Wednesday was the last day of middle school for Youngest Daughter. Oldest Daughter has been home from college for a month, and Son is waiting for graduation day. For some brief moments, it was just like old times, as we sat around chatting. Oldest Daughter asked all of us, "What are the three biggest things you learned this school year?"
Youngest Daughter's answers:
- Don't lose your textbooks.
- We can't control the weather.
- English class can be a lot awesomer than many other English teachers make you think.
- How to do an integral.
- About equilibrium.
(YD said excitedly, “Do you mean the space-time equilibrium?!” Son gave her a questioning look. YD said, “Isn’t that what it is called? Maybe it’s the space-time continuum.” There followed much discussion about how space and time could be in equilibrium – if you run out of time for something, do you have more space? If you are early for something, do you have less space? Son posited as how the space-time equilibrium could be a new theory of physics.
- How a battery works.
- The Central Limit Theorem.
Oldest Daughter's answers:
- how to program buttons. Because when you press a button, it does things, and that's cool.
(She has made a foray into the study of computer programming, and seems to like it.)
- I learned that commuting influences happiness beyond what you would expect.
(She gave an example, speaking dramatically: “There is a tall building high on a hill. That is my dorm. To get to my dorm from campus, I had to walk across a huge field, up this big hill, up this giant set of stairs, walk in the building, press the elevator button, go up to the fifth floor, and then if I forgot my key I had to go back down the elevator and get the key on the first floor and go back UP to the fifth floor.”).
- How to count things. For instance, I learned how to count the derangement of hats. If you have a room full of people with hats and you put all the hats in a pile, and then give the hats back to the people randomly, who has their original hat.
- I learned how dedicated some of your teachers are. For instance, Mr. Chemistry Teacher abandoned his young children and left his home at an ungodly early hour to teach you chemistry for the scholarship test.
- I learned that I have rocks in my head. Tiny crystals in my ears that tend to wander away from where they are supposed to be. (At this, YD blurted out, “I gave a rock to my English teacher and told him that it was my brain after he taught me.” We all wondered what Mr H. thought of this gift. She said, “He thought it was a sarcastic joke gift, because I told him about it beforehand, that I was going to give him a sarcastic gift.”)
- I learned that I can do without Downton Abbey. But do I want to?
The Common Household Husband has been away, attending to his mother’s impending move to assisted living, so he wasn’t here to answer the question. I would wager he has learned a lot in the past few days about the pace of life among the elderly, and how it seems very little happens in a day, but it is all exhausting.
How about you? Whether or not you had a connection to school, what have you learned since last Labor Day?