Of Marriages and Mortgages

Jonathan Morris Schwartz
4 min readAug 8, 2022

“We’re not playing your stupid game.” the virtual-schooled, teenager informed me.

Photo by Eliott Reyna on Unsplash

“Marriages and mortgages are a fate worse than death?” an insightful, lovely, 17-year-old high school sophomore told me, as we randomly chatted while sitting side-by-side at tables inside Starbucks. It had been a while since a stranger offered up such an insightful unsolicited tidbit of whit.

She continued, “Those of us with even the slightest shred of maturity are not going to be incarcerated in classrooms or punished for going to the bathroom for too long?” She declared, “We’re not going to tolerate those kinds of indignities.”

“Incarcerated,” is definitely an SAT word,” I said.

What about pep rallies and football games?

“What about the social life you get at schools with pep rallies, football games, and homecoming dances?” I asked.

“I’m socializing right now,” she smirked, “I’m talking to you.”

“That’s very kind,” I said, “but how do you meet other teenagers.”

“Online, social media, through other friends.” She continues, “Schools are becoming places where parents send kids who don’t know how to behave or need more discipline.”

“Oh come on, that’s not really fair.” I gently protested.

And what she said next reminded me of the school I went to in Davie, Florida where I was doing 7th-grade English in the 4th grade but performing at a second-grade level in math.

By the time I got to middle school, the program was discontinued and I remember being frustrated I had to repeat what I had already competently achieved in the 4th grade, over again.

And I was equally perplexed as to why I was placed in algebra when I wasn’t ready for it, foundationally…or left-brained enough to go very far mathematically, period.

Little Johnny, you talk great but you suck at math…

That’s what the progressive aspect of the school did for me in the fourth grade. It sat me down and explained at my level that I was advanced with my reading and not so great in math. And that information for my 9-year-old mind made a world of difference.

Jonathan Morris Schwartz

Jonathan Morris Schwartz is a speech language pathologist living in Ocala, Florida writing about love, politics, philosophy, and consciousness.