Sam

Homework Help

Monday, April 27th, 2009 | Have I mentioned that I have kids? | Comments Off

It’s a beautiful night here. I’d like to go for a walk with the dog. I would much rather be going for a walk with the dog–and even the younger kids–than babysitting by 7-year-old while he completes a project about New York state for his “state fair.”

Go ahead, you say? Why don’t you? Why should you be stuck with hishomework?

Well, if I don’t contribute at all, then what he will end up with is a posterboard covered in random pictures, mostly of New York City, which is what he was really interested in, and probably not including–or including as an afterthought–things like the state bird, et al.

So what’s wrong with that? Well–I don’t know. I actually have no idea. I refuse to do the project, or really influence it in any major way. So it’s not focused–he didn’t, for example, highlight China town, or the different sports teams, or use different ways of getting around New York state to showcase different destinations. There is no New York diorama street scene. It is nearly as random as he would have done it, with only slight jogs from me. I did suggest dividing the board in half for city and state, for example. He came up with then putting the city’s motto and sports teams on one side and the state’s on the other, which I thought was good.

But obviously it could be better, and I could push him to make it better. I could suggest all kinds of things. Or, on the flip side, I could go for a walk. I hope I’m striking a happy balance. I have a suspicion that I’m coming in on the low end of the scale, and that I might as well just pour myself a vodka tonic, and maybe teach him to mix them while I’m at it, because I’m clearly not helping him to make the most of this educational opportunity.

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We are on Vacation!

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 | Connecting the Dots | Comments Off

We are on Vacation!

We are on Vacation!,
originally uploaded by kjda.

So of course, we are at Starbucks. You could say that is like going to
Paris and eating at McDonalds, but I don’t think Dallas is really
known for it’s local coffee. In fact, as far as I can see, it could be
known for the abundance of…Starbucks.

KJ Dell’Antonia
sent from my iPhone

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Why It’s Easier to Just MAKE the Tea

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009 | Have I mentioned that I have kids? | 3 Comments

There has been some recent discussion in the Beyond Nuclear household about how our children do not do enough for themselves. When Sam asked for a hot drink after dinner tonight (because it’s April in New Hampshire), it seemed like the perfect opportunity. He is a responsible child, and permitted to use, on occasion, sharp knives. I will show you how to make yourself some tea, I said.

I put the tea kettle on to boil and showed him where the tea is kept, then told him to choose a bag. Lily appeared. I want tea! Wyatt followed. “Where’s mine of that? I don’t want a mint one! No mint!”

So now I am showing Sam how to make three cups of tea, of two different kinds, which was probably more practical anyway. In our house we make the tea in a big pyrex measuring cup (or in this case two), then pour it into small, actually breakable tea cups with handles and then out in lots of sugar. There is much discussion about not putting wet spoons into the sugar. Many, many spoons are used. (Are we the only house that goes through about a dozen spoons at every meal?)

Sam got into the spirit, refilled tea, and says he thinks he could do it himself next time “with a stepstool.” But what started as a simple endeavor didn’t end that way at all. They never do.

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