Monday, September 26, 2011

The Parthenon and Middle School Projects


Yesterday, my daughter and I worked on her English class homework assignment. She was asked to take one of her vocabulary words and make a poster to represent its meaning. We brainstormed her assigned word "adage" and decided to create a wise old owl who is quoting proverbs.

Then, our creative side took over.

We found paint, construction paper, feathers and googly eyes. We painted and glue-gunned our hearts out. What started out as a simple illustration became a 3-D extravaganza. It was big and colorful and could fit well into any kindergarten classroom.

At 9 pm, she came back into my room with a smirk on her face.

"I just saw some messages that my friends are posting on facebook," she said. "I don't think we were supposed to make a big poster. They're talking about just taping an illustration on a piece of notebook paper."

We both looked at her gigantic, colorful project and busted out laughing. Perhaps we'd made a bit TOO much effort?

As a mom, I swore I would never take over my daughter's class projects. But, after hours of helping her memorize vocab lists and the countries of Africa, my creative side was just dying to be released. Is it any wonder I jump maybe too enthusiastically on board when it comes to the more open-ended assignments?

When I was in 7th grade, we were supposed to create a project about ancient Greece. My partner and I came up with a very amazing idea. Why not make a model of the Parthenon? Our idea took shape and morphed and became: a cake in the shape of the Parthenon.

With my own creative mom's help, we got cake mixes and pans. We made huge vats of white frosting. We created columns and iced trim. We built wall after wall....a huge, enormous yummy Parthenon.

Then I had to bring it to school. My dad offered to drive me and my friend and our enormous Grecian cake.

My teacher was awe struck. She made us march it from class to class throughout the entire school. My classmates? They were merciless. While they ate the cake with much enjoyment, they also mocked me.

I was a compulsive over-achiever. I had make a huge, enormous, impressive Greek parthenon as a cake. I had over-done it...just a little bit.

Hmmmm....maybe my daughter's gigantic owl poster was a bit too much?

But, then again, it sure was fun.



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