Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wednesday's word: lackadaisical

Main Entry: lack·a·dai·si·cal Listen to the pronunciation of lackadaisical
Pronunciation: \ˌla-kə-ˈdā-zi-kəl\
Function: adjective
Etymology: irregular from lackaday + -ical
Date: 1768

lacking life, spirit, or zest : languid

I might have chosen lazy. Maybe procrastination. But, this word was so much more fun to say. To lack...a daisy? I lack daisies right's foggy out and cold. I'm tired. But, I wouldn't say I lack life or spirit or zest, as a general rule.

Today, in a parent meeting, a student told me she doesn't like to come to school (tell me something I haven't already heard from dozens of pre-teens). Now, rather than get into an argument about how on earth she could hate to come to school (I mean what teacher doesn't have a thousand geeky reasons why school is fun, and cool, and just plain all-around-good-for-the-soul awesome), I decided to probe into what she'd rather be doing, say, at home. Her response? Nothing. I laughed a bit, disbelieving.

"Really? You can't be telling me just sit there and do nothing at all?"
"No computer, or phone, or book, or television?"
"You stare at the wall?" This said, slack-jawed, in utter disbelief.
"Yep. Sometimes I just sleep cause I get too tired doing nothing."

I was pretty much speechless...for half a second...and then I asked the parent what on earth made this okay in their house. The parent explained how, in all her parenting wisdom, she'd just had it with her daughter's behavior and had decided to just let her sit it out and do nothing. She let her sit there and just be truant, to teach her a lesson of course. After 2 weeks of sitting there and doing nothing (boy, that parent was sure showing her), she ended up in court and was forced to go back to school.

So, lackadaisical? Yes. I, personally, would simply consider her a blob of flesh and bones and organs with a whole bunch of hairspray to top it off and keep it held together (or maybe that's what all the piercings are for).

When we asked about the fact that the child always shows up perfectly coiffed, made-up, and trendily dressed in the latest Hot Topic couture, and whether this had ever been controlled for motivational purposes (i.e. take away the curling iron until she does her damned essay...say no to another dye job until she finishes her math...and give a definite thumbs down to any more face piercings until she suits up for P.E.) her mother looked at us aghast, "I am against keeping those kinds of things from her because that encourages her self-esteem."

How about academic success to boost self-esteem? Maybe a bigger brain is more important that big hair and trendy clothes (haven't we learned anything from the tragedies of Paris and Britney?). I'm just saying... keeping with today's theme...the deadline (since it's only for me, anyway) for this month's show-and-tell is this weekend, when I have time to post (and, of course, come up with something to share).

Night, all.

1 comment:

bluemoonali said...

Although my mother would have commenced with the neverending harpy screeching (should I have ever been so remiss in school), my dad would have had one solution: a good belt to the backside. I'm talking about his leather was I scared of that thing. Mostly I got a hand-smacked bottom for being shirty, but when dad snapped the two sides of the belt together--sounded like a whipcrack--I moved like lightning (he never even had to hit me with it).

There is something to be said for implied corporal motivation...