Monday, March 4, 2013

Not The Lorax But The Flummox

I am a bit flummoxed by the requests of some of my students.

Let the record show that six weeks ago, we discussed science projects. We spent five days in the computer lab working on these science projects. Did a smidgen each day, which I collected for a grade. Told them to print a copy to go on their project board. To save the info to their special student drive, because once they log out of a computer, the stuff vanishes like a cartoon character drinking vanishing cream. That there would be no leaving of my classroom to traipse about the halls seeking a computer lab where they would work unsupervised on missing parts of their project. I wrote the date the projects were due on the white board in my classroom. Noted the final two days I had booked the computer lab to put finishing touches on their results and conclusion. The days we would be putting the parts on the actual display boards.

"How prepared you are, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom." I heard you there. This process has worked like a charm for nigh on...oh, let's see...EVERY SINGLE YEAR UNTIL THIS ONE.

I am flummoxed, I tell you. Did I have a mini-stroke and speak Swahili for those five days? Have I written the dates on the board in a code so complex that even the Navajo Windtalkers could not decipher? Had I somehow conveyed a message that this science project was just for fun? Not for 200 points?

Flummoxed. Lately I've watched a lot of dawdlers. And heard a lot of things I didn't need to hear.

I forgot everything at home.
My partner has it all, and he's absent.
Can I go to the computer lab and type it up?
We need to go print our stuff.
I need to make a graph in the computer lab.
My partner moved. Yes. I knew he was moving. I thought it was after the project.
I don't have a board.
Are you selling those boards?
Can I go get markers from the FACS teacher?
Can I go get stencils from the art teacher?
Can I go get paper from the art teacher?
I don't do projects.
I don't like to talk in front of people.
Don't you have my stuff?
I gave all my stuff to you.
I do too have it. It's all at home.
I haven't done any work on it in eight days of class work? Whatever. I cut a piece of paper!
Do you have a Sharpie?
Do you have better scissors?
Can I call my dad to bring me a board?
Here! Catch this airplane.
Make sideburns out of that red and tape them on.
What does this look like? *(I can't describe the anatomy, though he should have done a better job)*

Oh, let the complete record show that each class had a spread of neon paper, ten-color construction paper, glue sticks, Elmer's glue, scissors, rulers, tape, colored pencils, and markers. All purchased by the independently wealthy Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. Not by a purchase order with school funds. Plus a stack of rubrics and lists with descriptions of the six parts required for the project.

I am flummoxed.


Sioux said...

There are several things you did not provide that they needed.

Your sympathy. Your willingness to make an exception for them. Your agreeing to do the work for them.

Come on. Get with the program.

Hillbilly Mom said...

How dare I!

I do believe I showed the proper sympathy. Because just before denying a request to leave the room, I prefaced the denial with, "I'm sorry, but..."

It is true that no exceptions were made. Guilty as charged.

During the first round of research and printing, I corrected for capitalization, punctuation, clarity, and omission. Omission, as in trying to leave out a part and say I had it already. I think this qualifies as doing some of the work for them.