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:



dennis said...

Can you summerize the colonization of the American West? I have the feeling that it might come in handy real soon...

MommasWorld said...

When ManSon was in 3rd grade he was assigned a Power Point project on France or something. All I remember was how long and hard we searched for the smaller French twin Statue of Liberty. Apparently it is not permanently affixed in France. It�s actually a globe trotter (well traveled not a basketball player).

This was ages ago. I had a basic home desktop but not Power Point. When I asked him how the school planned to deal with children who�s parents couldn�t afford to spend a few hundred dollars for the software for a one time homework project?! OR what if they didn�t even have a computer? ManSon said they are allowed 30 minutes after school to wait in line to use one of the 4 computers. There were 25 kids in each class!

I was working which meant ManSon had to go to daycare after school. He couldn�t stay after school. I lucked out, my supervisor thought the school was putting an unfair taxing situation on the parents. He allowed me to use my work computer during my lunch hour. ManSon had to find the information and photos on the internet, books, articles where ever, then type up his remarks. I would put it all together in Power Point then give him the disk.

Bravo for making Firstborn work his butt off. Pageant Mom gets a A++! I hate finding out about a project at the last minute. Like at 9 PM after all the stores and libraries have closed. Nothing sets a parent off like that! At least now a days you can use the internet and Walmart is usually open after 9 PM.

Glad you liked the Japanese Tea Party! I will post more about that later�it took me 4 months to find everything! The pageant mom in me really kicks in when it comes to planning birthday parties! he.he.he.

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Charlotta-love said...

I don't procrastinate...I work best under pressure. Last minute pressure that is...

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creative-type dad said...

powerpoint?! Wow, times sure have changed since I was a kid.
the last minute reports... Not so much

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rennratt said...

Since Nooze LOVES school (and all of her teachers), my punishment is to FORBID to help her.

Then I write a note to the teacher noting that the work was not done because my child chose to play outside rather than do her work. Then I recommend that they fail her on that assignment.

Yes, she's only seven. And yes, I was raised the same way.

Lahdeedah said...

Highlights from my year with Drama Girl:

Book report... due? Tomorrow. Need a poster to go with it. Book? Not read.

Science project... due? This week. "We'd like to thank daddy for building the robot and mommy for finding all the robot articles...

the list goes on...

The Diva's Thoughts said...

Ok my head is spinning and my eyes are glazing

M. Butterfly said...

That was, by far, the hands-down best concise description of WWII. EVER. My hat is off!

MommasWorld said...

Ok woman, where are you? What have you been up to? We miss ya!

MommasWorld said...

Ok woman, where are you? What have you been up to? We miss ya!

The Diva's Thoughts said...

OK, we are going to need a new post from you and SOON!!!!

How are you?

littlereddoorkids said...

Hi there,
I like your blog! Thanks for sharing.

Bad parent example #6,922

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