My children’s teachers send notes home with the textbooks asking for my estimation of their books in several categories. The Wife was visibly relieved when I quickly volunteered to review, comment and sign on the 53 different forms brought home by the seven enrolled there. Now I suspect she intercepts the children before they bring the books to me. Here’s why:
I know that what the teachers want is my assessment of the physical condition of the book so that when my kid drops it in the kitty litter, runs over it with his bike, spills Ramen on it, leaves it at soccer practice when it starts raining, uses a corndog as a bookmark, or allows #11 to use it to write the one word he knows in 37 different crayon colors and then seal his work with his unique “day old chocolate milk” mark, that I’ll be on the hook for it’s degradation from “fair with binding that appears to have propped open the garage door in three different families” to “are you kidding me?”.
However, I use the forms to send my feedback on the curriculum itself. I comment on science books that teach modernist theories contrary to the Catholic faith, math books that fail to explain the theory of “zero” or “infinity”, or history books that regurgitate Yankee propaganda about the War of Northern Aggression. My expectations are not unreasonable; it’s not like I expect them to explain to 8th graders the travesty of the 17th Amendment, which everyone knows should be taught in 9th grade, after all.
I’ve yet to get a response to the forms I send back. I thought it was perhaps because my cursive is indecipherable, even to me. I often look at my writing and wonder who had an epileptic fit while holding one of my blue pens, and then recognizing a character that resembles what Mrs. Rosenrosenstein taught me in 3rd grade, I realize someone WAS writing something while riding a Tuktuk on cobblestone streets with a blindfold on during a sneezing session. I would blame #11, except his strong, well-defined, bold “NO” is quite clear.
So the next time I sent a note to the school, this time for #4 who was supposed to bring in a number of color copies of some sort, I printed in large black caps, “#4 is bringing black and white copies rather than color copies because #6 saw fit to print 72 full color pages of Minecraft maps for some school project, and the printer his Mother bought at Goodwill three years ago is on strike and last seen headed to Ferguson, MO. I realize the obligation to turn in homework on time is important, a lesson I learned after failing to turn in homework on even a single occasion after 7th grade. Perhaps #6’s extensive map work is related to the search for the Holy Grail, and could be a subject of interest for both history and theology classes? If you have questions, please inquire with #6, who can be found in the 4th grade classroom between 7:30 and 3:15”.
I’ve still not gotten a response. Do you think the kids aren’t turning in the forms?