One Child Left Behind

From The Swamp at The Chicago Tribune:

We knew that Vice President Dick Cheney had left Yale under less than honorable terms – “by mutual agreement,” as he put it today — but maybe we had forgotten, until today, that he also was kicked out of Kindergarten.

Original DVD cover.

That’s what the vice president told radio’s Chaz and A.J. in the Morning Show, in an interview with the Connecticut broadcasters conducted today in the Senate office of Sen. Joe Lieberman […]

Here’s part of the transcript:

Q And you went to Calvert Elementary School?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yeah, I guess that’s right.
Q Have you ever gone back there just to walk back through, hey, I’m the Vice President?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I did. A couple of years ago I was in Lincoln, Nebraska where I was born. I was there for a political event, and the candidate I was there to speak for arranged for my two kindergarten teachers to come visit me. This, of course, I was a lot older than I had been when I was in kindergarten. But they found them both. They were both still alive; and you might ask why I had two kindergarten teachers.
Q Yeah.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I got kicked out of one school and had to go to the other one. (Laughter.)
Q Did you stay back?
Q Well, you showed them, huh? (Laughter.)
Q And you went to Yale? And you know we’re a Connecticut radio station so they’re listening now. Is there anything you’d like to say to Yale University?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, it’s funny. I went back years ago when I was Secretary of Defense. I was invited to come back and give a speech there in the commons. Joe knows it. Thousands of people, alums, and so forth. And I gave a speech and it was well received and so forth; and I was convinced that they never knew, when they invited me, that they had kicked me out 30 years before. (Laughter.)
So, no, I did two years at Yale and then left by mutual agreement. (Laughter.) But it wasn’t Yale’s fault. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and I went out and worked for awhile and then got serious about getting an education and went back to school.
SENATOR LIEBERMAN: So this is an encouragement for anybody who’s ever been kicked out of college.
Q Yeah.
Q You could become the Vice President.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I don’t know what — the President went up there right after we were elected. Of course he was a graduate of Yale, I think, with a ‘C’ average, and he said to the student body that day, the graduating class, he said, you know if you graduate from Yale with a ‘C’ average you can be President of the United States. He said, of course if you kicked out you can be Vice President. (Laughter.) So he reminds me of that periodically.

I’m sure the American children are inspired.


Filed under 2008 election, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chimpy, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Guns, humor, Joe Lieberman, Lynne Cheney, movies, NCLB, parody, politics, Republicans, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

31 responses to “One Child Left Behind

  1. jlms qkw - jenn

    great. cheney kicked out of kindergarten and college. w a c-student. mccain at the near-bottom of his naval academy class. this is leadership in the usa?

  2. yep, this is what we should be telling children they should aspire to. wtf?

  3. nightowl724

    What fine role models these three morons are – Bush, Cheney, McCain. Underachievers and proud of it! As for that (p)sycophant Lieberman, his behavior would be disgusting even if he were a Republican. He sort of reminds me of Ed McMahon on the Tonight Show.

    nonnie, your title hooked me and you cover reeled me in! Funny stuff…

  4. jeb

    I can’t be too hard on the guy for that. I failed kindergarten (had to go to summer school). Frankly I’m a little miffed at people who brand young kids failures like they did with me but I did overcome my failure without becoming evil incarnate or shooting anyone in the face.

    Oh, and I’ve never been to Yale.

  5. nightowl724

    jeb, Cheney didn’t say he “failed,” he said he was “kicked out.” And, he’s proud of that and of being asked to leave Yale. I suspect it was not for poor work but for aggression, cheating, and the like.

    Bush is proud of being a barely-C student. He doesn’t say, “I had a problem” or “I should have tried harder” or “I probably shouldn’t have gone to college in the first place” or even “I wish I had done better.”

    I don’t like those who give up on children, either.

    When one of my sons was in 2nd grade, his teacher called to say my husband and I should come to terms with the “fact” that he was never going to amount to anything. We fought this “diagnosis” for years after we found out he was both learning disabled – and gifted! He went on to graduate cum laude from Pitt with a degree in History. He had no special consideration for his disabilities because Pitt didn’t even know. He is now a supervisor in a well-paying job.

    And, all the Raisinettes know how good you turned out!

  6. jeb

    With Bush, I always think Molly Ivins summed it up best when she said that he was born on third base but believes he hit a triple.

    My own case was not so much a learning disability as it was being left handed in a very right handed world. On top of that I broke my left collar bone twice while I was in kindergarten so then I was really confused.

    Glad to hear that you stuck it out for your son. To bad all kids that struggle don’t have that kind of support.

    Now as for those slackers born to privilege…

  7. my son was another one who did horribly in school. he was gifted, but you would never have known it by looking at his grades or talking to his regular teachers. however, his gifted teachers would rave about how smart and how empathetic he was. long story short, he had a learning disability (dysgraphia) that his gifted teacher finally figured out when he was in 9th grade. that teacher told me that public school is not for everybody and that i should wait until he gets to college, and then he would surprise everyone. he wound up getting his ged at 16 (didn’t take any classes, just the test), and then started community college. there was not a semester when he was not on the dean’s list, even though he had to make up a lot of ground for classes he never took in high school, especially math classes. long story a bit longer, he graduated magna cum laude with degrees in both math and computer science.
    i agree with nightowl, it’s not that deadeye dick had to repeat kindergarten or that he dropped out or got kicked out of yale (i didn’t finish college either), it’s the arrogance behind it. he and his little buddy, chimpy, smirk when they talk about their failings as though it doesn’t matter, because they are better than the rest of us. the same attitude can be seen in people when you ask the rich folks why they should be treated better than poor people when they get busted for their drug adventures. the bigger your bank balance, the less you have to apologize for your missteps.

    on a completely different note, i am waiting for someone to mention that there is another guest star in today’s movie. nobody has mentioned that person yet. if you look at the original, you will see that a few things besides deadeye dick have changed.

  8. jeb

    OK, it’s the blonde girl in the blue and white checked pants – and now I show my ignorance – who is it?

  9. the book that she is holding should give you a clue. 8)

  10. jeb

    I’m clueless. Even with these damned trifocals I cannot see anything small anymore. Everytime I go have my eyes checked they tell me that my prescription is fine. So why do I struggle to read a newspaper now? Is it because it’s all BS or because I’m just getting old? One of these days I’m going to break down and buy myself a magnifying glass.

  11. well, you could always check the tags at the bottom of the diary. 🙂
    i finally broke down and went to the doctor (a new one since my insurance has changed twice in the last year). i feel fine (except my feet are always killing me), and he is sending me to a gastroenterologist, a dermatologist, a podiatrist, a gynecologist, and an eye doctor. i also have to get a chest x-ray and the boobogram. i can’t imagine where i would have to go if i was actually sick. i am hoping that one day, science will make it possible for us to send our parts out to be checked instead of the inconvenience of making appointments and showing up. anyway, if the raisin suddenly goes blank in the near future, it will be due to me sitting somewhere for hours in a waiting room or sitting on some exam table dressed in a paper gown and freezing to death.

  12. nightowl724

    Oh! It’s Little Lynn! Do you think this pair was ever cute – even in diapers?

    jeb, I can relate to “lefty world,” too. My husband was left-handed. The good nuns at the Catholic elementary school made him sit on his left hand all day and repeatedly smacked it with a ruler if they saw him using it!

    nonnie, what a fantastic story about your son! Congratulations to everyone involved in helping him through.

    Oh dear, I just know how you love doctors! If HR goes blank, we’ll put out an APB (All Patients’ Bulletin).

  13. ding, ding, ding!! we have a winner!! little lynnie is there with her book, sisters. i don’t think they were ever cute, because evil shines through, no matter what you look like.
    my mom is naturally left-handed, but when she grew up, that was not acceptable. she writes with her right hand, but she does almost everything else with her left. my uncle, her brother, taught himself to be ambidextrous, and, as kids, we found that to be quite fascinating. my nephew is left-handed.
    nightowl, it is not really a fantastic story, it is a very sad one. all too often, kids who have a helluva lot to offer are overlooked and allowed to fall through the cracks. public school, at least down here and i suspect in a lot of places, are just factories dedicated to pushing the kids through instead of really teaching them to think. my son was very lucky that he had a couple of teachers who recognized his potential, and they counterbalanced the other ones who did nothing but give him flack.
    please do send out the apb. of course, so far, i haven’t made even one appointment. maybe tomorrow. 😉

  14. nightowl724

    My husband could write the same thing with both hands at the same time – normal with the left and mirror-image with the right! He could also read as well upside-down and right-side up, which used to amaze and amuse people when he demonstrated it.

    The fun part was at work, though, where he never let on about this ability. He always found out the best stuff because he could casually read everything on the boss’s (or the competitor’s desk) while appearing to stand there just “shooting the breeze!” He seemed psychic!

    Yes, the public school system sucks and our stories are “sad.” They are only interested in producing low A or B-C grade, compliant, unquestioning work bots. But, that’s what makes stories like jeb’s, yours, and mine “fantastic.” They demonstrate what can be achieved with wise, patient, and compassionate teachers and parents and with willing, motivated, hard-working, and “undiscouraged” students.

    Teachers, administrators, and students alike put down kids who are “too smart” or “too dumb” or who “look funny” or “think outside the box.” When my second son, born eleven years after my first, proved himself to be “too smart,” I enrolled him in cyber school. It’s not for everyone, but it has worked well for us.

  15. i could never teach myself to write with my left hand. i am way too clumsy with the right one, not going to try for a second one. i do read upside down, though. that’s how i found this condo. the realtor was looking through her book, and while she was reading right side up, i was reading it upside down. i pointed it out to her, and she was a bit shocked that i had read the particulars. i never taught myself to do it, it just came naturally. in fact, when i play scrabble, i always play so that the board is upside down to me. i think better that way for some reason.

  16. nightowl724

    Neat story about finding your condo!

    Oh, and I meant “compliant” not “complaint” in the above comment… Did someone mention “dyslexia?”

  17. jeb

    I was never forced to become right handed by people, just more by events (breaking my left collar bone 3 times and my left arm once). I’m still left handed but ambidexterous. The issue I had was that I could not use right handed scissors (still can’t), could not color inside the lines and was the only lefty in my family.

    It was only when I became an adult that I started to figure out why I had been “clumsy” and why everything seemed backwards to me.

    As for public education, I’ve always said that the reason kids spend 40 hours a week in school is to prepare them for the work force. That is not what education should be.

  18. nightowl,
    i edited your complaint to compliant without complaint.

  19. jeb,
    forgive me for asking, but how the hell did you break your collarbone 3 times?
    i watched my nephew when he was little, and i could see by watching him that we live in a right-handed world.
    i think public education used to prepare kids for the workforce. nowadays, i worry that schools are deliberately given short shrift so that there will no alternative for a lot of kids outside of joining the military.

  20. nightowl724

    Thanks, nonnie!

    I certainly agree with your assessment that. these days, there seems to be a concerted effort to force kids into the military. I commented on this the other day right here at HR:

    jeb, not coloring in the lines! Why, you naughty, naughty boy! 🙂

    My mother-in-law studied art and two of her aunts were art teachers. When she sat down to color with her kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids, she always had the same routine. She’d color outside the lines, make the sky green and the grass orange. With great fanfare, she’d break a few crayons from the “sacred” new box. This way, the kids wouldn’t be worry about that kind of stuff or be afraid to be different.

  21. i think that kids should be taught to color outside the lines. i think there will be a lot fewer obsessive compulsive kids with ulcers who feel that they can never do anything well enough.

  22. nightowl724


  23. nightowl,
    i forgot to add that your comment from the other day is probably the only reason i even thought about chimpy & friends dumbing down the schools so that there would be lots of cannon fodder in the future. (and i don’t mean that i consider any of our kids cannon fodder, but you know that chimpy and deadeye dick and the rest of them certainly do.)

  24. jeb

    Well the first time I flipped over my Tonka truck. Then my brother broke it a few months later when he threw me into a door frame while we were wrestling. A few years later his friend was tossing me around by the arm and it broke again.

    My kids love when I tell them the story of my first day in basic training. The Dr. asked me to describe all of my broken bones and any time I had stitches and to give details of each accident. After about five minutes he told me to shut up.

    My kids go to the Waldorf school. One of the nice things there is the kids don’t color inside the lines. At an early age they are taught to use the whole paper because there is no white space in nature. They are also taught to use their hands in a way that refines their fine motor skills The philosophy is educating the heart, hand and head. You can see the payoff because the older kids do really amazing art.

  25. jeb,
    you must have driven your parents crazy. if you were my kid, i would have made you walk around with full football regalia, especially the shoulder pads. then i would have put you in a bubble and locked you in a padded room. oh wait a minute, back then people had health insurance that actually paid medical bills!

  26. jeb

    My Mom says she is grateful that we never lived in one place for more than a couple of years or they would have come after her for abuse. That would have been ironic since my sisters and brother always claimed I was her favorite. The football uniform wouldn’t have worked for the time I fell off the fence and broke my arm or the time I got hit by a car and knocked several teeth out or the time I broke my leg snow skiing.

  27. geez, jeb, if we ever meet in person, remind me never to walk too close to you! 😯

  28. jeb

    That was 30 years ago. I finally learned to navigate the world with success and my only visits to the emergency room these days are with my 13 year old.

  29. as clumsy a kid (and adult) as i was (and am), i don’t remember any frantic rides to the emergency room (except after car accidents). no broken bones (except for a couple of toes), and no gaping wounds that had to be sewn up.

  30. nightowl724

    I’ve never heard of the Waldorf school, jeb.

    Your story gives me hope for my one nephew, barely 18. At three local hospitals, they know him as soon as he walks in! And, yes, his parents were screened as potential abusers by school and medical staff…

  31. i never heard of the waldorf school either. i wonder if they learn how to make salads there. or maybe hotel management. or maybe it’s run by that old muppet who sat in the balcony with statler and heckled everyone else.