Sunday, November 1, 2009

Presentation is everything!

“Going to school does not make a person educated anymore than walking into a garage makes a person a car”
I love school projects.  My kids love school projects. Our motto is that presentation is everything. I think it helps that their Mom has a craft room filled with stuff they can dig through…and that they have an excuse to use glue (hot or white), sequins…and my scrapbook cutter.
This month Allie had a chemistry project due.  I watched with pride for 2 weeks as she worked on it.  She never asked for help…but I noticed on Tuesday that the due date (Thursday) was approaching and that she had a panicked look on her face…so I asked what I could do to help.
OH MY GOSH! I had no flipping idea what this project actually involved…
Allie had worked no less than 15 hours on this project…and she had a good 10 hours of work left.
Our goal? To recreate the periodic table…on little squares, where she had to list the name, date of discovery, who discovered it, number of protons neutrons and electrons, the atomic number, atomic mass and what the use was in the modern world. She had to write this information in green if it was a solid, red if it was a gas and blue if it was a liquid.
THEN she had to color all metals yellow, the middle square of hydrogen pink, put a black dot on all alkali metals, a blue line on alkali earth metals, a green diagonal line on transition metals, color the small square of metalloids purple, non metals orange, place a brown circle on all halogens, draw a checker board pattern on all noble gases, color all lanthanides red, all actinides green and then draw a black zigzag line to separate all metals from non-metals.  This all had to be cut, mounted on a poster board and then made presentable.
By 10PM on Wednesday I decided that although I work for the school system, my job was not important, I was going to go to school and cram the periodic table up her teachers nose. I quickly changed my mind at the look of pride as Allie held up her finished project for me to see. Nothing like a little glee mixed with exhaustion to humble a woman.
I actually did very little on this, other than to get her organized, find the few she could not online…and type her legend for the corner. We estimate her time spent on this project to be 23 hours.
We were zombies the next day as we drove the chart to school…but we still had the energy to laugh as Allie looked down and realized that I had typed her teachers name, spelled wrong of course…and that she had mounted it to the front. Typical in this family.
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It may never be easy but it will always be worth it.

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