May 13, 2006

School Projects.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:15 pm

Shakespeare.jpgHoosierboy hates school projects, particularly those that require the haggard parent student to create some tangible thing.

I hated school projects too.  I recall being a sophomore in high school in an “accelerated” English class and getting an assignment to “make something” having to do with William Shakespeare.

I had no clue what to do.  I can’t draw worth a shit, and to make matters worse, I let it ride until the night before the project was due.  I decided that I would try to carve a bust of ol’ Willie from a bar of soap.  I got a bath-sized bar of Ivory and a penknife and went to work.  After about an hour of “carving” I ended up with a very small bar of Ivory soap and the realization that sculpture was not in my future.  I have no idea what the hell possessed me to think I could carve anything out of a bar of soap, let alone William Shakespeare’s damned head and shoulders.

I didn’t seek my parents’ help, or even tell them about the project.  They both worked for a living, and I figured that this was my problem and not theirs.  I also didn’t want the lecture about putting the project off until the last minute.  Besides, it always seemed pretty obvious to me when someone’s parents did a “project”, and I assumed it would be equally obvious to the teacher would openly expose the student’s treachery — sort of like getting caught copying stuff from the encyclopedia.

I decided that I would have to show up in class without having done a project.  At first, I was worried about getting a failing grade.  However, that night and the following morning before school I managed to bullshit myself rationalize, “Yo, Jimbo.  Don’t worry.  This assignment was sooooo stupid that nobody will bring anything in, and the teacher will realize the error of her ways”, proving, of course, that the average high school sophomore boy is a dumbshit.

Of course, I was the only sorry ass who did not bring something in.  The kids who could draw (or whose parents could draw) produced all sorts of images of the Bard himself and various characters from his plays.  The clincher came when one of the girls in the class (the proverbial “teacher’s pet” – Miss Whatshername-Brown-Noser) literally unveiled a goddamned model of the Globe Theater made out of a thousand or so popsicle sticks.

“Pure bullshit,” I thought.  “There is noooo way that Whatshername-Brown-Noser made that herself.  Her father is probably a goddamned architect.  The teacher will be on to her scam in a heartbeat.”  I waited for the teacher to pounce.


The teacher swooned over the popsicle stick theater.   It was positively sickening.

Not surprisingly, I got an “F” for the project, and Whatshername-Brown-Noser got an “A+”.

I wanted to ask the teacher why she didn’t give the grade to Whatshername-Brown-Noser’s goddamned father, but I knew that I was in deep enough shit already.

Like I said, I hated school projects. 

Not Everything’s More Expensive.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 5:09 pm

I happened to be in the supermarket today, and as I was meandering down one of the aisles, I noticed calculators for sale.  They were shrink-wrapped against cardboard and were hanging on hooks muck like sets of six cheap pens.  I took a closer look, and saw that these particular calculators were fancy enough to use for trigonometry.

I checked out the price and was floored by what I saw.  The price was $6.99.  Holy crap!

I remember when I was in college in the sixties, Texas Instruments had launched a personal electronic calculator.  My parents bought me one for my birthday.  It was about six inches long and three inches wide.  The part of the calculator that displayed the numbers (in red) was probably an inch thick.  It could add, subtract, multiply and divide.  That was it.  I recall that it cost my parents something like $70.00, which in today’s dollars would probably something like $140.00.

I suppose that, on some level, I was aware that prices have dropped dramatically on things electronic, but I confess that I had no idea that one could buy a powerful hand-held calculator for seven damned dollars — in a farookin’ supermarket, yet.

Go figure.

Powered by WordPress