Before June ends, I must engage in my annual tradition of telling you what we learned this school year. This is way overdue, especially the college edition, since our two college kids returned home in mid-May.
Here is our conversation about what they learned, one of the first conversations in many moons with all five of us participating.
OD: I learned about Huffman coding. I learned about death.
(I don’t know what Huffman coding is, but it has something to do with computer programming. She learned about death in one of her psychology classes. It made me a bit sad that she has to learn about such things, but my husband was not affected this way. Apparently he does not care if she is too young and tender-hearted to be learning about death.)
Husband: But you didn’t take any programming classes!
OD: Yes I did, in the fall.
Husband: Did you pass?
OD: No. I took another programming course, about electrical things.
Husband: Did you pass that one?
OD: Explain what you mean by ‘pass’. Then she quickly added…I learned how to count in binary.
Husband: Great. You can count to 2.
YD: But I thought that in binary you count, “0,1.” So you don’t count to 2.
(Then we got sidetracked for a bit talking about how to count in binary and other base systems. Older Daughter doesn't like math much so she brought us back to more familiar ground. )
OD: I learned that if you love someone and they don’t love you back, you are better off.
(She supposedly learned this in psychology class, but possibly also in real life. She doesn’t tell us much about personal things.)
Me: But unrequited love is one of the saddest things in literature.
OD: No. You have more self-esteem, you feel noble, you are optimistic, and you don’t feel guilty. I also learned how to write a grant proposal.
Son: I learned Maxwell’s Laws of Electromagnetism. I also learned how to solve differential equations.
OD: Didn’t you already know how to differentiate?
Me: What else did you learn?
OD, speaking on behalf of her brother, something she has been doing since she was 2 and he was 0: He’s a freshman. He learned how to eat in the dining hall and how to go to sleep at 3 a.m.
Son: I learned how to do double and triple integrals. In Chem I learned about stress-strain curves and phase diagrams.
Me (in a ‘pointed question’ tone of voice): Did you learn what information you need to take with you when applying for jobs?
Background: the day after he came home from college, Son went around to various places, such as Subway, Target, the movie theater, the hardware store, to apply for jobs. He called me from EACH PLACE to ask for his references’ contact information.
OD: Why didn’t you just take Dr. F [his mentor last year] with you when you applied?
Son: I learned about “claim-evidence-warrant.” That’s the structure for writing paragraphs.
Aaaand that's it for the college learning experience! Next up, high school.
|Now that everyone is home for the summer, this is what|
the front hallway looks like.