Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Another Day, Another Virus, and Another Rant (UPDATED)

After working on her Russia project for the past FOUR months, researching 3 reputable sources, putting together a 4 minute oral presentation, rehearsing said presentation 89 times, making a museum board display, coming up with a native Russian costume, and sweet-talking her Daddy into making her a power-point presentation, my daughter Grace woke up today, the day of her Grand Presentation, with a fever, sore throat, and NO voice.


Could. Not. Talk.

Which, for my little chatterbox, is a catastrophic event.

So I made her lay in her bed for the entire day, which was pretty much torture for her, and then I dosed her up with Tylenol, dressed her in her Russian finest, and hauled her up to the school for Presentation Night.

She did a great job. She sounded a little scratchy and looked a little wan, but she performed wonderfully. Afterwards, she stood by her museum board and answered questions about Russian Ballet and Kasha and kopeks and rubles, and I was thoroughly impressed.

Which brings me to my current rant about parents doing projects for their children. Parents: do not do projects for your children. It makes those of us who are lazy parent independent thinkers look really bad.

For instance, when Grace was working on her museum board, I was right there, ready to dive in with help. When she said she wanted to put the Russian flag and money on the board, I jumped in and offered to print out nice big, shiny pictures of it. Her response? "Oh, I was just going to draw them with colored pencils."

I tried to help her. I repeatedly offered to print Russian paintings, perhaps a map, a picture of a nice Russian palace or something, but she refused. She wanted to do it herself.

Then I remembered: Oh yeah, it's not my project, it's hers. So she hand wrote everything, drew all of the pictures herself, taped everything willy-nilly onto the board, and it looked, well, like she had done it herself.

Then we showed up tonight and put the board next to everyone else's. The elaborateness of these boards (FIRST GRADE boards, people) was astounding. There was one that had been constructed out of wood with trim and paint and shells and rocks hot-glued all on it. The kid standing in front of it announced to the group, "My Daddy made it!" Well duh. Everyone else's pictures were adhered at exact 90-degree angles, with all of the words typed neatly in different fonts.

Anyway, I was really proud of my girl, and she was really proud of herself.

In regards to the Power-Point presentation, may I say that we had refrained from doing one, even though we knew all of the other parents were going to, until her teacher sent home a note last week inquiring about her "additional visual aid". In addition to the costume. And the museum board. Whatever. So I picked up a box of Kasha from the international foods section, and my friend chipped in some Russian dolls, but Grace wanted to have Power-Point like all the other kids, so Daddy obliged.

And yes, I sewed her costume for her, because I am the greatest Mommy in the world...who happened to purchase pre-smocked material for a sundress on clearance last autumn and recently discovered that it might look Russian if she wore a peasant blouse under it. What of it?

In conclusion, my kid is smart and I am proud of her. Also, I am praising Jesus right now that this stinkin project is over. And I am praying her virus will be over soon, too. The end.

***Edited to add:
Okay, so I have no photo because I have a film camera and it will take me forever to get the pictures developed, HOWEVER, I forgot to mention that Grace's artwork was chosen for the back cover of the program! So here you go! Pictures to follow in about two weeks.


  1. I am proud of Grace and I am SO PROUD OF YOU for not being the parent I have been SO MANY TIMES and saying "You can't bring that to school like that. What will the other parents think?" When what you really mean is what will the other parents think about ME?

    They will think that you are a damn good mama that cares more about your child learning something and having pride in their work than impressing the likes of them. Good job Chrissy.

    But where is the picture of your little Babushka?

  2. What a great drawing! I bet her project looked AWESOME! I have not yet had to deal with school projects, but I bet at least in elementary grades, powerpoint will not be an issue here. (Although the 4th & 5th grades do get to learn how to do it themselves.)

  3. That is really great that she did it all herself. I remember my parents helped me if I asked, but they would not do the project for me. Although I do seem to remember my dad getting a bit possessive of the mousetrap car we made when I was in eighth grade. :)

    Love the picture! How cool that she was chosen for the program!!

    And I can't wait to see pictures of the little Russian girl. :)

  4. I'm so glad it went well. What's great is that Grace will remember this project for the rest of her life because she did it herself. I'm proud from afar!

  5. Great job, Gracie! I look forward to seeing pictures. That's awesome that her art was on the program though! I'm very proud of her and you!

  6. yes, kids should do this themselves. i hope the teacher rewards her for HER work

  7. I loved this post. From one mother to another.....AMEN! I hated that poor baby woke up sick on her big day but she obviously was a trooper. Great story.

    Come visit my blog if you like pictures of boxer dogs, horses and country life.

  8. boy do i ever know what you mean about the parents helping...so UNFAIR, but man what a temptation!!!

    and ahh the rewards....to see her drawing chosen!

    way to go mom! and hope the bug is gone soon too.

  9. Oh, that artwork is awesome! I can see why you are so proud of her. I agree that we should let our kids do their own work. What an amazing lesson she learned that you trusted her to do it herself without your help. I think that would say a lot to a child.

    I am so praising Jesus we did not have a project in first grade this year!

  10. Powerpoint? IN a school project? Good grief, half the families around here don't even own computers!
    (and good for you for letting her do her OWN authentic work - it sounds WONDERFUL!)

  11. Yeah Grace! Good for her for wanting to do it all herself. That is great!
    And yes, it is not fair that some kids' folks to all the work. If I was the teacher that would really make me mad.


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