Buster will not be indoctrinated

School started last week, as you know. Buster is now a Junior in High School, preparing for SAT’s and thinking about colleges.

In the springtime, when Buster had selected his courses for the year, he chose one he thought would be interesting: Social Issues in America. Buster likes current events and critical thinking, and he enjoys debate. He hadn’t realized that “Social Issues” usually meant something more than critical thinking.

First day of school he came home and shook his head. “I love all my classes but that last one – Social Issues – not gonna last in that class,” he said. “We spent the whole time listening to how awful the world is because women body-builders earn less than men body builders. I told the teacher women body-builders make less because men don’t especially like to look at them and most women think they’re kinda off-putting too, and that the market sets the rate for their endorsements. He didn’t want to hear it.”

“Oh, the teacher is a man?” I asked.

Buster thought a moment and nodded.

“He started preaching about how women have been historically oppressed in every sector of life, in the home, in the workplace, in the military and in the church, and that they hadn’t yet acheived equality.”

“Really,” I said. “He was really championing the women, today, eh? What did you think of all of that?”

“I told him you and grandma and Aunt R are the least-oppressed women I’d ever heard of and you’d all spent time at home raising kids, that the General running Abu Ghraib had been a woman, so she had an equal-opportunity screw-up experience, that the Governor of Louisiana was a woman who messed things up as badly as any man could hope to, so it seemed to me women were being treated equally – since they were being given chances to succeed or fail. And then I told him that if he was going to talk about oppression of women in the church, I hoped he would also talk about how the Christian church was the first and oldest institution which ever encouraged women to be something besides someone’s wife or mother.”
:-) My boy!

Keeping my eyes on the button I was sewing, I tried not to let Buster see me smile. “What was the teacher’s response to that?”

“Well,” Buster said, “at first he looked like his head was going to explode. He made this long sighing noise and asked the class what they thought of my ideas.”

“What did they think of your ideas,” I asked. “Were the girls offended?”

He shook his head, sipping an ice tea. “No, not really. They mostly nodded, although one girl said she thought women should be allowed to be priests.”

I looked up. “So…you told the teacher that his whole premise, that women are still living as if it were 1958, was erroneous.”

“I told him that I’ve been listening to this ‘women can do anything men can do’ line since I was two years old and watching Sesame Street, that I GOT it, and that all the girls GOT IT, TOO, so it seemed pretty useless to me to rehash these old, irrelevent complaints in 2005.”

“Did you point out to him that women are the majority of students in Law and Medical Schools?” I asked him.

“Are they?” He laughed. “I know that female students who do well academically are cheered on the way we cheer on a two-year-old when she does something like, you know, singing her ABC’s. ‘Hooray! Hooray for Emily! You go, girl!’ It’s creepy. ”

“Condescending, too,” I agreed. “I wouldn’t like to be treated that way were I still in school. What did the teacher say when the girls agreed with you.”

“He looked surprised, but he stayed on script,” he said. “Spent the rest of the class discussing how we would be looking at how racist America was, and intolerant America is – you know – the usual. I’m not going to have the patience for it, and I’ve made an appointment to drop the class and add another.”

“That’s a shame,” I said, “is this a required course? If you slip out this year will you just have to take it next year?”

“No,” Buster said, picking up the course catalogue. “There has to be something I can change into…”

“Well,” I ruminated, “you’ll be required to take at least one such course in college, so you’d better prepare yourself for it. Indoctrination is at least 3 credits of your degree.”

He gave me a winning smile. “Buster will not be indoctrinated,” he said.

Earlier today I got a call from his counsellor, asking me if I would mind if Buster became a Bass in another performing group. “The teacher says she really needs him,” he said, “and Buster seems amenable to the change and says he would not mind helping her out by leaving his Social Issues class…”

Clearly, Buster had done a bit of fast footwork and found a way out. Hmmmm. Maybe Buster will not be indoctrinated.

Then, today…I read this and thought, “kid, I hope you’re right!”

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • SigmundCarlandAlfred

    Obviously, the kid is a chip off the old block.

    Big chip.

    I did like his reference to Sesame Street. Imagine, the teacher knocked down a peg by an effective Bert and Ernie.

  • TheAnchoress

    My kids liked Elmo the best.

  • Mary

    I love you, Buster. I also hope that this idiot teacher hears from some parents about the baloney he is throwing at their children.

  • http://happycatholic.blogspot.com Julie D.

    It’s official. I am in love with Buster. Although like you I know that he and my girls will have a tough row to hoe in college because sometimes you’ve gotta toe that party line to get a grade in a required class. Hannah’s in one like that now. Her government teacher, though a fun and popular guy, is well known to give low grades to those who disagree (read that as support conservative issues). So this is her pre-college lesson in keeping her head down to get the grade.

  • http://www.worshipnaked.com tracey

    Ah, that Buster! He’s such a …. BUSTER! ;-)

  • stephanie

    What a shame. I’ve done some of my best critical thinking about my beliefs while debating people who believe differently. But then, it doeswn’t sounds like he was willing to listen, either.

  • TheAnchoress

    Not for a whole year, he wasn’t! :-) And not when he knows he’ll have to listen to it again in college!

  • http://badhairblog.blogspot.com Fausta

    I suggest that Buster major in engineering or the natural sciences in college. It minimizes (doesn’t eliminate, though) the b-s factor.

  • http://none Darrell

    Gee Steph, the people that welcomed disagreement were Conservatives in your case, weren’t they? And I have lots of experience with Lefties who punished those who dared take the other side in the argument….But I’m sure that tells you nothing…

    Anchoress, you must be proud of Buster, and rightfully so! He will have to learn to pick his battles though–some times you don’t have the option of substituting a required class. And about engineering/sciences today…lot’s of b-s there too…Just try presenting a case against antroprogenic global warming!

  • http://ohhowilovejesus.com Jeanette

    I love that boy!

  • http://none Darrell

    This is a timely posting in another way..John Roberts was critized by loads of MSM columnists saying that he doesn’t believe that women deserve equal pay for equal work. Nonsense. They know it is and that makes it an intentional lie. He was commenting on that 80′s Leftist notion of “comparable worth.” The example the feminists used to use was truck drivers vs secretaries. “Truck drivers have skills and secretaries have skills so secretaries and truck drivers should be paid the same…” We used to answer “Want to be paid like a truck driver? Apply for a job as a truck driver.”

    An aside, female models make at least ten times as much as male models…female chemical engineers make at least 10-25% more than her male counterparts with the same no. of years of experience…Any woman who can show that male workers at her exact job get paid more have automatic grounds for a lawsuit….

  • Pingback: Oh How I Love Jesus » Blog Archive » That Kid is All Right! - Part 2

  • TheAnchoress

    Heh. Buster will be no where near the hard sciences. He has a game plan: Use the music to get a scholarship and major in music/communications, minor in poly sci. Get famous via a career in musicproduction/radio/broadcasting and then parlay that into a political career that ends in the white house.

    He has told me I will be his speechwriter…

    I asked him if that meant someday Laura Ingraham would be telling him to “shut up and sing,” he said, no…he would not be expressing his politics until the broadcasting career was over.

    He’s got a plan…

  • stephanie

    As a matter of fact, yes, some of those I disagreed with were conservative. My father and sister are very conservative (and remain brutally disappointed in me, alas).
    I’ve also disagreed with liberals (gasp!)-including notably a teacher who graded papers down b/c we didn’t agree with her interpretation of the situation. In that case, we debated in front of the class- and allt he essays were regraded to reflect how well we’d defended our points, even if the teacher did not agree with our conclusion.
    But then…I’m not indoctrinated- either way.

  • http://none Darrell

    Then, Stephanie, how sad you must be that according to recent reports you could easily finish your college career without ever encountering a Conservative at major universities in the U.S. The only debate going on is whether Bush actually destroyed the WTC, or merely allowed it to happen–intentionally. Oh…and how many layers a good tinfoil hat should have!

  • TheAnchoress

    I like Stephanie.

  • stephanie


    You live in the midwest? Here in Michigan, that’s difficult- though my college years were some time ago, I must admit. I now work in the rust belt, and hear daily how “the only liberals over 25 are either stupid or brain damaged”. I posit that I’m neither, but am pretty quiet about my ‘deviant propensities’ (ie, politics).

  • stephanie

    I like you too Anchoress! :-)

  • http://none Darrell

    I like Stephanie, too! Otherwise I wouldn’t bother….Yes, I do live in the Midwest. I think you’re holding on to what you think liberalism should be or think it was, instead of what it now actually is…

  • stephanie

    I think, darrell, that the majority of liberals aren’t as left as you think they are :-)

  • http://www.marchhareshouse.blogspot.net March Hare

    Had to laugh when I read this. DS#2 is a freshman in H.S. and is taking a class called “Foundations of Cultural Geography.” He’s already told me I’m going to think that this teacher (who DS#2 describes as an “old hippie”) is a flake…

    Can’t wait for Back to School night!

  • http://none Darrell

    I am always confused when people use the word “liberal” anyway…Most Americans are liberals, at least social liberals by the traditional definition. The people that insist on labeling themselves “liberals” today are really Socialists–they just know that they wouldn’t get anywhere politically in the US by declaring that–yet. Another reason that they say Americans are backward… And you may say..they’re not Socialists, they do believe in owing private property…Yes, they do. The new incarnation of Socialism does…it is the new Euro Socialism-Lite…the kind you see displayed at Davo…They just still have a problem with those pesky free markets! And other pesky freedoms…like speech. Or do you believe like Lyle that PCism is an artifact of the Right?

    So tell me, do you own a Che t-shirt?