Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Under the GATE

Our school district has something called the GATE program. It stands for Gifted and Talented Education, so the first time I ever heard of it I immediately dismissed it in my mind for my children. They may be cute, but “gifted” is a long stretch. They’re just normal boys.

My wife, on the other hand, seems to think that her children might fall under some of the GATE parameters somehow. She is very intelligent, but I reminded her that half of their DNA comes from me, so that’s working against them. She still wanted to get them tested, so she obviously thinks her half of the DNA has a choke hold on my half. She may be smart, but her overly-optimistic awareness meter probably needs some calibration.

We were late getting the forms in, so I ended up being the one in charge of filling them out and rushing them over to the school office. I am a very honest person. Honestly, I’m not lying about that. So, I filled out the questionnaire honestly. She might regret me being in charge.

Learns easily/understands concept quickly
I hesitate to answer yes to this. Sure, he seems to do fine in school, but he’s been wearing shoes for his entire life and still can’t figure out where they go when he takes them off.

Asks a lot of penetrating questions
Asks a lot of questions. None of them are penetrating. Most of them are about why I always make him do homework and chores instead of letting him have fun.

Becomes unusually upset at injustices
Half credit? He throws himself on the floor and wails when an injustice is perpetrated on him, but he laughs when anything unjust happens to his brothers.

Persistent, resourceful, self-directed, independent worker
I’m going to have to just say a flat no on this one, since I have to ask him every three minutes to get back on task with his homework and stop licking the kitchen counter.

Shows unusually high ability in a particular subject or subjects
Yes. Unfortunately it’s farting on his brothers.

Shows unusual interest in a particular subject or subjects
This is a yes, but only the subject of why I won’t let him spend his entire day playing video games. That might not be unusual these days, actually. Oh, and fart noises and fart jokes. Probably not what you were looking for.

Constantly wants to know how or why something is so
Constantly wants to know why we’re so mean and won’t let him have fun. Past that, not really.

Seems unusually concerned about social or political problems
Not actually aware that any social or political problems exist. He is concerned about his food and why he has to eat it all when it’s the worst thing ever. Other than that, not concerned about anything at all.

Organizes, leads, takes over group activities
I’m not sure what he does at school, but here at home he has two brothers, and all three of them want to lead, so mostly they just yell and fight.

Unusual or highly developed sense of humor
Farting on your brother is probably not that unusual at this age. I’m going to go out on a limb here and also say that it’s not too highly developed. So, no.

Has a better reason for not doing what you want done
Half credit here. Always has a reason not to do what I ask. The reason is never better.

Becomes impatient if work is not perfect
Hang on, I can’t stop laughing. For my boys that should read, becomes impatient if he has to spend more than five seconds on any one thing. Cries if he ever needs to use his eraser. Always forgets to put his name on his paper.

Has his/her own ideas about how things should be done
Again, you guys know you’re asking these questions about elementary schoolers, right? That’s like asking, does he/she breathe?

Shows unusual leadership ability
Always wants to lead. Never has any idea where he’s going. Based on how our government works, I’d say that’s pretty usual, so I’m going to answer no on this one.

Unusually large vocabulary
For words from the English language, not really. For words from Lego Ninjago and Legends of Chima, yes.

Unusually insightful
I can’t answer yes to this about a kid that still hasn’t figured out to wear a coat when it’s cold outside.

Unconventional ideas and opinions
Again, he’s a kid. All of their ideas and opinions are unconventional. And mostly idiotic. For example, he wants me to let him ride on the top of the car.

Highly competitive in some areas.
Yes, his body contains testosterone.

Seems more responsible/mature than age level peers
If all of his age level peers are galactically irresponsible, then he might squeak by here, but truthfully, he can’t really even wipe his own butt properly every time, so I hesitate to give him high marks in this area

Resists drills in spelling, math, handwriting (rote skills)
Uhh... Are you ending with a trick question? Seriously, you know he’s in elementary school, right? Don’t they all do this? (By the way, I don’t mean to tell you your business, but I think it’s “wrote skills” for the handwriting thing.)

Well, honey, they’re signed up for testing. Just promise me you won’t get your hopes up too high. Based on the fact that they all look exactly like me, something tells me these boys might be made up of more than half of my DNA.

As Judge Smails from Caddyshack once said, “The world needs ditch diggers, too.”

And if they end up not even qualified to dig ditches, they can always be humor writers like their dad.

See you soon,


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