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.