Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Yeah, I figured it had to happen sooner or later. Young Jake is -- well, he's not an average kid. And eventually, that was gonna cause problems.
Those of you who have met him will be aware that he's not at all a villain. He's curious, and intelligent, and gregarious, and his worst fault is not unexpected: he believes instinctively that everybody else his age shares his interests, and that the offbeat stuff he knows must be just as cool to every other person out there.
So yeah, sometimes you have to shut him up quite directly.
But he isn't malicious, or destructive, or vicious. Unfortunately, he is imaginative and outgoing... and eventually (I always assumed) that was going to be an issue.
I don't actually blame the school. I figure this is simple primate behaviour. Jake is ten, going on eleven. His classmates are similar, and even a year older - being as how he's in a shared 5/6. At that age, boys are just beginning to move out of simple childhood, into the complicated area of adolescence. And the hairless ape begins to make himself known.
Evolution... I have no idea why anybody bothers to argue against it. You only have to watch a troop of monkeys or baboons, and then sit through a session of Parliament to know without the slightest doubt that pretty much all of humankind is only a hair's breadth from picking fleas off each other, and enjoying a quiet banana on the sly.
So, you know. Boys. Beginning to feel the first stirrings of adulthood. And what do they do? They set about playing dominance games.
The same things occur when they're younger, of course. There are all kinds of competitions and struggles. But it somehow gets more important at this age. And it gets more overt, and unpleasant.
Naturally, there's nothing I can actually do for young Jake except listen, and talk to him, and maybe share my own experiences. (Yeah. Of course it happened. What would you expect? I grew up with a Yankee accent and an IQ a couple standard deviations above the norm in rural, bassackward Far North Queensland. I know about this shit first-hand, naturally.)
The school will do its best, of course. And who knows? Maybe things will fall out well. Maybe the idiots in question will find some other kid to pick on, and forget about young Jake.
But probably not. And sooner or later, all this primate bullshit will have to run its course. Jake will just have to learn how to play out the stupid ape games in a way that leaves him free to do what he likes.
My heart goes out to the little guy.