff meeting after school to meet the beast.

Grendel stood there like a thin dragon with yellow teeth without reptilian skin. Tobacco breath had a raspy Marlboro voice.

Grendel had a flip chart. As the pages flapped like bat wings, I saw words and crude drawings (memory is vague but I do remember Grendel flipping page after page).

Grendel’s voice rasped, “If your students fail, it is your fault. It is your job to motivate and teach them.”

Each time he spoke, it was a blow to the solar plexus and a pain in the gluteus maximus.

Grendel said, “If your students misbehave, it is your fault. It is your job to control them. If you have problems with a student or a parent, my door is closed. Don’t come to me for help. The white-collar parents that live in this neighborhood are difficult, and I don’t need that stress.”

Continued in Grendel’s Closed Door Policy – Part 3 or return to Part 1

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “Crazy  Normal”, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

 

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