Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I Don't Know Why He Swallowed The Fly

You know, the most effective way to complete your high school course work and earn decent grades is to a) study, and b) to actually do the course work. Using some sort of entymological ingestion procedure as a way of getting an 'A' on your Algebra II test is probably not a really good way to go about things.

Dateline: El Dorado Hills, California. Sub-dateline: Oak Ridge High School, Algebra II class, test day. From CBS-13 KOVR News, the story plays out as follows. The Algebra II teacher killed a fly in class with his hands and then dared any of his students to eat the dead fly, allegedly enticing them by saying, "If anybody eats this fly then I will give them an A on this test." Go on. Guess what happened next. Guess! You got it. Some paste eater ate it. (Maybe he was branching out.) Now guess what happened after that! Go on. Guess! That's right. No A.

Steven Zeldag is the lad in question and judging from his score on his Algebra II test, he's not just dumb, he's fly-eatin' dumb. The lad scored 9 out of 46. That's just a hair under twenty percent correct. He claims that his teacher said that "...I told you I'd give you an A on your test, so here's your A, but it's not going in the gradebook." "The teacher even wrote, "Here is your A on your test," when he returned the paper to the student." Behold!

The story continues by explaining Steven's revelation, saying that "...he realized what he thought was a deal was really just a joke at his expense." Dun-dun-DUNNNNNNNN!! Ya think? What a moron.

"I didn't think he was joking at all," said the fly eater.

You know, I should probably take that back. The moron part, that is. The kid might really be a good kid. Maybe he's good with his hands. (Well, if he's not, he'd better get good with his hands, because I don't know how well that book learnin' is going to be turning out for him.) But judging from his ability to discern whether or not a teacher is jerking you around by saying "I'll give anyone an A who eats this fly", I don't know that he was ever going to pass that Algebra II test in the first place.

See, he seems to have overlooked a real key piece to this ordeal. Son, your math teacher can't give you a grade that is contingent upon your ingesting any insects. Hell, or mammal for that matter. Insect. Mammal. Egg layer. Unless you are enrolled in a course that specifically requires the ingesting of animals, eating any sort of animal isn't going to help you. If you gobble down a field mouse, you're not going to get an A on your biology exam. If you consume an entire raccoon, it's not going to get you an A on your term paper. That's not the way that it all!

Mind you, this is an algebra class. Algebra consists of solving for the unknown. There are not a lot of unknowns in this story. There's an awful lot of "known"s though. The way that scholastic achievement grades are doled out. The general area of the kid's overall IQ. Things like that. Things like your future if you keep thinking that the eating of a freshly squashed insect is going to propel you to the top of the class. Your future won't be unknown. Your future will be dim. Your future will be counting change out for people. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But when you're a high school student, don't you want something more than that to look forward to? My point.

Those are the knowns. Here are a few of the unknowns:

One: The article said that this fly-for-grades debacle took place last month. What does that mean? Today is the 4th of November, so "last month" could have been just last week, but we don't know that. I have no idea why that wasn't clarified. (I take that back. I have some idea. It's called "The media is crap".)

Two: When the principal was contacted to comment on this story, he said that " was the first time he heard about it." OK. Since the principal hadn't heard about it that means that neither the boy, nor the teacher went to him. I'm guessing that, out of the two of them, the only one that I would foresee going to the media with it would be the boy. Now, that makes little to no sense to me because "Stephen said he was afraid to tell his principal because his teacher would punish him." Um, so you go to Channel 13? That doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Oh, wait. This is the same kid who ate the fly, right? Never mind. It all makes perfect sense.

Three: I don't think the kid is being totally honest about why he didn't study for the test. He made it sound like the deal was made (an A for a fly snack) in advance of the test being given and because he was under his self inflicted delusion that he would be getting an A, he didn't study. I'm thinking it was more like he didn't study and saw the chance to weasel out of possibly (likely) getting a bad grade and when the fly opportunity buzzed in (pun totally intended) and presented itself, he took it. No way he ate the fly a week in advance or something and just didn't bother to study for the test because he had a tummy chock full o'fly. No way. I'm not buyin' it. But from the news report, it's hard to tell. That's right, because the media sucks. How'd you guess?

We're so doomed. Let me just tell you, if I had pulled this stunt in high school, it would not have ended up on the news. If I was dumb enough to eat the fly and expect an A and then I was dumb enough to tell my family about it, I probably would have been slapped upside the head by one or both parents before they laughed me out of the house for being such a moron. Oh, and if I even thought about bringing up the subject of "Hey, so, the local news wants to do a story on me being an idiot and eating a bug", do you know what would have happened then? It would have been loud, I'll tell you that! I'm guessing something to the effect of my needing to think about how important the roof over my head and the food in my stomach and the clothes on my back actually were to me because if they weren't that important, I'd be doing that story on the news and my parents would have stopped providing all of those things to me. No WAY would they let that happen. THEY don't want to be known far and wide as the two people that raised the fly-eating, test-failing dumbass. But now? Sure! Go on the news! Tell everyone how dumb you are. Enjoy! Oh, and when you come around to cut my grass, don't cut it too short, all right? Thanks.

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Anonymous said...

This is so cleverly written. Whoever you are... Mare? - thanks for your thoughts. An Oak Ridge teacher.

Mare said...

Thank you very much, Oak Ridge teacher. I'll be paying attention to see how this one turns out after the "investigation". If it turns out to be anything other than "It's not the teacher's fault the kid ate the bug" you can rest assured I'll be all over it!

~ Mare

Anonymous said...

I loved your take on the story. Yes! who are you??? You, my friend, have a future and it won't be a fly-eating future that's for sure! Keep up the wit!
Another Oak Ridge teacher.

Anonymous said...

That kid has a rep at school for being a dumbass and a loser. My friends in that class say the teacher didn't dare him to eat the fly. they say the kid asked if he could have an A if he ate it and the teacher said yes, jokingly. When the teacher saw the kid was gonna to eat the fly, he told him not to. This kid is a major loser and just wanted to have attention. He's a tard.

OR student

Anonymous said...

As a teacher at OR I find this entire "story" appalling. I don't know this student but from what I have been told by teachers and students, he is hardly news worthy. But what is even more remarkable is that channel 13 news would be this blatantly irresponsible in their journalism. They never researched the story before they reported this child's "exaggeration" of what "he" perceived the truth to be. Channel 13 news should be seriously ashamed of themselves. After all, the kid is a misguided child but a news team should behave in a professional manner.

I don't know who wrote this blog (Mare) but whoever you are, thank you. You did a fantastic job!

Mare said...

To the other 2 Oak Ridge teachers, thank you for your compliments and kind words. Yes, the Channel 13 piece was an example of irresponsible journalism at its best. I have no idea what has happened to "personal responsiblity", not to mention "common sense", but both concepts seemed to have escaped the Channel 13 people and the fly eater as well.

To the Oak Ridge student who commented here, THANK YOU! THAT is exactly what I was waiting to hear from someone and EXACTLY what I had suspected. Awesome. (And nice job on the use of the word "tard". Most excellent.)

I'd like to thank the teachers at Oak Ridge for doing the job that they do every day. It's not easy, especially when you have to deal with stories like the fly eater in the news, but yet you keep on keepin' on. And judging from the quality of the comment from the Oak Ridge student, you guys are doing a heckuva a job. Thank you for your work and for your service to the students.

~ Mare

Robin said...

The boy who ate the fly is just a DUMBASS and his parents aren't too far behind him. Allowing their son to go on t.v. showing the world what an idiot they raised wasn't a very wise choice. An Oak Ridge parent

Anonymous said...

i know him. Stephen is hella cool! the teacher should not have offered that deal. Mr. WHite is just dumb for doing that.

Anonymous said...

yeah i agree stephen is hella Cool! I dont know why this is such a big deal anyway

Anonymous said...

deal is a deal. I know stephen and he is definetely not a bad kid. I would have freakin ate a dumb fly too for an a on the test, who even cares

Anonymous said...

i wudda done the same thing!

Anonymous said...

deals a deal