Thursday, November 17, 2011

Does your kid make you speak Yiddish?

Little Miss Thing, aka DJ, is quite full of herself of late.  She must always get the last word in, no matter the discussion.  She's so certain she is right and we are overreacting.  Darn blessed big for their britches.

She is in her junior year in high school and in America, that is a big year to finish getting your standardized testing done, adding extracurricular activities and memberships to important organizations to your resume.  In short, since most college applications are submitted either the fall or winter of one's senior year, the junior year is one of the last opportunities to really shine so that colleges will accept you and hopefully offer you money to attend their school.

DJ is a musical artist, or shall I say AR-TEEST, emphasis on the last syllable since she's a bit hoity toity about this endeavor.  I don't mean to say she is arrogant about her abilities, because that is not the case.  But she does subscribe to the notion that the arts are of more importance than your typical academics comprised of the histories, the maths and the dreaded english classes.  Luckily, DJ has a gifted brain.  She can hear a lecture and commit the details to memory.  Were this not the case, and she actually had to refresh with what the rest of us call studying, she would fail most of her classes, abominably.  And this quality lends itself well to standardized tests so she knocks the ball out of the park on those too.

Have I ever mentioned she is a genetic anomaly?  And I don't mean because she's transgender but because her intellect is NOT a result of any genetic contributions from either side of the family.  Well, that's not true:  Flying Pig and DJ's aunt in England, who we'll call Apple because she's the only normal fruit from two generations of her family tree, are both exceptionally bright women.  But neither of these women were direct contributors to DJ's specific DNA chain, so I have no idea where she gets her abilities.  But I digress....

In addition to being remarkable at academics, she is quite gifted musically.  Both her birth father and I can lay claim to some of that, with his contribution being more important than mine, genetically speaking.  Anyway, when she came out to us, she demonstrated this remarkable ability to compose music for orchestras.  She had no training in this area other than some guitar and drum lessons and a Music for Dummies book I purchased for her.  Nonetheless, when she blossomed as a young woman, so too did her music ability blossom.  Since then, she has composed various sonatas, symphonies and the like and she has branched out into pop music too to include techno, horror of horrors.  But she enjoys it and has posted some of her stuff on YouTube.  The folks in Spain love her apparently.

AND she has set her sights on attending the Juilliard School of the Arts in New York City, a world renowned institution.  As such, it is incredibly difficult to get into this school.  An applicant's talents must be incredible, needless to say.  And I imagined that her grades would need to be equally phenomenal.  That is not the case, entirely, apparently.  When DJ researched Juilliard with a guidance counselor at school, there was less emphasis placed on grade point average at Juilliard than at other universities where the emphasis is more on academics and where talent is secondary.

She triumphantly informed me of this recently.  AS IF knowing this, I would allow her to spend less time on her academics so she could spend more time creating, writing, playing and recording her music.  Ummmm, I don't think so.

Then, two nights ago, when DJ was inducted  in to the National Honor Society (high five for DJ) DJ poo-poo'ed the whole thing initially.  She wanted to dress in her edgy fashion for the ceremony complete with leggings and Chuck Taylor sneakers under her dress.  When I explained to her that this is a ceremony that should be afforded the respect and dignity of proper attire she responded with her typical air of dismissiveness.

"People my age don't really care about things like that," the lovely DJ tells me.

"Yeah, well, people my age are the ones who let you into college and the honor society and we do care about things like that," I retorted.

Then, later in the evening, she said something about the National Honor Society certificate being "just a piece of paper."  Her artistic thumbing her nose at convention kind of rubbed me the wrong way, so in front of her I said to Bulldog, (already knowing the answer, because any good attorney will tell you to never ask a question to which you don't already know the answer) "Were you in the Honor Society?"

"No, I wasn't. I didn't have the grades."

"Neither was I and I wanted to be," at which point I turn to DJ and explain to her that it is insulting to both the NHS, and to those who can't be in it, to dismiss membership and the paper that certifies membership as "just a piece of paper."  Somehow, we got through to her.

Maybe she's just trying on this persona like she tries on her other more edgy outfits just so she can find out if she likes it or not.  Maybe she'll discard this know-it-all, I'm-too-artistic-to-be-bothered-with-these-bourgois-academic-concerns like she outgrew her love of super flowery attire.  In the meantime, I wish she would just do her freakin' homework and clean her bathroom without my having to nag.  Then I remind myself, "Be patient, she'll only be a teenager for another three and a half years."  Oy Vey!