Grounded For Life

April, 1987-Birmingham, Alabama
“Joe, we need to talk.”
Uh-oh, why does the football academic adviser at Samford want to talk to me.  Semester is almost over.
“Yes ma’am, what’s up?”
“Well for one, your grades aren’t”  Small burn on me.
“I thought I was doing well, at least it felt that way.
“You had a 1.0 first semester and you have brought it up to a 1.25.  You can’t partake in intramurals with a GPA lower than 2.”
“OK, but I am passing, correct?”
“Yes, but the D should stand for Dubin, not your grades.”  Ouch!  Double burn within 60 seconds.
“Improve your grades or you will not be playing football.”
An hour later, I am talking to my mom on the phone because I am coming home for the summer.
“How are your grades, honey?”
“Really good, mom.  Buckling down and getting things done.”  Shocked my nose didn’t grow.
“OK, be safe coming home, see you soon.”
I vividly remember hanging up the phone in the dorm room and sitting there, thinking, I just lied to my mother.  Awful.  If she had any clue what my GPA was, I would be grounded for life.
I had a remarkable gift all through high school of barely getting by, academically.  Yes, it is something that as I get older, I am not proud of and it really showed during my stint at Samford.  (I did though, return to school about 6 years later and graduated with a 3.75 from MTSU.  Amazing what getting humbled can do to one’s self.)
Which all leads me to this.  Thank the Lord that technology we have today, was not around back then.  My son’s school has a website set up that I can see EVERY thing he does, academically at school.  Every thing!  From homework to lesson plans to test scores to conduct grades to what they are having for lunch and on and on and on.
I thought to myself, if this was around back when I was in high school, well, I don’t want to imagine. It might have made me a better student, might have, but if my mother had access to all of my academic prowess, I would still be in my room to this day.
So with this, I can check on my son 24/7 and the poor kid, I try to entrap him all the time but he is far different and far better than I was and he just tells me everything.  He sorta knows that I can see most things from his school but he doesn’t know that I can see ALL the things.
Thankfully, my kids are way smarter than I was in school so it is not much of a concern for me, but every time I log onto my son’s account at school, I always imagine it is my mom looking at my grades and at 50, that still scares the hell out of me.

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