One's answer: "Today I learned in Health class that the dad of one of my classmates is in prison serving a life sentence. We've been talking about who we are and what we like about ourselves and what we don't, and when it was his turn he started talking about this and then he was just sobbing all of a sudden. It was awful."
Two's answer: "We did math, like, almost all day, even fractions. Because fractions are going to be on the STARR test and it's going to be a really hard test so we have to study a lot for it."
So I feel overwhelmed by One's answer. 11 is too young to deal with that. I don't want him to go to private school with kids whose parents have private jets at their disposal, but did he have to learn about "dads who go to jail" today? Really? Not that I blame that poor child for talking about it: I wouldn't want to do an "All About Me" project in Health class either if that was one of my talking points. But I'm feeling very much like a protective mama bear right now, and part of me wants to stuff One back into a shell for a few more years before releasing him into the wild.
Two's answer today is, in reality, the more troubling one (and yes, he frequently talks in onelongsentencelikethat. just in case you were wondering). This STARR test is the replacement for the state-wide TAKS, and most of what we've been told equates to "if you were commended on TAKS you'll barely pass STARR." For all of that, I don't give a rat's patootie about the damn test. I don't want anyone teaching anything because it's on some test written by a bunch of yahoos in Austin. I want my child to have a good, intelligent teacher and I want her to teach my child what a third grader should learn. Why does it have to be more complicated than that? Yes, I am aware that is merely a rhetorical question. But why does it have to be?
Fortunately for everyone, neither of the boys seem horribly upset about his day. It's just mom who got all stressed out. And that would be, of course, business as usual.