kitchen table math, the sequel: Toga party

Monday, June 4, 2007

Toga party

From Anonymous:
My favorite time was when my kid needed to make her own stola (toga for females) for a Latin project. They were to be graded on it. Of course no 11 year old could do such a thing.

We were about to leave on a week-long vacation to Disneyland, I was packing, I had arranged for this rare event of taking our kids out of school for a family vacation, and I find out that when we get back from vacation, my kid has to have this blasted stola done.

Worse, the instructions were on smeary, blurry, many-times-over-fotocopied paper.

In the presence of my 6th grader, I cried, and railed and screamed and declared I wasn't making this stupid stola.

Poor kid. It's not her fault. So after I calmed down, I ceased packing, had 3 people try and read the directions, and drove to the nearest sewing store, twenty minutes each waqy. The whole project was a nightmare start to finish.

The stola came out pretty nice, and my kid knew enough to say so. But at what cost?

Had I been able to muster a better attitude, my kid might have been able to enjoy the project. Instead, it left a bad taste in both our mouths for school projects.

I believe the kids are the biggest losers in this.

But I was a loser too. I ended up feeling guilty for blowing up.
This is the worst story I've heard so far.

"The project method": child-centeredness in progressive education
do not press send
The project method, or life without Quark
business opportunity
the project method

toga party
not very creative
top-down teaching


VickyS said...

Hey, I had to make a toga for my 5th grader this year too! Trip to the fabric store, the whole works.

But...actually I had to make a costume for Hippocrates (my son was playing him in a "wax museum" exhibit at school). I thought a toga was in order. Little did I know the GREEKS did not wear togas--it was the ROMANS.

My poor son.

Add to that, for his table cover he brought to school was a wool blanket with an Aztec print.

Anonymous said...

LOL about the Greek toga! I can relate. How do they expect us to know everything?

I learned that a stola is more complicated than a toga because for a girl, it's really important you get good coverage once you get that one-bare-arm look, and it requires hardware-like jewelry as well. And it requires sewing.

So in addition to a ton of time, it cost a lot too.

No one could have made one of those without sewing skills. I shudder to think how I would have done it without a sewing machine and sewing skills.

I later learned that some of the moms spent a bundle of money on buying a stola costume, even though we were instructed to make one ourselves.

I don't know if it hurt their grades.

The whole thing is still so ugly because she's now had this Latin teacher for three years, and the Latin teacher is by far her favorite teacher.

I'm glad I never ended up speaking to the Latin teacher.

But what gets me is the disregard for the needs of parents, their free time, and the fact that they have lives.

I was once told by a teacher that I must buy and send in a grab bag prize THE NEXT DAY.

Tough love isn't the answer, though. It doesn't hurt the teacher. It only hurts the kid.