Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Being generally picky

I would like to ponder something, and I'd like to do it aloud (sort of) and so you must listen (read).

My son Joe just got his GED, as we all know. I am very, very happy about this, and very proud of him, in spite of the simplicity of it and the requirement of it. I know it was difficult for him to understand the necessity, and when he finally did scew his courage to the sticking point, I was very pleased with him. And I've been bragging on him like anything, to everybody. I acknowledge all of this!

HOWEVER. Nameless Agent just overheard a conversation I was having with a friend of mine, and mentioned it to me in a congratulatory way, (nice of him) and then asked, "Did he get a reward?"

I asked, stupidly, "Who?"

"Your son," he said. "Didn't you give him a reward for getting his GED?"

Well, now, wait a minute. This strikes me as being similar to the whole only-kids-who-lie-require-congratulations-for-not-lying thing. I have been giving Joe a great deal of encouragement and praise and applause, and I did, in fact, buy him a small present. But "reward" -- with, on the one hand, its implications of heroism, and on the other, its implications of a doggy treat for a dog being trained or a child being weaned away from bad behavior -- I don't know. Do I think a child should get a reward for doing the required thing? I would, of course, buy a present for a student who graduated -- but that isn't a reward for graduating, it's a celebration of their graduation. And that's different. Isn't it? Or is it?

Perhaps I am merely being semantical and didactic and generally picky.

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