29 March 2011

Three's Life Plan

Three had all month to work on an extra credit project for science. I offered to help him more than once, but he blew me off. Sunday came, and he realized it was due Monday. We were in the middle of math homework, which we only knew about because we checked the teacher's website. It's odd for Three to have homework assigned over the weekend, unless it's a project. So, even I was surprised. Then I had to get my brain in algebra mode, which takes a few minutes. I was a literature major.

The math was frustrating, so Three gave up on the idea of doing the extra credit. I reminded him of his sub-spectacular science grade. Here is our discussion:

"I don't need the twenty points. It's not like they go to my grade. They only go on a test grade."
"Yes. And that goes toward your cumulative grade."
"So, big deal. My grade will go from a C to a C+. It's all still a C, which is average, you know."
"Yes, I know. And average will get you nowhere."
"It doesn't matter. I'm going to the NBA."
"You may recall, Three, that one can no longer be recruited straight out of high school." (This is known as "The LeBron James Rule.") "I am also pretty sure no one has ever been recruited out of community college."
"I'll go to Community, and then transfer to a good school."
"And how will you get there, if your grades suck?"
"You worry too much, Mom."

At 9:30 PM he realized he needed the extra credit. So, we had to research hurricanes and tornadoes, and draw a floor plan of our house, with highlighted safe zones. We finished at 10:30. The Captain got home from his hockey game, saw us working in the kitchen, and promptly headed for a shower. Better to avoid killing the only one that looks like him.

Today, Three came home, fell asleep on the couch, and started his homework late. But he read ten chapters in a book, finished some computer-based math, and, together, we figured out complex fractions. We felt pretty brilliant.

At 9:30 PM he remembered he had to answer chapter questions. I got to type.
So, clearly, there are still issues. But we're working on it. Usually, late at night.

P.S.: For Chrysanthe, who can't believe the conversations we have here:
"Mom, can  I borrow your computer for Study Island?"
"No, you can use the other laptop. And Three, could you please stop looking at celebrity sex tapes?"
"There was a program that wouldn't close on the computer, and it was some idiot sex tape. Those are loaded with viruses! So, unless you have the $250 to fix the infected computer, could you lay off the skin flicks?!"
"Okay, okay!"
Thanks for the virus tip. That seemed to work better than plain scorn.


  1. Anonymous29.3.11

    I won't regale you with the tales of those many projects Daniel and I "helped" with over the years. Just wanted you to know, that on nights like that one, you have more nights ahead where you will NOT be the homework aid. It does get better. (You have my permission to ask my own mother, who did it for me, so that later, I could do it for mine.)
    They will remember that you were there, not that you made the Angry Mom Face

  2. The virus story... madame has made an excellent selection.

  3. LOL Three sounds like my #1Son. Why do today what you can put off till tomorrow? (Gee, I wonder where he got that?)

    Unlike Julie's kids, mine will remember the angry mom face. I'm of the slave-driving, I've-already-done-my-homework-you-do-yours ilk. Nothing happens in my house before homework. I'm pretty sure they hate me for it. But, eh, I can live with that. (Unless they're plotting my untimely demise...)

  4. @Delia: The other day, he said, "Why can't you be cool like Anthony's mom, who does his work for him?"
    "Because I've already done your work. I did it in middle school, and then high school, and then I went and did some more in college. Now, Three, what is Anthony doing this afternoon?"
    "He's re-doing his project because his mom plagiarized everything."
    "But it doesn't matter. He already has a job racing BMX bikes! He has, like, three sponsors!"
    "And what will happen when Anthony shatters his ankle and can't race?"
    "He'll re-hab it, and race again."

    Do you see what I'm up against? They watch too much reality t/v.

  5. @ Megan - Anthony's mother plagiarized his homework for him?? That's actually kind of funny. If you are going to break the rules, might as well smash 'em beyond recognition!

    And I love Three, but next time I see him, we are going to have a little chat about the myth of the Gentleman's C. Most students love saying this, but a C is not an "average" grade. If that was true, there would be roughly as many D's and F's as A's and B's. And I very much doubt that is the case. Now I don't have an opinion on whether his grades should be higher - thankfully that's not my mandate - but the faulty math logic makes me nuts! :-)

  6. Wow. The only time my parents helped me with homework was when I couldn't manage addition and subtraction in 2nd grade, to help make the model of a Mission when I was in 4th grade (it was assumed to be a family project), and when I needed flashcards to help me work on my times tables. That's it.

    Never even occurred to me to ask them.

    Of course, I ever had dreams of athletic (or any other kind of) stardom. :)

  7. It's pretty hard to argue with a career as a BMX bike racer. That's got to be among the top 5 or 10 dream jobs for young boys. Naturally, I am assuming that professional brainstormer/game tester at Nintendo or Sony is number one. I'mpressed that you had a ready response.


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