Friday, January 22, 2010

Guitar Boy Rocks On

Guitar Boy finally passed Algebra.

My darling boy just turned 16. I know...16!  Yes, I was a child bride. In some states you CAN get married at 11. Shut up. Anyway, for a present I got a call from his Geometry teacher to tell me the good news. After three tries, he finally passed Algebra. I'm so glad that lip gloss comes off iPhones easily. 

He took the course as a freshman all last year. We even paid big bucks for a tutor. Did he pass? No. "Don't worry", the guidance counselor said. "Guitar Boy is Bright". "I know", I said. "Everybody passes summer school Algebra", she said. "What if he doesn't" I asked. "Don't worry" She replied. He failed. So he took night school. Got home around 8:00 three nights a week for two months. His other work did suffer a little bit. Now we have to work on THAT. 

He just barely passed, but I will be smiling for a week. Maybe more. Julia Roberts smile. Big Fucking smile. 

True, Guitar Boy is obsessed with his guitar and would much rather play heavy metal than study or do homework. The great thing is that he loves it and he happens to be really good at it. When I tell people this they kinda tilt their heads to one side and smile. Some make comments about him not being able to make a living. "But no", I say, he's REALLY good. His teacher said he had nothing left to teach him by the time he was 14. His band came in second among some stiff competition in his first time at Battle of the Bands when he was a freshman. He plays the occasional gig. He writes, composes, records and plays his own music. He's gifted.

He even has groupies. So far they are behaving. And it's fun to hear them say with a big smile "You're Guitar Boy's MOTHER??" And see them bat their eyelashes. 

Is sucking at Algebra a genetic trait? Because I'm quite sure I never got better than a C, and I did really well in my other classes. Can we just isolate the "Algebra Suck Gene" and just let those of us who can't do it stick with basic math? I've certainly never used it it my life. And it's hard to lie to his face and tell him it's important when I know it's not. 

I love that my boy is creative like his mother. You never expect when you give birth to a boy that he could be so much like you, but Guitar Boy is. I was always encouraged to do the things I was best at, and they have all been in creative fields. Let's face it, accountants, doctors and lawyers don't make good art directors, writers, painters and jewelry designers. And I won't enforce a double standard on him. So many parents think it's fine if their girls are creative and choose creative careers, but for some reason they expect their boys to slave away at something they can't stand doing for a living. 

So, Rock on, Guitar Boy. I love you. 


  1. I failed Algebra once and the second time I got a D because the teacher wanted to be rid of me. My father was not a happy man. When I later took College Algebra I got all A's -- it was a matter of maturity and not having a father breathing down my neck telling me I was stupid. Your son is lucky to have you -- Algrebra is highly overrated, but creativity is important and if he is to become the greatest guitarist since Eric Clapton well that creativity thing has to be working for him. You rock as a mom and isn't it amazing how young one can be and still give birth? LOL

  2. So maybe he's Julliard material or the like? As the parent of one gifted and one scholastically challenged, I say you are spot on with encouraging him to follow his love.
    My book smart one couldn't find her way home if I dropped her at the end of the block. My other abled one has always had it all over the elder sibling in common sence and seeing the bigger picture.

  3. Great story!

    I was OK at Algebra in High School... not a genius, but I did manage to cram enough formulas into my head. But as the years go by, those formulas slipped the surly bonds of my memory.

    Until the day I was applying for a job at a paper mill - unemployment makes even the best of us do strange things. They put candidates through a series of tests. Included in those tests as a sit-down exam which assessed various brain skills.

    Lo and Behold, there was a math section in the test. I had such a difficult time recalling those Algebra formulas, like dividing fractions!

    As I was taking the test, one thought kept recurring: WHY do I need to know Algebra for a job making toilet paper? To get the value of pi times the number of sheets per roll?


  4. HAHAHAHA! Thanks for your encouraging comments! Yes, Juilliard is definately in the realm of possibility. Why not?

  5. Algebra is the basis of all Math, and everything in the universe is mathematical, including playing guitar. If your son is a great guitar player, he has in him to be a great mathematician as well. He just needs to relate to it with the same passion. I know. I have a 16 year old daughter who's great in all academic subjects including Algebra, and plays clarient and piano, BUT she sucks in cleaning her room and doing house chores! I guess she has not only my Math-genious genes, but also my "House-cleaning suck genes" as well. Go figure!

  6. Love this post. Its so true, I didn't expect when I had a son that he would be so like me in such boy ways!

    I think our boys would like each other 8)