Stop The Presses!

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 10:08 pm

I had another post I was working on, but something happened that forced that particular train of thought right the fuck off the rails. We interrupt our (highly ir)regular broadcast to bring you this:

I got a call from my sister this evening. She is a teacher at a school in Hawaii. (For the sake of liability protection, I will not disclose which of my two sisters who are teachers in Hawaii happened to call.) She had had a, well, unusual experience at school that day and wanted to get my take on it.

My sister—I’ll give her the pseudonym Hortence, so I can stop saying “my sister” and also because I’m a generally unpleasant person—had recently sent one of her students’ papers home with a note attached. This particular student is….well, an overachiever. Pathologically so, by her description. The kid needs to get the maximum possible score for every test, every paper, every project. He is constantly asking her if there is any extra-credit work he can do to further bump up his grade. Just to clarify without providing enough clarity to identify any of the affected parties, this student is not trying to get his senior GPA up in order to be accepted to Harvard next year; he’s  a long way off from that sort of concern.

Hortence sent his paper (he got an A, naturlich) home with a note suggesting—in very diplomatic terms—that he should maybe learn to lighten up a bit, that it was not necessary for him to get the maximum possible score on every assignment and that such behavior might cause him some trouble further down the road if he did not learn to relax.

This afternoon, Hortence was visited at school by this student’s parents. They were very concerned about the note she had sent home, implying that, in fact, it pretty much was a matter of life and death that their son be the very best in everything he did. They sought for some way to make their position, their philosophy clear to her. The mom turned to Hortence and said, by way of explanation, “We’re Jedi parents!”

“Wuh-hut?” I replied, cranking my left ear in a counterclockwise direction to reel in my jaw.

Hortence went on. “And then the dad started to say something I didn’t quite get and Mom joined in with him, and they finished the sentence together. It was really wierd.”

“What did they say?”

“I can’t really remember, I was hoping you might know it. Something about victory, or going all the way, to do or….”

Many of you can practically smell it coming.

I steeled myself. “It wasn’t by any chance, ‘Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try,’ was it?”

“YES!” she exclaimed. “That’s it! I’ve got to write that down. So what is that, anyway? Who said it?

“It’s a quote from Yoda,” I groaned.


“Oh, come on, Hortence, don’t tell me you didn’t see the original Star Wars movies.”

“Well, sure I saw them, that doesn’t mean I have them memorized.”

“He’s one of the key characters in the series!” I replied.

“Oh—wait, the little green guy?”

“That’s him, the one that sounds like Grover.”

Upon having the parents of one of her students tell her that they were Jedi parents and wrap it all up by quoting a Muppet to her—in unison—all Hortence could do was to smile and nod. Much the way one would respond to a person at a bus stop with feces smeared in his hair, warning you to avoid drinking Mr. Pibb because the Zorlons inject each can with mind-control nanobots before they leave the factory.

Since our conversation I did a bit of Googling, and there does not seem to be any organized philosophy or school of thought dedicated to the subject of “Jedi parenting”. There is the Temple of the Jedi Order, and some of their discussion forums (fora?) do bring up the subject of parenting, but there seems to be no established methodology to it.

No, these folks appear to have come up with this idea all by themselves. What a lucky child! I imagine he’s going to be in for quite an adventure once he gets out from underneath the constant weight of his parents’ expectations. If his college of choice has as many recreational substances flowing through its hallowed halls as mine did, I can imagine he’ll be on a pretty much constant mushroom trip for the duration of his freshman year. Hopefully he’ll meet a nice girl (or boy) after that and get his head together before he burns out completely.

As for my sister, she was kind of flummoxed. “I mean, what do I say to these people if they come in for another meeting?”

At the time, I suggested she have the parents of one of the other, more athletically gifted kids accost them in the hall and take their lunch money. It was only just now that I stumbled upon the perfect solution.

“Hortence”, if you happen to read this, here’s what you do. If Mr. and Mrs. Kenobi come in for another meeting about little Anakin’s grades, just waggle the fingers of your left hand at them and say, “These aren’t the grades you’re looking for.” They’ll either totally plotz, or else they’ll repeat it back to you in dazed tones as though hypnotized. Either way, you should be able to get past them and out of your office before they come to. Call security.

7 Responses to “Stop The Presses!”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Was it really his left hand? I thought his right, but I could be completely wrong. Maybe it was his right hand in the original and George Lucas always WANTED it to be his left so, using CG magic not available in 1977, he switched hands for the re-do in 1997.

  2. Gavin Says:

    And this is why you are still my hero. Too damn funny.

  3. Dalek Says:

    Personally, I think that telling them to let go of their feelings, and that anxiety leads to the dark side of the Force, might be the logical next step if the mind-trick about these not being the grades they’re looking for doesn’t work. :mrgreen:

  4. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Personally, I think that telling them to let go of their feelings, and that anxiety leads to the dark side of the Force, might be the logical next step if the mind-trick about these not being the grades they’re looking for doesn’t work.

    Oh, that is INSPIRED.

  5. Val Says:

    Oh. My. Dog.

    I’m dying here.

    Reading all that had me *boggle*boggle*boggle* all the way to the last paragraph, whereupon you just cracked my shit right up!

  6. Val Says:

    I was once at a restaurant when a couple–a state trooper and his lovely wife in fact–proceeded to regale the table with the dialogue from the entire Marlin/Crush EAC scene from Finding Nemo. Just seeing the two of them do the whole ‘First you were all like “whoa”, and we were like “whoa”, and you were like “whoa…”‘ complete with facial expressions was utterly hysterical. But they didn’t, you know, like use the movie as a guide to life–they just thought it was entertainment. And having a 3 year old ensured that they had seen the movie often enough that they could have the dialogue memorized. They were pretty pleased their kid fixated on Nemo instead of, say, Barney….

  7. Uncle Andrew Says:

    But they didn’t, you know, like use the movie as a guide to life

    “We’re sea turtle parents!” 😀

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