Saturday, May 5, 2007

I Am Not Braver Than a 4th Grader

Have you watched that new game show, "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader"? People come on the set trying to answer 1st through 5th grade text book questions for a shot at a million dollar prize. If they do not succeed at winning the grand prize, they are forced to admit on national television, "I am not smarter a fifth grader." We've watched it a couple times and get a bit of a kick out of how dumb people can be. And just like D2 thinks I should try out for American Idol, S2 thinks I need to go on the game show. Mainly, because like most of you, I am smarter than a 5th grader.

A couple days ago, S2 had a book report due. He needed some help making a poster and since reading is one of my assigned subjects, I was it. We believe in specialization in our home. DH tutors for Geography and Social Studies homework, S1 helps anyone needing assistance with Science, and I am the contact for English, Math, and all projects requiring creativity.

As it turns out the Reading assignment was more closely related to Science than English or the creativity parameter, so I should have passed it off onto S1. But at the time I had no idea it was going to be a problem.

S2's book report was based on a informational text about vipers. Not as in the sexy fast cars, but as in the slithering asps. So we wrote facts on paper strips, found pictures on the Internet, made a poster, used some craft paper, glue and scissors and had a grand ol' time.

Everything was hunky dorey until bedtime. As soon as my eyelids snapped shut, which they do about ten seconds after my head falls on a pillow, I began dreaming about vipers. Such visions continued all through the night. There were vipers sliding their way through my lawn, along my driveway, and up the sidewalk. The worst was when the venom spouting reptilia began closing in on my porch. Those viper facts about deadly poisoned fangs and quick-to-strike breeds were doing me no favors during my sleep. I was trying to crush the creepy killer snakes with a shovel. I pounded mercilessly, but the venomous creatures seemed unfazed by my powerful blows.

After waking up the next morning, I was completely exhausted, but relieved to be in suburbia where vipers do not typically reside. I resolved right then and there, I will not be doing any more 4th grade Reading homework. I asked S2 at breakfast if he slept okay, or if he had any bad dreams. "I was just fine, Mom," was his reply.

So apparently, while I may be smarter than a 5th grader, I am not braver than a 4th grader.

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