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Friday, January 11, 2008

As God is My Witness, I'll Never Do Linear Equations Again!

This is what my dulled brain is thinking after helping J. with her homework last night.

First, figure out the last five problems in in her Algebra I homework dealing with linear equations. I discovered I don't know how to do them anymore, and was no help. And as there was no cheat sheet or book to look at, I was floundering as much as she was. When she asked me HOW exactly this will help her in her future life, I struggled for a bit of an answer, except that if she want to major in Chemistry and work for the World Health Organization someday, I pretty sure linear equations are going to pop up again.

On to Scarlett. Helping with assignment #2 was a bit easier, as she had to write an analysis piece on Gone with the Wind, or more specifically, Scarlett's character (I can't help making some comparisons between Katie Scarlett and Hilary, but that's for another post).

I noticed as I was editing her work (not writing..editing!) that Jennifer kept qualifying her work, with "the book says" and "I think" or "In my opinion." I took all that out, and told her "Look, you are the expert on this book and on the character, be bossy in your writing and tell the teacher what to think."

Men, I've noticed have no problem with this.

So we strengthened the language, decided that Scarlett, in that radish field (not a carrot field, as in the movie) hardened her heart and made some choices that would later doom her relationship with Rhett.

Then we took another look at linear equations to see if they made any more sense after reading GWTW.

They didn't.

So we'll think about that tomorrow.


MommyCheryl said...

I had a prof who helped me excise such qualifiers. He said "I think" or "in my opinion" were meaningless unless everything else in the essay represented things you didn't think. "If you didn't think it, you wouldn't write it," he told me when I asked him. (I believe he circled the phrases and wrote "duh!" in the margins.) In fact, the phrase "I think" could be eliminated in 99.99999 percent of all cases, written or verbal. But I think people who use it are unneccessarily trying not to seem arrogant. ;-) And I think women are far more likely than men to use such qualifiers. In my opinion.

Barbara Clements said...

She handed it in on Friday, and it was one of the longest in the class. Will let you know how she does.