Who is Ponyboy?

My son has an exam tomorrow in his ELA Course. Back in the day we just called it English. We also walked 20 miles to school, barefoot and in the snow. As I have mentioned his class is reading “The Outsiders.” Get this, he hasn’t even asked to cheat and watch the movie on DVD? Whose kid is this? Anyway, his quiz is on the characters. I had to give him a practice test. Here are just a few of the questions:

1.) Who is Two-Bit Matthews

2.) Who is Soda(pop)’s brother?

3.) What gang does Dally belong to?

Growing up I was that smart ass kid who would ask, “When will I ever use this? Why do I need to study?” As I was quizzing my 12-year-old on “Ponyboy” I couldn’t help but think the same thing. Really? I have never, in my life, had a potential employer question my knowledge of The Socs and Greasers. I understand the teacher wants to make sure the children are actually reading the book. However, it was a struggle not to admit to my son that the test was BS. Unless, as my Twitter friends pointed out, he is on Jeopardy or works at 7/11.

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My son’s homework assignment brought back a flood of memories. His class is reading the coming of age novel, “The Outsiders.” The assignment was to complete the first chapter and list descriptions of each character. I told him I had a poster of Ponyboy and Johnny on my wall when I was younger. I think I cut it out of Tiger Beat Magazine. Whatever happened to C. Thomas Howell anyway?

Me: “The Outsiders was made into a movie in the 80’s”

My son: “You were alive in the 1980’s?”

Me: “Yes. I was alive.”

My son: “Wow. Did the movie have any special effects?”

Me: “No, but it was a good movie. With hunks like Patrick Swayze you don’t need CGI robots.” (2 snaps in a Z formation)

(rolls his eyes)

My son: “The old guy in that cheesy Dirty Dancing movie? He is dead, right?”

Me: “Yes. He died, but he wasn’t old back then.”

My son: “If there is a movie why do I have to waste my time reading the book. Can’t we just buy it on my IPod?”

I gave him the look, he smiled and finished reading.