The Littlest Sandbagger

My high school English teacher nicknamed me Sandbagger.  He was not very happy that one of his best students refused to move into AP English.  When I would complain about something (because I am a complainer), he would say, “If you don’t like it, move into the AP class, Sandbagger!”  He couldn’t understand WHY I didn’t want to go into the more advanced class.  I just rolled my teenager eyes at him and asked, “Uh, why would I want to do MORE work for the same education? What am I going to get out of it?”  He may have said something about college, but I was never much interested in that.  It probably didn’t help that I was dating a musician with dreams of becoming a rock star.

My sandbagging tendencies never got much better.  What can I say – I love to excel at being mediocre.  I would rather be busy working on a hundred things at once that I know I will get just right instead of doing just a couple things that will take forever and not turn out like I wanted.  I figure it’s some sort of odd combination of laziness, perfectionism, and a need to check things off my list every day.

So I guess the current situation with Jack in school shouldn’t surprise me much…

When I picked him up from school today, Jack'[s teacher mentioned to me that he is having trouble using scissors.  I told her maybe he is just getting used to using the “big kid” scissors at school – he’s been using the plastic scissors at daycare.  But then she said that Jack was holding the scissors pointed down and cutting toward the floor.  Uhhhhhh, what?  He certainly knows better than that.

Also?  He is writing his name starting with the k and working to the left.  Every time.  Oh, and when she asks him what a word says he just says he doesn’t know…

When I told her today that he can write many words just fine and READ, she was surprised.  Jack is tricking her!  For some reason he doesn’t want her to see that he knows these things already.

He is totally sandbagging.

I’m trying to re-examine my own drive for mediocrity in order to make some sense of what Jack is doing and try to encourage him to demonstrate his actual capabilities…yeah – no dice.  If I had the answer, perhaps I’d be a college grad by now or maybe I’d be making the near-six figures others in my field are making.

Until I figure it all out, I will just have to cross my fingers and hope Jack gets over this or some brilliant person is able to convince him he should show off his skillz more.

Any fellow sandbaggers out there have ideas?

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Comments

  1. B @ My Other Blog says:

    Ok, don’t know about the name writing thing or the scissor thing but to get him to cooperate about reading, how about planting the suggestion somehow that you know, if you let the teacher know you can read, she’d probably show you cooler books than what you are stuck with now, or even let you read alone sometimes. Cuz otherwise, she’s going to keep bugging you about words you already know. Something like that. 

    I’ve so thought about Katie doing stuff like this when she starts school. She can’t read yet (at least that she wants me to know about…), but she has a tendency to make jokes and play silly games about stuff I know she knows … if I ask her to show her Dad something, for example, it becomes some game. So I know she’ll do that stuff in school. I plan to play up her love of learning new stuff and her not wanting to feel left out and point out that she could spend time doing stuff she already knows, or she could see what other cool stuff the teacher knows and that we can joke about it and play around with it at home instead. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I took your suggest and told him this morning that he’ll get to see better books and learn new things if he shows his teacher than he knows how to read and stuff.  He swears his teacher doesn’t know more than him.  😛

      But yeah, the thing he made on the first day of has a sentence he wrote “I <3 my moma" and apparently the teacher never saw it?  She was surprised when I said he could write sentences!

      GOOD LUCK!!!

  2. Jackiegirl82 says:

    My 6 year old 2nd grader has been doing this since age 2.
    They thought she couldn’t speak English. :/
    In Kinder she wrote her name backwards & twirled during the Pledge of Allegiance.
    In 1st grade her teacher made sure she was challeneged.
    2nd grade starts in a week.
    Good luck with Jack- I tell you itss a long haul. My girl is a completly different alien at school. they call her shy, a reader, tries to make friends.
    I know an extrovert who jumps off walls. Who reads chapter books, liKes roller coasters, and never. Stops. Talking. She jumps into situations with kids and makes friends eaSily.
    Shy? I don’t know that kid.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have to wonder if it’s school-based or just a personality thing?  I want to keep my eye on it – like perhaps he would do better in a different type of educational environment (i.e. Montessori or something).   It’s such a bummer because he did great at daycare and was everyone’s favorite.

      Good luck with 2nd grade!

      • Jackiegirl82 says:

        I’ve wondered that too! I think perhaps public school is asking her to be the square peg in the round hole. My husband and I have pondered alternatives but $$$ is always an issue.
        My friend teaches as community colllege and she says that even the young adults (and some not so young) challenge her authority early in the semester. I know my girl questions authority -wonder where that came from?- so adults have to prove to her or pass her tests before she does what they want.
        Maybe Jack is just trying to figure out how to play the new game.

      • Jackiegirl82 says:

        I’ve wondered that too! I think perhaps public school is asking her to be the square peg in the round hole. My husband and I have pondered alternatives but $$$ is always an issue.
        My friend teaches as community colllege and she says that even the young adults (and some not so young) challenge her authority early in the semester. I know my girl questions authority -wonder where that came from?- so adults have to prove to her or pass her tests before she does what they want.
        Maybe Jack is just trying to figure out how to play the new game.

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