So as I sat there listening to my son’s 5th grade teachers welcome all the parents to Back To School Information Night, I thought this year was destined to be like all the others: struggling through homework, studying for tests and working on class projects.
And as I watched these two women excitedly expound upon the virtues of field trips, flash cards and fabulous educational apps, I was just about to zone out when I heard one of them say, “And we are going to try to NOT send homework home, especially not math!”
For a minute I thought I had not only zoned out, but had fallen asleep and must be dreaming. And then I quickly looked down and realized I was not 102 pounds sitting on a cloud of chocolate fudge, so nope – I was awake.
Everyone in the class was abuzz with excitement.
Neill’s teachers went on to confirm something I already knew “you guys really can’t do the math and you end up teaching them the wrong way, so we prefer to just show them how to do it in class.”
Halleluia! I had never seen these two women before in my entire life but somehow I knew we were soul sisters!
“Also, we are going to do most school projects in class.”
Then again, maybe I was dreaming and my dreams had evolved to the point that they were no longer shallow dreams about food and weight but instead were grown up “I’m a parent now” dreams.
“And now having said that, they will have one project they will have to do at home and that one is due Friday. It’s super easy though and they can choose between building an edible animal or plant cell model. It will fun! Promise!”
Did my sister just say Friday? And it was now, Wednesday?
Yep – there it was – I was about to have that stress dream where all my teeth fall out right before I dive off a cliff due to the fact I’m being chased by clowns.
After some grubmling from the crowd, my ex-soul sister did move the project due date to Monday.
So each day since that little nightmare, my son has asked me about the project. And, of course, I watied until Sunday night at 7:00 to google it.
Honestly, how did our parents raise us without google?
When I was growing up any project I had was copied word for word out of my parent’s well-worn, 24 Volume Encyclopedia Brittanica. My only “real” project was when Dad and I lit up a light bulb by connecting it to a potato for the science fair.
And here I was expected to build a cell model!
So as Neill and I googled a myriad of edible cell projects, there in front of me were litterally hundreds of edible cells. Some were made of jello, some were made of cake, some were made out of a pizza pie, all were not only time consuming but also apparantly required a trip to the grocery.
As I started gathering my food items that would stand in for cytoplasm, a nucleus and mitochondria, Brody threw in his two cents,“Didn’t he say edible? I think the kids are going to want to eat it when it’s done and no one will want to eat yours.”
“Are you kidding me?” I said, as I looked at my graham cracker crust that I had just sacrificed to the gods of school projects. “Edible doesn’t mean they will eat it, it just means you use food products to make it. Duh!”
“No, Mama she said we would eat them after she graded them,” said my mini-Brody Kane.
I looked down at my cell which consisted of a pie crust filled to the brim with grape jelly (i.e cytoplasm), my nucleus which was a 10 day old hamburger bun, surrounded by some hard as a rock (last winter’s) marshmallows (mitochondria), topped with five year old cupcake sprinkles that were my crowning glory of ribosomes.
The only way anybody would eat this cell project was on a dare!
At this point Brody decided to really, really help me, “maybe you could start over and bake a cake like this one right here on google. This Mom baked a strawberry cake, frosted it and then she cut up real strawberries and blueberries for the mitochondria and ribosomes and then she…..”
And right about then….my first tooth fell out!
To read more of Becky and Angel’s columns go to www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com or www.wilsonpost.com.