I don’t give a flyin’ !#@% what your kid’s ACT score is.

13 Aug

School has started again in our fair city, which means my lazy lying wife will disappear for the next ten months. She still claims she is a teacher, but I am now convinced she is a rock musician who goes on tour from August until June. This would explain why I rarely see her. When I do, she is very tired. Throwing down twenty-minute versions of Stairway to Heaven can do that to a person.

guit_cropped

 

I shudder to think what sordid acts she performs with her legions of groupies. Don’t worry. I have taken measures to stop this irresponsible behavior.

Smashed_guitar

On to more important issues: The start of school is also when my brain becomes clogged with the ACT scores* of half the student population in our fair city. If you are one of these students or one of their parents, please keep this information to yourself.

First, I don’t care.

Second, I still don’t care.

Third, my brain is already filled with useless data, such as the complete dialogue from the classic movie Night Shift. Each time someone shares an ACT score with me, which is none of my business, something else in my memory bank must be pushed out to make room for it.  I’m hanging on to Night Shift, which means something else must go.

Say, for example, you tell me your child’s ACT score is 27, which is none of my business, and how you’re going to hire a tutor because 27 ain’t gonna cut it with Duke. As much as I would  love to block this information, which is none of my business, from entering  my skull, I cannot. Therefore, something else must exit  my cranium, such as how to quickly convert Celsius to Fahrenheit (Celsius x 9 ÷ 5 + 32 = Fahrenheit).

What if, later, someone stops me on the street and asks, “Please, good sir. If the current temperature in Mumbai is 28 Celsius, what is it in Fahrenheit?”

Celsius x 9 ÷ 5… uh… “Sorry,” I say. “But this kid I barely know has an ACT score of 27. Not good enough for Duke.” Then I try to switch subjects by quoting Billy Blaze.

There is, however, a far better reason to keep ACT scores to yourself: It is not good form.

When I was a kid, my pappy told me:

  1. You don’t have to tell anyone how you voted.
  2. Don’t ask anyone how they voted.
  3. Don’t tell anyone how much you make for a living.
  4. Don’t ask anyone how much they make.
  5. Don’t ever call me “Pappy.”

Pappy, I mean, Dad had a good point, in part, because sharing such information will make someone feel either superior and inferior. It’s the same with test scores and grades in general. No matter what your kid’s test score is, someone somewhere is going to feel inadequate, stupid. Or someone is going to feel their kid is smarter than yours (unless yours receives a perfect score, in which case I bow down before you in all your genetic awesomeness).

Back in the halcyon days of my youth, the high school counselor told us seniors to drive up to the nearby university on a Saturday morning with a couple of #2 Ticonderogas and to take a test. We complied. That was the sum of our preparation. A few weeks later, I received my ACT scores in the mail. It was my understanding, following the ten seconds of attention I gave the letter, that colleges would consider my score before accepting or rejecting my application. I don’t remember what my ACT score was, but I hope it was at least in double digits.** I set aside the letter and forgot about it. Somehow, I survived without sharing this information with anyone. I assume my parents looked at my score at some point, but we never discussed it. I got into the school of my choice, got the degree I wanted, and entered the career I had been shooting for since high school. Yes, I know that was a different time. Even with all the emphasis on test prep and getting a good score, however, there is no reason to include the results on the family blog or Christmas newsletter.

Why do I need to know the ACT score of a friend’s son’s girlfriend? Why, oh why?

I remind my college sophomore daughter she never has to share her ACT score with anyone.*** I realize it’s asking a lot of a young person, because they share such data as easily as they share phone numbers. Still, I try. I tell my high school sophomore she never has to tell anyone any of her grades. This is no one’s business but hers and her parents. (Often, we would rather not know either.) It benefits no one to share such information. Stop it. Stop sharing it. Stop asking for it.

Don’t text it. Don’t tweet it. For love of God and all that is holy, don’t post it on Facebook. I don’t care. Neither should anyone else but you, your kid, and colleges that want to take as much of your money as they can.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to dig hole in the backyard for my lying wife’s new guitar.

 

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* The ACT is a college readiness assessment used by universities to separate the wheat from the chaff among college applicants. It is also one of the most effective means of making millions of young people feel inadequate and give them ulcers.

**For those of you who are blissfully ignorant, and how I wish I were one of you, a perfect ACT score is 36.

*** When my older daughter was a high school sophomore, I once shared a ACT practice test score with some acquaintances. I have never forgiven myself.

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13 Responses to “I don’t give a flyin’ !#@% what your kid’s ACT score is.”

  1. wscottling August 13, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

    I’ve lived for 48 years — and that’s going through graduate school recently — without knowing what the perfect ACT score was. Thanks for ruining it for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. JK August 13, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

    I loved everything about your blog post today…I can’t stand when people feel they must share that info….I, like your ‘Pappy’, also tell my children to not tell how they voted, what their scores/grades are, and (hopefully they will get a job) how much money they make. It is NONE OF ANYONE’S BUSINESS….I told my high school sophomore about your blog points, and she told me that sometimes her teachers share their grades aloud in class! I cannot begin to tell you how awful I think that is to do to students. I, like your lying wife, am a “teacher” from Sept. to June….but I teach Kindergarten, and apparently high school teachers take away all the gentle cooperative ways I bestow on my little five year olds and turn them into competitive citizens of our country….ugh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Wilson September 18, 2015 at 2:06 pm #

      BTW, if a teacher shares a student’s grade with other students, it is a clear violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Students are free to overshare if they want to, but teachers/faculty are not!

      Like

  3. 2davesarebetterthan1 August 14, 2014 at 6:13 am #

    Oversharing is a disease thats rampant!! Love your posts. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  4. South of the Strait August 14, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    I hope your lazy wife has a good year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. pamelayenawine August 14, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

    Did I ever mention that I really enjoyed working with you at CZ? Now that I have stumbled upon your blog… I can relive being in the balm of your crazy brain! And, I never knew my own kids’ACT scores… or SAT scores…. in fact, at least one of my kids didn’t even bother to take the ACT. so there!

    Like

    • smithdeville August 15, 2014 at 6:10 am #

      Pam, good to hear from you. Still in the ‘hood?

      Like

      • pam August 15, 2014 at 6:15 am #

        Sure am. Am a regular at Yoga on Baxter! Be well.

        Like

  6. essbee14 August 16, 2014 at 9:49 am #

    Ha – there’s no escape from this. I actually had a (so-called) friend talk about what their ACT score was at dinner the other night. From 12 years ago! I don’t remember mine, but I’m pretty sure I’ll tell people 38 from now on, if it comes up.

    Like

  7. Lisa J July 20, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

    That Barney Rubble. What an actor!

    Like

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