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I think I’ve got a quarter if they need one.

Nothing too serious today, you’ll no doubt be relieved to hear. I know it gets a little repetitive around here sometimes. (“So, here’s the thing that is keeping me up all night, weep weep weep…”) Just a dumb observation I thought I’d share this time, a moment of random association that played out in my head.

Last week, we had the extreme pleasure of filling out, once again, a stack of evaluations for Schuyler, as part of her ongoing transition to oh my god I don’t want to talk about it again. She’s had this particular evaluation in the past, using the same survey instrument as before. (The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, or “BRIEF”, which is ironic in a not-so-funny way.) I recognized the language almost immediately.

I guess I understand the theory behind these evaluations. Teachers don’t know what’s going on at home, after all. And I do appreciate the effort to include parents in the discussion (a discussion we never should have had to feel invited to in the first place, but still). I think it’s really important to measure parents’ input as to the specific abilities and unique needs that our kids have.

I’m just not sure this particular set of instruments is going to do the job.

Not every question is going to apply, I realize. But I knew pretty early on that this wasn’t going to be a productive use of our time. An early statement (which required the old never/seldom/sometimes/often ranking) was a pretty good tip off.

“Student seems odd.”



I’m not sure how to answer that. Schuyler does seem odd. So do I. So do you, probably. I’m not sure what the opposite of odd would be in this scenario, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a thing to which one would necessarily aspire.

There were more.

“Student does weird things.”

Weird? How are we measuring “weird”? What does “weird” look like for someone like Schuyler? Or for anyone else? I mean, we spend weekends driving around looking for invisible monsters to catch with our phones. Our threshold for weird might not necessarily line up with the purveyors of this particular behavioral inventory.

And later on, my favorite. By this time, I think it’s safe to say we weren’t giving this survey the respect that we were intended to.

“Student becomes too silly.”

And with that, we were done taking this seriously. I can’t speak for Schuyler, but by now, our approach to this could probably be described as too silly.

This was amusing enough, in a “ha ha ha, it’s fun when you waste everyone’s time!” sort of way. But it was also striking me as weirdly familiar. Not just from the last time we had to answer similar questions a few years ago, but something else.

Then it occurred to me.

Uncle Buck.

“I see a bad egg when I look at your niece. She is a twiddler, a dreamer, a sillyheart! She is a chatterbox, and frankly, I don’t think she takes a thing in her life or her career as a student seriously.”

Schuyler has one more year of high school. They should know by now that she’s a twiddler, a dreamer and most certainly a sillyheart. And she tries pretty hard to be a first-class chatterbox, too, although admittedly that part’s a work in progress.

Well, I hope they got all the data they needed.

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