Pet Peeves



by Mark D. Crantz
by Mark D. Crantz

I wasn’t around to read Indy’s “District Vows to Improve Attendance.” I took the day off to rest my eyes. And no, I didn’t call the Indy office to tell them. So technically, I was playing hooky just like a lot of Laguna students. It’s no big deal. So why did Indy management send a newspaper truant officer over to take back the newspaper right out of my driveway?

I had no choice but to schlep to the library to read this attendance article. Half way through, the librarian informed me that me library card had expired and asked me why hadn’t I called them for a new one? A library truant officer took the newspaper away.

I didn’t give up. My neighbors next door both work. I stole their paper while they were busy making a living. I didn’t think they would mind. I watch week after week while they roll over the Indy with their cars. That hurts, but the real injury is when they ask me week after week, “Crantz, are you in the Indy?” Like they care. Indy management should send a newspaper truant officer to their house and take back these squished newspapers to relocate to my driveway. Guest columnists shouldn’t be made to steal, just because of one unreported absence.

Unexcused student absences are up to 11% from 9%. This escalation is just below the statewide average. School administrators are concerned. Unlike current state reporting, a new reporting system dubbed ‘Dashboard’ culls for student absences. The school administration has promised to beef up efforts to improve student attendance. As one expert said, “Students must attend school regularly to benefit from what is taught there…lost instructional time exacerbates dropout rates and achievement gaps.” Students had no reaction to this expert advice. They couldn’t be found for comment.

But I believe I know what the kids are thinking. I was a student once and I didn’t go to classes for half my senior year. Why? Well, I had a learning disability. I suffered from well roundness fatigue. This is a condition caused by school authorities and parent groups, who are adamant for children to know a lot about a lot. Students are fed large doses of history, math, foreign language, biology, English, physics, music and arts with the lofty intentions to make students into the next well rounded renaissance generation. Unfortunately, I never liked the renaissance look. I couldn’t pull off the tights and puffy sleeves. I realized early on that I was happier in tattered garments of the dark ages.   Life is simpler without dry cleaning. Everybody stays a serf. Few own land. You work from sunrise to sundown to pay the man.

Oops, sounds like today. So, here’s a piece of advice to students. Avoid burnout. Go to the beach. Have fun. You’re only young once. What you don’t know, you can always google later.


Crantz tells the Indy he got away with missing half his senior year by forging notes from his Mom describing his specialist visits for a rare learning disorder. It worked until dad received a call from the school nurse requesting an update. Busted.




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  1. The fact that you can continue to make everything about you, week after week, is astonishing. Barbara Crane’s tremendous service to our community becomes about your last name. This week, you joke about our students’ school attendance and scoff at the importance of basic education. Our district has serious issues with drugs and alcohol. Perhaps, educate yourself on the issue beyond one article and a statistic. You can even take free courses online at Coursera from the luxury of your own home. Speaking of which, if you are a serf, how did you come to live in Laguna Beach?


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