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Old 07-09-2017, 05:22 AM
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Default and in fourth place: everyone else!

Zeke (my son, aka Zekester) was in a karate tournament today. he didn't have to take part in it, but decided he'd like to participate. this was his second tournament.

Zeke is not the best at sports and isn't very interested in them. he takes guitar (and is very good) and is quite the artist, but sports isn't really his bag. i have a hard time relating to this because when i was his age i played a lot of sports. i don't really have a jock personality, but i loved playing sports and was in many different leagues. some sports i was pretty good at, while others not so much, but that didn't matter too much to me. i was naturally, but not overly competitive.

i don't push Zeke to play sports, but i do offer up the possibility because i think sports are good for you. sports teaches you teamwork and discipline. it also keeps you fit. so, when Zeke showed an interest in karate, i signed him right up.

he is not the best, but he is progressing. he will be going for his orange belt soon. his performance at today's tournament was not stellar. at the end they gathered all the competitors to give out trophies. they announced one kid as being in fourth place and gave him a medal. then they said Zeke was also fourth place. then two more kids strangely tied for fourth place. all were given the same medal. finally the first, second and third competitors were given their trophies.

Zeke got the same medal at the last tournament, but i missed the speech given when they were handed out- the whole fourth place deal. i just figured it was a participation medal and was presented as such. hearing all these kids being lied to and given medals in such a way grossed me out. i've heard of trophies-for-all, but this was my first dealing with it. it seemed so wrong to me. Zeke looked very upset and he cried a bit as we got ready to go home.

I let him stay up late with me tonight in the family room and i got around to asking him what he did with his medal. he told me he had placed it in his room with the same 'crappy' medal he got last year. Zeke is a smart kid and very intuitive, so i knew what was bothering him and it was the same thing that was bothering me.

i told him that i thought the medal made him feel worse and he agreed. so, i looked him square in the eyes and i asked if he knew why that was. he said he didn't and i said, "Because it's bullshit." that kinda shocked him, but i could see him loosen up and feel a bit better. i said that those medals take away your right to lose. i told him how i had been on plenty of losing teams and we didn't get anything and nobody felt bad about it. we felt bad for losing, but nobody thought we deserved a medal for it. you learned a lesson from it and you moved on, hopefully better and wiser for it.

i reminded him that he might not have been the best competitor out there, but he should be proud that he signed up to go against them and had the guts to try. that is its own trophy. i told him i was proud to see him up there doing his best and that i will always be proud of him so long as he does his best.

stupid world, trying to fuck up my son. :glare:
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2017, 05:35 AM
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Default Re: and in fourth place: everyone else!

I'd actually be happier with a participation medal. "You had the courage to try." is better than "Oops, everybody tied for 4th place."
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Old 07-09-2017, 05:37 AM
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Default Re: and in fourth place: everyone else!

agreed, though i used to be embarrassed by my participation medals. kind of like a glorified ticket stub...i was there! :D
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:41 AM
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Default Re: and in fourth place: everyone else!

And your son runs into a bully some day, odds are it's he who will be the one who knows some karate. I mean, I hope he never has to kick another kid's ass, but it's there if he needs it.
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:48 AM
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Default Re: and in fourth place: everyone else!

"Right to lose" is interesting.
Losing is important for all sorts of reasons, one being that you know it was a challenge and you learn from challenges, and if something was learned then it really wasn't a loss. And that isn't just something cheesy to say but exactly how people get better.

4th place is a strange way of putting it, it was always handed out to us as 'honorable mention' which confused me when I discovered in some places 'honorable mention' actually means something.
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Old 07-09-2017, 03:21 PM
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Old 07-09-2017, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: and in fourth place: everyone else!

Seems to me that the first place competitor should also get a participation trophy (or medal or ribbon or t-shirt or whatever it might be) if it's actually just for participation.
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Old 07-09-2017, 09:57 PM
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Default Re: and in fourth place: everyone else!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamilah Hauptmann View Post
And your son runs into a bully some day, odds are it's he who will be the one who knows some karate. I mean, I hope he never has to kick another kid's ass, but it's there if he needs it.
I tried learning karate to deal with bullies. Attending karate class to find the exact same bully in it... Fuck that shit. Fuck school. Just do your grades and get out as fast as possible into a sane world where violence is punishable by law.
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Old 07-09-2017, 11:23 PM
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Default Re: and in fourth place: everyone else!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corona688 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamilah Hauptmann View Post
And your son runs into a bully some day, odds are it's he who will be the one who knows some karate. I mean, I hope he never has to kick another kid's ass, but it's there if he needs it.
I tried learning karate to deal with bullies. Attending karate class to find the exact same bully in it... Fuck that shit. Fuck school. Just do your grades and get out as fast as possible into a sane world where violence is punishable by law.
All the Karate Kid flashbacks aside, Zezoze didn't drop an indication that's a problem with his son's case. But I hear you, I had the same fun in karate as a kid, but stuck with it harder. Shoulda kept with it after we moved.
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Old 07-10-2017, 02:04 AM
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Default Re: and in fourth place: everyone else!

Zeke is interested in karate because he thinks it's cool. i think it's the same part of him that gets him digging on knives and swords- we're both big Forged in Fire fans.

given some of his interests, he's lucky he doesn't have problems with bullies, but he does seem socially skilled and a bit ahead when it comes to maturity. plus he's damn gorgeous.

here are a couple of recent pics of Mr Fourth Place. the one with me was at a Billy Talent concert we attended with his mother. i kept telling him to look at the guitar player and then the crowd and then i'd yell over the music with a big grin, "That's Power!" :D

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Old 07-10-2017, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: and in fourth place: everyone else!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZEZOZE View Post
Zeke (my son, aka Zekester) i said that those medals take away your right to lose. i told him how i had been on plenty of losing teams and we didn't get anything and nobody felt bad about it. we felt bad for losing, but nobody thought we deserved a medal for it.

stupid world, trying to fuck up my son. :glare:
I was teaching school when some "expert" tried to tell us teachers that no student should ever fail and we should not use the failing grade. I could see the result, the students ends up with an entitlement attitude and think the world owes them something. In any competition there is a winner and a looser, that's the way the world works.
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Old 07-10-2017, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: and in fourth place: everyone else!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZEZOZE View Post
Zeke is interested in karate because he thinks it's cool. i think it's the same part of him that gets him digging on knives and swords- we're both big Forged in Fire fans.

given some of his interests, he's lucky he doesn't have problems with bullies, but he does seem socially skilled and a bit ahead when it comes to maturity. plus he's damn gorgeous.

here are a couple of recent pics of Mr Fourth Place. the one with me was at a Billy Talent concert we attended with his mother. i kept telling him to look at the guitar player and then the crowd and then i'd yell over the music with a big grin, "That's Power!" :D

Good looking boy, the long hair threw me for a second but I shouldn't talk, my hair is longer than my wife's. When my grandson was born I was taking care of him and would take him along with me wherever I went. He had curly blond hair all around his face for the first year or more people were constantly telling me what a beautiful little girl I had, and then I would correct them and tell them he was a boy. After his first haircut at about 18 months his hair grew back in straight and hasn't been curly since.
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Old 07-10-2017, 02:50 PM
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Default Re: and in fourth place: everyone else!

FYI, I studied Isshinryu Karate for many years but one of the requirements to advance to Green Belt was to compete in a tournament and I didn't have the interest to participate so I never advanced to that level.
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: and in fourth place: everyone else!

yeah, Zeke gets the girl thing sometimes. I actually want to cut his hair, but he and his mother aren't having it and since he has beautiful hair, it's hard to argue the point.
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: and in fourth place: everyone else!

I just played my grandson a game of chess, and it ended in a checkmate, he lost. I could play to let him win but what will he learn from that so I play and beat him, and today I told him to study the game and figure out where he made his mistakes. I don't think letting him win will teach him anything but I think he will watch how I play and someday will be good enough to beat me.
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:13 PM
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Default Re: and in fourth place: everyone else!

ZEZOZE, check out TLR's comments about some of his students in his former school, they expected a passing grade just because they paid the tuition and didn't need to do anything else.
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