Thursday, May 22, 2008

WWII for Dummies

Well, we had to endure this week an event that, surprisingly, more parents than I would have expected have experienced (based on my mini-poll at work)

"Mom, I have a History project due"


It's Sunday night.
He's known about it for 2 weeks.
It's due Wednesday.

He had to put together a powerpoint presentation on the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the following requirements:

A minimum of 25 CONTENT pages
Not too many or two few graphics - must be very clear and pertinent to the subject
Require a minimum of Five different sources
Formal Bibliography required
5 additional sentences relating to EACH of the 25 content pages
Music ok but only if pertinent to the project
Must select or develop a powerpoint template that fits the subject
Must be in a NEW clean folder
Must include printout with Notes, Labeled CD, project on Flashdrive

Did I mention he's in EIGHTH GRADE?????

...and only two evenings to do it.


Luckily, I happen to like History, and in return for his lack of planning, I was going to make sure his sorry butt was going to not only learn his subject in record time. (and pulling it off a couple of serious all-nighters)

He better LIKE IT too.

I didn't allow him to do 25 pages on the single act of the bombing. Because it was bigger than that.

I made him set it up from the start of WWII with a timeline leading up to the bombing and the corresponding socio-economic-cultural effects of post-modern Japan and the rest of the planet.


He'll be in therapy for years, I'm quite sure.


We, yes WE (well, hell, I had to at least steer him on it but he had to get the better part of it done with me proofing and doing grammatical clean-up and goading him to stay awake and not pass out onto the keyboard of the laptop ), got it done barely in the nick of time - and as a post script to his "I still don't get it" attitude, we had a long discussion last night about what his project really meant. After many tries, kind of like the proverbial story of teaching a pig to dance, I broke it down for him like this.

The Redneck's guide to WWII.

The world gave Germany a big ol' spanking after WWI
They didn't like it, so they picked on Poland.
This set off something akin to a bar-room brawl across the planet.
In the meantime one of the side fights got a wee bit out of control in Asia....
The US tried to stay out, but Japan wasn't behaving towards China.
We told Japan to behave and imposed economic sanctions until they did.
They didn't listen, and sucker punched us at Pearl Harbor.
We decided we'd had enough and ended the fight with a nuclear tko.
Japan decided to listen after that (to their benefit)
and that's how we got VCRs and Hondas today, and its why it was decided we needed the U.N. to prevent anymore trouble in on this here planet.

Now I'm not certain my summary was historically accurate, but for some reason Firstborn decided to go do some serious reading out of the encyclopedia after MY history lesson for him.


And don't you dare furrow your brow at me like that. I might have to follow up with a diatribe on the Cold War if YOU don't behave.....


Post-script - To Firstborn:


Sunday, May 18, 2008


We need help.

In light of the gas crisis, we need to eat at home more.

Problem is, we only have about 10 different meals that are standard in our household repetoire.

I need a TRULY EASY and NEW recipe for a bunch of seriously picky eaters.

I don't get home until 7pm, and my husband does the cooking... but when he gets too creative the kids (and unfortunately me too) won't eat it.

Here's what's out as far as ingredients:

SAUERKRAUT (or however the heck you spell it)

The recipe has to be able to be put together in 20 min or less and cooked within 30-45 min.

Soup recipes are excellent for us.

Anybody have one? We're getting sick of spaghetti and poppy chicken.


Saturday, May 03, 2008

Thought for the Day

You know the gas crisis is BAD when you pull in to get gas and the "LOW FUEL" light comes on AFTER you put the gas IN your car.

No lie.

I pulled in to get a few bucks worth to get around town, and my low fuel alarm didn't sound until I pulled AWAY from the pump.

I swear it was mocking me......


Bad parent example #6,922

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