It’s a training issue

Yesterday morning, I was working remotely from the back room of our house. Big Man, who should have been in virtual school by then, came in. “Mama needs more training on how to be a mom,” he told me.

My eyes widened at this strange, unsolicited assessment. “Oh, does she?”

“Yes. Buster is in school, but he’s got the TV on, and Mama isn’t even shutting it off.”

His mother was working from a different part of the house, where she could hardly know about the status of the TV.

I told him to use his energy to go shut the TV off and get back to school, instead of ratting out family members. I assume he carried out my instructions. My training on how to be a dad didn’t cover follow-up.

Mom isn’t the only one with training issues. My job has changed drastically in the past year. I’ve had to learn an entirely new, complex, and vastly more bureaucratic financial system at a time when all the training session were canceled due to Covid. Consequently, I’ve had to make some educated, and even more uneducated, guesses. A lot of time gets eaten up fixing mistakes.

I’ve also been trying to learn to be a baseball coach for 7th and 8th graders. It’s probably not the best year to begin a baseball coaching career. Our state finds it expedient to blame kids for Covid outbreaks this year. You wouldn’t want to blame people who can vote, after all. New, random rules are issued periodically that either pause youth sports outright or make it difficult to keep sports going. Even non-contact, outdoor sports like baseball are hindered by these edicts. It seems as if our state is serious about protecting our children from fresh air and Vitamin D.

It’s remarkable how much non-baseball information I’ve had to process to coach baseball. Occasionally there’s time left to teach the game.

No one in the world social distances like a bored right fielder.

Mom and Dad aren’t the only ones facing training issues these days. Big Brother’s class has stumbled into algebra. He comes to me regularly for help with math homework. After one toilsome tutoring session he asked the inevitable question: “Will I ever use this in real life?”

“You’d be surprised,” I answered. “Every so often, I use it at work to help solve a problem it would otherwise take much longer to solve.”

“I don’t think I’ll have the same kind of job as you,” he said. “Will I use it for anything else?”

“Lots of times,” I assured him. “Mostly when your kids come to you for help on their math homework.”

“Oh,” he said. I think that decided him never to have children.

So, if you’ve wondered why I haven’t posted in months (I hope you’ve got better things to wonder about), it’s a training issue. And I haven’t even mentioned the updated WordPress editor yet.


23 comments on “It’s a training issue

  1. Tom W says:

    I was talking to one of my many doctors yesterday (he is about my age), we concluded these are indeed times that try men’s souls. We also concluded, since it won’t get better any time soon, it was good to be old. We never had to deal with remote learning. We did practice “duck and cover” a lot.

    On another note, how’s the book coming?

  2. markbialczak says:

    Great to see you, Scott! I think all that non-training will pay off as we all rebound, somehow. Enjoy your family, my friend!

  3. thegsandwich says:

    Well, we’ve missed you. Glad you’re using your time wisely.

  4. Lisa V says:

    Wait until you get to high school Algebra 2 – it isn’t the same Algebra 2 we were taught! As for the new WordPress editor, your woes are shared here. The only way I’ve managed to adapt is to click on the “+” and select “classic.” Otherwise, I’d have given up long ago. Hang in there!

  5. I have missed your posts so was happy to see this one. I use algebra all the time, whenever I have to solve for x. Problem solving is always a useful skill, don’t get me started! Regarding training: at my new job, when my trainer abandoned me, she assured me that I had gotten more training than she ever had. Yikes!

  6. I was happy to see a post from you since you’ve been quite quiet recently. (Now I know why)
    How did Mom react to the comment about her needing training? But what an intelligent and funny comment to make.

    We’ve talked before about how Math back in the day wasn’t the same as it is now. So, by the time your boys will be in the “have kids” age, they will have to re-learn Math all over again just like you do.

    • Mom wasn’t thrilled with the sentiment of the training comment, but she couldn’t help smiling over its sophistication. Maybe by the time my kids have kids, math with have come around again to the old ways, the ways I teach my kids to do it. Or maybe not, but they’ll figure it out (again).

  7. CrankyPants says:

    It’s a corrupt nightmare all around. My hats off too all parents. I just can’t imagine how insanely hard it would be.
    Hang in there and have a double scotch on the rocks.

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