Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Rocket Science? NOT!

I have been thinking about this for some time now - a LONG time now actually - about the intelligence level of some people around me and I've decided after a spate of events in recent time that although intelligent life may exist in some teeny boppers, those involved with this household apparently are severely lacking or, perhaps just done have a whit of common sense.

Take this for an example:

A little while back, the two little ones were spending the afternoon with someone else - meaning simply they were not here with me - and the person watching them had phoned to request that the step-granddaughter fix her two bottles for the little guy to use. (By fix, meaning just to measure out the amount of formula powder needed to add 8 ounces of water with it in the bottle, put the nipple and seal on the bottle. No big deal, right?

Well, the kid comes to me holding to formula containers and says, "This can is empty but this can is unopened, should I open this one?" Gee, do you think you'll wave a magic wand or measuring spoon over the empty container and presto magic, more powdered formula will appear? I think the last person who walked the earth and could make food appear virtually from nowhere also walked on water, did He not?

I told her to think about her question a minute and then make a decision. She shot me a really dirty look and shrugged her shoulders but never understood what a ridiculous question it was that she had just posed to me.

Every fall, when school starts up again, we go through the same process here of telling this kid that she needs to start off the year on a good footing which involves processing her homework in a timely fashion, bring books home and actually open them, and also READ and Study from them. And this lecture continues too throughout the school year. But every year, around March sometime, it is inevitable that she has not been following through, her grades have been dropping with each report card and suddenly the realization comes that gee, I might just fail this class. Whatever shall I do?

But, when she's told it is still going to involve some work, it still doesn't seem to register with her at all,.

However, with a strong C average, extreme dislike for even mediocre math homework - or any other homework for that matter - she is operating under the dillusional thinking that she is going to apply to attend Arizona State University and BE ACCEPTED with grades like that too! And, also that she will be handed the funding to attend any school of her choice with no attention being paid to her grades at all either! Or that her Dad and stepmother are automatically going to have the money available to transport her lazy little butt back and forth, via plane fare, from Pennsylvania to Arizona off and on over the period of time she will be this wonderful student there.

No matter how I try to explain to her if you are having difficulty now with Algebra 1, you hate it, don't do homework, etc., how do you think you are going to be able to handle college level math of any type? But I know, just from the looks she gives me that she thinks I am just an old fuddy-duddy who knows NOTHING of what I speak even though I did manage to get through 4 years of college and I do know how difficult the course work is when you are not fully prepared by having put down at least a half-decent foundation of knowledge in high school and have the willingness to do the homework once those college classes do roll around.

When I was in high school, we had no training at all in preparation of college-type papers. All we ever had to do then was write simple little book reports. Keep in mind, this was 45 plus years ago too. We did have more instruction then though in grammar, spelling, how to construct a proper sentence and/or paragraph though than many of these kids are getting today - at least based on the courses and requirements the step-granddaughter has to deal with. Maybe this explains though why some of the English professors paid no attention at all to the spelling and grammar errors of many of the kids I had in my English classes then.

How do you get the message of the importance of paying attention, studying, doing homework, and above all, simply THINKING across anyway?

This is just one of many areas where no amount of trying to explain, discuss, whatever you care to call it - communicate on any level - seems to register. I suppose my Mom thought many of these same things about me when I was this age but I at least knew that grades were an important component to being accepted into a college program and I also knew, all too well, by the time I hit 15 that economics were also a huge factor then when tuition could run as low as $1,000 for the entire school year and now, in-state tuition is a mere $5,000 plus just for one semester! That's not even looking at the tuition rates if one opts to attend college in a different state, which would virtually double the expenses.

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