I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all

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I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, sewer, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all, blogging, Costumed Beagle enthusiast. I am not always pleasant, although through intensive cupcake therapy I have learned not to throw knives at people anymore.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Testing the Fortitude

It is nearly the end of the school year.


I can hardly even muster enough energy and excitement to celebrate properly.  You wanna know WHY??

Because of school Projects.  In the last two weeks, The Missus has had no less than 4 large school reports or projects due.   She has one due tomorrow.  We worked on it over the weekend and then all afternoon today.  Fourth Grade curriculum includes Utah history and culture...and county reports.  But not just a report.  But also a poster and also a float.  A float, you ask?  Yes, as in a miniature version of a parade thingy.  A float.

Now I'm pro-education.  I'M AN EDUCATOR.  And I love and respect the teachers at our schools.  But they are obsessed with Projects.  I'm not anti Project, but I AM anti Project-at-home.  And here's why.

The early stages
It isn't about the kids or what they learn or what they can do.  It is about testing the fortitude and resolve of the parent in getting it done.  And parents?  They have enough on their plates, but a good chunk of them want to be good parents and invest in their child's education, and we're made to believe this is how.  This stuff?  Doesn't teach anything but how to make miniature models of things.  Which is super helpful if you either build tiny elvish villages for Hollywood movies or design sets for living.  And that's about it.

And then there are the other parents.  The ones who don't give a damn about their child's education or maybe they are busy working three jobs and can't run around finding tiny coal miners or fake bushes.  Or maybe they don't have the resources or the skill to build a paper-plaster mountains and then put 1/2" skiers on it.  So those kids either don't do the project, or do their best with what they have.  What did they learn?  They learned a lot probably, but not in the way intended by The Project.

In the end, it isn't at all about the kids; it's about the parents.

I'm pretty good about making sure The Missus makes the plan and does as much of it as she can, but she needs help and also I work in Theatre and have lying around (seriously it's right there) all kinds of odd things that only come in handy for things like this.  And I'm also ready to go out and get extra stuff she decides she needs.  Because I can.  But not every parent can.  So the resources available to each child varies wildly.  And I get it, kids need to learn hard lessons, life isn't fair--but that is the same lesson learned by the same child for every Project all year long.

And what did it take to build this float? One shoe box top, brown paper,  5 different colors of acrylic paint, white glue, glue sticks, hot glue, paint brushes, 2 kinds of gravel, rocks, plaster, fake bush pieces, dinosaurs, tiny skiers, fake grass, skewers, 16 gauge wire, floral wire, fake vines, green beads, a tiny jet airplane, railroad tracks, a train, a printer, card stock, black card stock, a paper cutter, wire cutters, pliers ribbon, a sea sponge, 2 trips to Joann's, 1 to Hobby Lobby, 1 to Walmart, 1 to the neighbor and one to the local Hobby store.  And also about 5 hours. And also about a month's worth of patience.

All Projects lead to stress and I'm guessing NOT improved parent-child relationships.

So Projects should be done at school.  Period.  If they are that important.  DO IT AT SCHOOL.

But we finished.  I *think* this might be the last one.  Maybe.  There's still a week of "school" left.
It turned out great and The Missus is thrilled and will probably want to keep it forever and ever.  (But here's the thing...half the stuff on this came from Mr. Beene's 4th grade float which we then gave to a neighbor who used parts of it for her son's last year and we will hand it all back over to them for their daughter's next year...).  Take a peek.  And find yourself enlightened about Weber County.  Glorious Weber County.

Don't get me started on Homework.  I don't think they should bring that home in elementary school either...


  1. Are those little watermelons on the ground? Good job, mom!

    1. Yes. Tiny watermelons in a watermelon patch. Also being hauled on the train....