Friday, September 14, 2012

The first week of school: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

My very first ever blog post was about confusing technological phrases. In that post, I mentioned that Eldest, who was then in High School, was taking Spanish as her foreign language. Now she is in college and is majoring in English and Spanish. She has the same professor I had when I went back to finish my degree. The professor doesn’t know Eldest and I are related, and that is a good thing. She is also taking English Literature with the same professor I had in college. He knows she is my daughter, and that isn’t a good thing, but I hope he doesn’t hold it against her.

 Middlest, who was a freshman, was taking Latin. I originally thought it was so she could talk to Latvians, but apparently since Latin is a dead language, she wants to talk to dead people. Some time ago she took the National Latin Exam and won some sort of metal; it was either gold, silver, aluminum, or latinium. This year Middlest has elected to continue with taking Latin, and in addition she is taking Spanish, starting in Spanish 2, rather than Spanish 1. When her teacher explained something to her, another student stated they already knew that. The teacher replied that they had a Latin Scholar in class who hadn’t taken the first year of Spanish and needed a little extra explanation. Some of the students responded, “What is a scholar?” Middlest, as she related the story, simply shook her head, put it in her hand and said, “Oh heaven! Bless their poor souls.”

Littlest was taking French and continues to do well. About her teacher for Advanced Placement World History, we are a little suspect. She asks questions like, “Does anyone know where the glossary in the textbook is?” and “How would I use the table of contents?” These questions both exasperate and worry Littlest. She is concerned that if “the teacher doesn’t know the answers to these simple questions, what is she going to do when she has to teach us about Ibn Battuta and his impact on the world view and his insights into lifestyles of the peoples of the early 14th century?”

Littlest was thrilled to announce that after 7 days of classroom instruction, her History teacher is giving a quiz. When I asked what period of history the  quiz was going to cover she replied, “The past week and a half and all she has talked about is class room rules and the difference between taking a regular history class and an Advanced Placement history class. She has yet to teach us anything, so the quiz is going to be less of a history quiz and more of a current non-event quiz.”

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