Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Science Project

In spite of what today’s title suggests, I am not going to discuss what is growing in my refrigerator at this very moment. Instead, I’d like to take a moment to discuss projects assigned to elementary school children. My feelings on this topic begin and end with one short word accented by multiple punctuation marks and accompanied by a prolonged, labored scream: WHY????!!!!!?????!!

My son’s Jamestown fort made entirely of wooden clothes pins was nothing short of torture. His science project showing how different color light bulbs can affect the growth of seeds (that would not thrive if Martha Stewart Herself had planted them in soil from the Garden of Eden) was Most Unusual Punishment.

Tomorrow my daughter has a science project due. And it is now Tonight, the Tonight which immediately precedes tomorrow. In a few short hours, tomorrow will be today.

Naturally, we’ve known about this project for over six weeks. Naturally, we are not even close to being finished. And when I say we, I mean SHE, but I also mean WE because I am stressing about it MORE than SHE is.

She selected what she thought was a very simple topic involving paper airplanes and the effect of wing design on flight. Can I tell you something about trying to fold paper airplanes when you can’t even figure out how to properly operate your brand new stainless steel coffee maker? (And when I say YOU can’t figure it out I mean ME.)

It’s virtually impossible to read the instructions in the 378 Super Simple and Easy Paper Airplanes That Any Imbecile Can Make book when your eyes are full of tears. (And when I say YOUR eyes I mean MINE.)

I’ve just come from reviewing her hypothesis, checking her procedure, assessing the validity of her conclusion and questioning our sanity.

And when I say OUR sanity, I mean MINE.

I can’t wait for tomorrow to be yesterday.

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