No, that’s not a cuss word.  That’s one of the nicknames bestowed on our 15-year old son by my husband, Eric.  Others include Clarkyopteryx, Clarkosaurus Rex, and Butthead.  I won’t tell you which one Eric calls him most often.  To me, he is just THAT BOY.

Whatever name he goes by, Clark is always undeniably himself.  Which means mayhem (imagine the lawnmower commercial for Allstate Insurance, below) and chaos reign in his world.  Last semester was no exception.  He managed to set himself up before finals needing a 90 in Algebra II just to pass the semester, notwithstanding his A-B range test grades and genius IQ.  Picture me shaking my head and wringing my hands with tears rolling down my face as I laugh hysterically for no apparent reason, now.

Leading up to the final, Clark knew he was at do or die time.  Finally, finally, finally, he started availing himself of opportunities for at-school and at-home tutoring, he studied, he turned completed work in, and he spoke to the teacher without turning into a statue.  Why does he wait to perform until the situation is dire?  Argh.  I asked his doctor about this, and she didn’t seem overly distressed.  Nor did she offer a pill for it.  Some help SHE is.  😉

So, Clark studied more for this final than I have ever seen him study.  He argued less with Eric than he ever has either, when Eric graded his practice tests and slashed his answers for sloppy errors or incompleteness.

And how did that kid perform on the final?  In the class in which his 6-week averages had been 61, 52, and 77, with the 77 coming only after he realized he was up against the proverbial wall?

He made a 98.  And is upset because he thought he should have made a 100.


I don’t think he learned any lessons here about the importance of sustained effort making his life easier and better.  He pulled a rabbit out of the hat, once again.


Congratulations are in order, however.  He has avoided summer school and parents frustrated every day for three long, hot months.


p.s. Today was “cliche” day on Road to Joy.  Just had a good laugh re-reading my post.  How many cliches can you find in this piece?

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14 Responses to That Clarkapotamus

  1. Hooray for Butthead Clarkapotamus! I knew he could do it—“THAT BOY!”

    He is a genius for sure, that one.

    I myself was never very good at grades. I am also still terrible at math.

    GREAT JOB & NO SUMMER SCHOOL—cause for celebration chez hutchins fo’ sho!

    • Pamela says:

      Ah, like you, he leans toward the written word instead of the computation. Wants to be a lawyer. Debate star. Well, I guess he’s not a total carbon copy of his dad after all :)

  2. The more I read about Clark, the more I like him. Sounds like he is his own man. Scary for you, but just means to me that he will be able to survive on his own when the time comes. Your Clark seems a combination of my Abe (math nerd but laid back, gets it done at the last minute, but it’s brilliant. Drives me nuts and always has) and Glenn (my lawyer/literary/plan ahead boy). Together, they are every Mom’s dream, so I guess I’m happy. LOL Sounds like you are too, proud Mom!

    • Pamela says:

      and isn’t it amazing how different each of our kids is from each other, growing up in the same households? It was glaringly apparent from birth with ours. Each of them packs their own challenges!

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Terri Sonoda and PamelaFaganHutchins, PamelaFaganHutchins. PamelaFaganHutchins said: That Clarkapotamus […]

  4. LBDDiaries says:

    You said, “Nor did she offer a pill for it. Some help SHE is.” Did you REALLY think she was going to offer YOU a pill? Bwahahahahahah. Bet you thought I wouldn’t catch that. Bet everyone else thought you were talking about Clarkola. He’s actually ClarkSmart ’cause he did pull the rabbit out of the hat. I could have done all that work and still not made a 98.

  5. Ally says:

    Hmmm, maybe he’s just one of those people who perform better under pressure? Even if it kills his parents with stress. Well, at least summer won’t be full of Algebra! It’s one of those situations that leaves us parents shaking our heads… or beating them against a brick wall, or… you get the idea. Can you tell I’ve been there?

  6. Irene says:

    I was just going to say the same thing as Ally. I know my son does. Waits til the last minute to do a project that was assigned weeks before, and pulls it off. I gave up hounding him. If he wants to live like that, be my guest. Not my choice of stress.

    I love that he got a 98 and was upset because he didn’t get 100! Next time, he’ll strive that much harder for the 100!

  7. Heidi Milton says:

    I feel like I’m reading my journal here– my “Clark” did the exact same thing in two of his four classes. WTH?? I took the hands off approach this semester, deciding that if he ended up needing summer school he could damn well walk. 😉 He ended up passing everything with astonishing marks on his finals. Again, WTH?? Think we’ll survive high school with these two?

    • Pamela says:

      It just kills me. We did the same thing. Oh well, if summer school is our fate, so be it. He passed by 1 point in two classes where he had to kill the final. In both, he didn’t make much more than he needed to, but he put in enough effort in the last few weeks (tutoring in one class by Eric, but otherwise 100% on his own) to pass them both.

      HOW CAN THEY DO THIS? Makes me crazy. So different from our other kids.

      Well, soul sister, hang in there!!

  8. […] in Algebra 2, his first class and his Achilles Heel.  To see how that class ended up, read “That Clarkapotamus.” With the Concerta taken earlier, we were able to enforce an earlier bedtime.  Bedtime was […]

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