This article is from Michelle Mitchell’s blog Scribbit. Check it out. It has a lot of interesting items.
My daughter came home from high school on Friday.
“How was your day?” I asked.
“Fine. We had another substitute so we didn’t do anything.”
“What do you mean?”
“Whenever we have a substitute we usually don’t do anything, we just watch movies. This time the sub spent the whole time online giving us internet quizzes.”
“Quizzes about the subject matter?”
“No, personality quizzes, that kind of thing.”
“No, once we had a guy who spent the whole time going through his text messages and last year in P.E. the teacher–not the sub–would make us lay down on the gym floor and take naps sometimes. He’d force us to close our eyes and if he thought we weren’t actually sleeping he’d say he was going to dock our grade.”
“So, let me get this straight–you were being graded for sleeping in Physical Education class? Not for running or exercising or playing a sport but sleeping?
“Yea, and in English class today the teacher said we’d been working hard this week so we were going to take a break so we finished up Enchanted.”
“You watched Enchanted?”
“Yea, we’ve been watching it for a couple weeks now, we’ll see a bit and then watch other video clips.”
“Why are you watching Enchanted? What does that have to do with English?”
“They speak English in the movie? I don’t know. Because we watch a lot of movies in German class: Ratatouille, The Incredibles, Ice Age, Finding Nemo–plus a bunch of German movies.”
“Because they’re speaking German?”
“I guess. We don’t really pay much attention to the German part.”
“How many movies do you watch a week?”
She thought a bit, counting up on her fingers and trying to remember. “Oh–I don’t know–five or six, maybe more. We watch T.V. pretty much every day in at least one class and any time we have a sub they put in movies or something. We watch stuff like Mythbusters a lot and call it chemistry.”
She paused a moment then said, “At least it’s not like my history teacher who flirts with girls in the class then shows us pictures of himself without his shirt on and talks about his tattoos.”
“He showed you pictures of himself without his shirt?”
“Yea, he was trying to show us how big his muscles were and was pointing out his tattoo and saying that we could tell the picture hadn’t been fixed because you could still see his tattoo.”
“Apparently working six hours a day with three months off in the summer and another month off throughout the school year isn’t enough, those teachers must be exhausted. And these are your honors classes?”
“Yea, I’ve talked to people in the AP classes and they say it’s not much different there. Sometimes the stuff we do that’s supposed to be real work doesn’t make any sense either. Like last year in English we were supposed to be studying the Renaissance so we read The Crystal Caves by Mary Stewart.”
“Sure, because why read anything like Marlowe, Spenser, Jonson or Shakespeare when you’ve got cheap 1970s fantasy fiction at your fingertips? It’s not even set in the Renaissance.”
“I know. The projects we did had nothing to do with the Renaissance either–we do a lot of projects, especially group projects. I think it’s because the teacher doesn’t have to do anything to grade it like they would have to do if we actually wrote a paper or took a test. Some kid built a throne out of hockey pucks and hockey sticks and got an A.”
“A hockey stick throne? How does that relate to the Renaissance?”
“It doesn’t But it was cool.”
“And this is public education. Run by the government. If that’s not the biggest strike against a government-run health care system I don’t know what is.”