On The First Day Of Christmas, My Only Son Gave To Me…

a newly released copy of War and Peace, and…

a Starbucks card with a promise to go together!

This is all topped off by the fact that he failed only one class. Only one, hooray! So far, he’ll just have to make up Intermediate Composition.

It’s ironic, because he’s really a good writer. He got a 90% or above on all the exams. He just didn’t do the work. (I’ll quote the reason why here: “It’s ridiculous.”)

So, I know he’s smart. I know he’s capable. I know natural consequences are better than any punishment I could think of.

Repeating a class that you’re good at, but failed out of stubborn refusal to complete the assignments? Now that’s ridiculous.

I’m still counting my gifts, though; he’s not repeating the whole semester. Plus, I really wanted that piece of Russian literature.

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25 thoughts on “On The First Day Of Christmas, My Only Son Gave To Me…”

  1. 3M, thanks for telling me! I'd love to read what everyone thinks as I work my way through War and Peace. I've read half of it before, but abandoned it. This time I'm determined to finish it. I love reading Russian Literature, especially in the Winter. Last year I read Dr. Zhivago in January and it was so thrilling.

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  2. I know I've told you before, but I did marry someone quite like your son. When in high school, he failed English, I think, because he refused to do either a series of journal entries or current events because he felt it was a waste of his time. Yeah. That stint in summer school so he could graduate? Not a waste of his time? Happy to say he did grow up to be a productive member of society. He was even a teacher for 3 years! What lovely, thoughtful gifts from your son. Go to Starbucks with him! Lucky you.

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  3. Mrs. T, that is a riot. My son and your husband should have a coffee together! I bet it made him a good teacher, though, coming from a teacher who could never see any good from busy work. The Starbucks gift is from our past; ever since he was a little boy, my son would go to Starbucks with me. I'd write in my journal, he's color. It's a long standing tradition, and you're right, I am very lucky to have his love. And time.

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  4. Tanabata, your comment must have been coming in as I left mine to Mrs. T. Thanks for liking the new look. I'm a little tired of red and green and just wanted my blog to reflect the beauty of Illinois snow in January. I took this picture of an old stone wall on the river walk by our house.

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  5. Ooo, that's a gorgeous copy of W&P! I hadn't seen that one. May have to get a copy for myself. Here's hoping your son passes his second attempt. I have a little brother who sounds a lot like him. Smart as he can be, but he couldn't be bothered with menial stuff like classwork. 😉

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  6. Yay for War and Peace – I read the Pevear translation of The Three Musketeers and I definitely want to read this translation of W&P. Yay for your son too, considering how concerned you were at one point, failing only one class is certainly not as bad as it could have been.Merry Christmas!

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  7. fresh girl, if you hurry, Barnes and Noble has it for 30% off. It seems like all the smart kids can't be bothered about menial stuff. I wonder what that says about me, who worked her ass off for menial grades? :)Suziqoregon, so you remember my distress! Indeed, it is a happy day to "only" face an F. Boy, have I come a long way from secretly hoping for Honor Roll.

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  8. You got it!! I want that copy of War and Peace so bad! I think that's what I'm getting with one of my B&N gift cards. Isn't it beautiful? Your son has great taste. And I love that you got the promise of company with the coffee 🙂 Very nice touch! Congrats to your son! Sounds like he's just in the "We're not gonna take it" phase when it comes to assignments that he finds pointless. I can't say I never felt that way :/ Unfortunately all that has it's consequences though. But here's hoping for the best! He'll get there…he IS getting there! Love the new blog look too, by the way…very winter-y 🙂

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  9. That is one HUGE book! I've seen it at work and have thought maybe, just maybe, I should give it a try. But it'd probably be the one and only book I read all year!Love your new header and wintery template!! Oh, and I took the season poll. Guess what I voted for? Go ahead, guess. 😉

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  10. Summer! Les, how could you vote for summer?! And I thought we were practically identical in all things! 3m told me of a yahoo site which is discussing War and Peace in segments (it's in her comment above), so maybe you could try it in bits and pieces. The part about having such a big book to wade through is it doesn't allow time for much else. One of my book clubs is reading The Pillars of The Earth, which I already read years back, and I don't want to go unprepared/unfresh to discuss it. On the other hand, I can't see myself buried in TWO 1,000 page books at once. I'm glad you like the new look which I did after my favorite season. Go ahead, guess which one it is. :)Chris, I think you should buy it! You're almost done with the Japanese Challenge anyway. It's a funny thing with my son: the minute I shut up, quit nagging, and let the consequences fall as they may, our house got a whole lot more peaceful. Who knew that one of the keys to being a good mother is being quiet? Or, better said, not letting your worries reign supreme?

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  11. Both gifts are lovely, really. As for the son, you're right. Let him deal with the outcome and he'll learn more than what the class is aiming to teach him. Lessons in responsibility and dealing with the outcome of our actions are rare these days. At least, if I'm to judge by the number of students I deal with who haven't learned those lessons, they are.cjh

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  12. I have never had a desire to read War and Peace, but every time I see this newest release in bookstores I want to buy it. The cover is wonderful! I love the colors and the design. Fantastic. What a great gift. I love the little gift card mitten.I wouldn't let the failed class worry you. I always got excellent grades in high school and college and I still failed 4 college courses over the course of my time their just because I got lazy and didn't care. I eventually made them all up. He'll learn.

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  13. Bless you, CJ and Carl. I know how to mother an 8 year old like the back of my hand. 17 year olds? I'm a bit lost, but I'm finding the consequences of his own actions to be much more powerful than anything I say. It's not my summer which is going to stink. We all know where I'll be: home reading!You flunked FOUR classes, Carl? My goodness! I only flunked French 1 because I could speak it almost fluently and assumed it would be an easy A. I only went to class for the exams. Guess who was surprised to open her report card? The professor had the last laugh on that one.

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  14. Ok, I have to keep telling myself, "Thou shall not covet!". :o) War and Peace in on my "books to get" list. As for your son, I know that bright children are sometimes not challenged enough in schools. I know you are a teacher,and correct me/forgive me if I'm wrong, but I feel it's up to the teacher to know the child and challenge them so they can reach their full potential. It saddens me to say this, but I can count on one hand the teachers who took the time and made a difference in my life. I will never forget them.Hope you had a blessed Christmas!

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  15. Lady G, who knew there were so many people who wanted War and Peace? Not I! It's too bad Tolstoy can't get in on the royalties. Sadly enough, a good teacher is hard to find. I think one of the best qualities a good teacher has is perception into the needs of each student. Often, they don't want to take the time to find out who each child is. I hope you had a blessed Christmas, too!

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  16. I just quit going to class. I went through a weird funk two of my 10 semesters in college. And of course that is why there were 10semesters instead of 8! 😉 Ah well, live and (hopefully) learn.

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  17. Aw, that was nice. I love Starbucks. Wayyyyy more than I should. Oh, and his comment about the work being ridiculous? I can definitely relate with that. Hahaha.

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  18. I just watched a wonderful movie called The Last Station, which is about Tolstoy. It's definitely gotten me curious about reading War & Peace. Maybe next month, after I get through our Dostoevsky read. (Loving it so far!) 🙂

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