Snark, the Other Write Treat

Since we were in Radiator Springs again today for Hell Week, I decided we might as well stop by the grocery store and take care of that chore.  Grocery shopping is something I normally do in the evening, when I can leave the minions little dears at home with their father; but why make an extra half hour trip into Radiator Springs when I’m already there?  Right?

I swear I will never do that again unless I am wearing a shirt that says:

Grocery Shopping With 5 Kids

   And Still Alcohol Free

I mean, I just think that deserves a little recognition.  A pat on the back, perhaps.  Know what I’m saying?

Anyway, it never fails.  I can’t venture outside of Little Town (where we live) (where everybody knows your name, which house you live in, how many Twinkies you bought at the quickie mart for American Culture Night, and the first day of your last period) without someone making a comment.  You know, a comment.

“So do you babysit?” the Big Lots cashier asked me (it was our first venture into the Radiator Springs Big Lots).

“No, they are all mine.”

“Oh really?  That’s nice.  I . . . umm . . . only asked because some of them look like they are the same age.”


Then there was the other person.  Hmmm . . . where was that one?  At the testing site?  Maybe at the pet store?  Yeah, I think this one was from the pet store lady on Monday when we were killing time between test sessions.

“Are they all yours?”


“Wow, you sure had them all close together.”

Ummmmmm . . . surrrrrrre.  At that point the little voice in my head was telling me to smile and say, “Yeah, but at least with the last two I know for sure which guy is the dad.”*

Not that the comments upset me at all, because they truly didn’t, but sometimes . . . sometimes . . . I just want to have a little fun with them.

Speaking of having a little fun with answers, after her math test today, A~ was telling me about some of the short answer word problems and the responses she wanted to give.

Q. “If Janice can read 30 pages in 90 minutes, how many hours would it take Janice to read”  . . . whatever X amount of pages.

A.  “If Janice can only read 30 pages in 90 minutes, then Janice is a very slow reader and she won’t have enough time to read” . . . X amount of pages.

Luckily that is not what she put for her answer, but it surprised me to hear her talk about the test like that, because usually these things are Serious Business that cause Stress for her.  It was refreshing to hear that she seems to be relaxing about it all a bit.  But still, I felt the need to caution her . . .

“Just because I told you about that exam I took in college where I got all snarky in an essay question doesn’t mean you should do that.  Especially not at your age, and not on a standardized test.”

Turns out I hadn’t told her about that.  And?  She didn’t know what snarky meant.

So I explained snarky as best I could and then told her about the honors history of civilization class I took that had no textbook.  It was all Plato and Socrates, Marcus Aurelius and Descartes, the Koran and the Bhagavadgita, and a zillion others that I can’t recall off the top of my head.  But there was no text book, we just read all these works.  Then, one day, the professor decided to throw a little art into the mix via a slide projector.  Important to the story is the fact that there were no windows in this particular lecture hall, so once the lights went out we were totally blind to everything and anything that wasn’t being projected onto the screen.  This meant, of course, no note taking.  And?  Since there was no text book?  No way to later review and study the works of art he decided to throw at us for half a lecture period.  (He really was a great professor other than that, btw).

ANYWAY . . . when exam time came around there was an essay question with a little blank square next to it that said something to the effect of:  To the left of this question is a box representing a painting by (insert name of artist I no longer remember).  What is the title of the painting?  Explain the scene the artist is portraying and the historical context into which it fits.  How does this reflect the predominant school of thought of the time period, blah blah blah, give examples from the works we have studied, blah blah blah . . .

As you have probably guessed, I had no freaking idea.  So I promptly started writing crap.  Something to the effect of:

“This painting is titled The Torture of the Unjust Professor.  It depicts unsuspecting university students bent over exams in a vast testing center, sweating profusely.  Their concentration is intense, as indicated by the sweat and deeply furrowed brows, as they try to remember an obscure art reference that was brought up one time, during one lecture, in a classroom devoid of any light that would allow them to take even partial, inadequate notes . . .”  and on I went.  I don’t remember how much of a blue book I took up with that one.

But?  My verbal vomit earned me half credit on that question.  I think it helped that the TA who graded my exam was the Prof’s son.

At any rate, I told my daughter if she wanted to go out on a limb like that in college, fine; but don’t do it on a state-mandated standardized test!  Ever!  And?  If you feel like doing it in college, make sure you have a good feel for your professor’s, or at least your TA’s, personality.

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says hello.

*For anyone who has just recently or accidentally stumbled upon my blog, or this post specifically (and why? because this post does not mention c00ters / c00lers / cool earth (I’m not kidding) slushing / sloshing / slashing / slapping / slushie), my last two are adopted from Korea and Vietnam.  Oh, and I am very white.  Scappalachian, to be specific.

7 thoughts on “Snark, the Other Write Treat

  1. You should have given a ‘laughing snort’ warning on this one. I cracked up and let out a loud snort when I read whhat you were tempted to say to the cashier…and by the time I got to your essay question I was gafawing! Thanks for the laugh…I needed it. 😉


  2. Wow, your disclaimer at the end makes me realize how far we are/how long it’s been from all of our respective adoptions … it’s not an “adoption blog,” is it. I’m not sure what to make of that!


  3. Oh how I love your snarkitude! The essay question reminds me of the answer I gave to a math final in I think my freshman year of college, 2nd semester. I was so in over my head in that class, which was incredibly depressing since I’d planned to be a math major (and secondary ed). Once I got to college and all the math theory, it was clear that wasn’t going to work. I’d struggled in the class all semester, and the final wasn’t going well. On one question that I just didn’t even remotely understand, I ended up writing a long essay answer regarding how I was trying so hard but obviously inept, going to fail the test, work at mcd’s, etc. etc. He gifted me with the exact grade I’d need to still have the grade count toward my major (but a grade the likes of which I’d never experienced as a final grade to any other class EVER). At the next class registration, or the following semester, I took the advisor drop form to him (yeah, he was my advisor too) to sign and he was surprised. Why was I dropping math as a major? Um, remember that last class I took??? I learned that I had some amazing B.S. paper writing skills and that history utilized that skill much better than a math major. As you explained to your daughter, there is a time and place for such answers!


  4. Oh man, I love your answer. At least you got half credit. Reminds me of something I did in high school to give the middle finger to an AP bio teacher I DETESTED. He was just so full of himself and was such a moron. (I totally edited what I’d originally written there for your blog. See? I’m respectful.) The results of our AP tests (which got me tons and tons of college credit and allowed me to start more or less as a second semester sophomore) reflected upon our high school teachers and were actually used in their evals. I was so defiant and I decided I didn’t need the credits, so I traced my hands and drew turkeys all over the exam and wrote all sorts of smart a$$ stuff. Didn’t hurt me, ’cause I didn’t need the bio credits anyway, and probably didn’t really hurt him, but it made me feel good. At 16, it doesn’t take much.

    Hmmmm…I’m telling you this to make you feel better about A~’s snarkiness, but I’m not sure looking at me presently is reassuring. I’ll stop.

    And I have to say that those people recovered really quickly after you told them they were your kids! Most people who ask me that just stare at me. I’m mean, I’m not excusing their intrusiveness, but I’ve gotta give ’em props. 🙂 And I know you weren’t complaining, but I have to say that’s pretty mild as far as comments/questions go. The things I’ve heard over the past week are enough to send anyone over the edge. Wait, one did send me over the edge, which is why I made reference to his two teeth and white-trashiness. Good parenting skills.

    Okay, I’m done. I love that your daughter is smart and funny. She’s going to turn out like you, which is awesome.


  5. metaphase

    Funny, as usual. When people ask about if the kids are “both mine”. I’ve said, “yeah, I get around, ” and then just walk off. This is just for my entertainment, and YES, my mom would freak if she knew I said that to people. I’ve also told people who have asked about how close together my kids are that I’m super humanly talented and am able to produce a fully formed human being in just 8 months. Hence, my kids are 8 months apart. The sad thing? A couple of people were like, “Wow..”
    I must say about your test response, I was the evil TA (for a developemental bio class in college) that would get a really good laugh out of a response like yours and then rigt a big red ZERO for points for that section. I was quite the biology nazi when I look back…


  6. You crack me up. I had someone stop me today when I was carrying Sam in to the doctor and say, “Wow, you look great!”… I just said “thanks” – but there would have been so many funnier reply options!


  7. Brings back memories- I was quite the verbal vomiter as well. Worked (almost) every time. You have to give her a little credit for her cleverness :). My students would have answered- who reads books anymore? or the book was probably dumb and not worth reading.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s