My husband goes to school. I'm not sure, but isn't the next academic certification after "PhD" officially "DemiGod"? My husband goes to school to further his intellectual understanding of the world, its thinkers, and its fellow lovers of language. He has to do lots of homework, all the time.
My husband goes to school for his JOB, as well. He's a public schoolteacher, because that's where he can make a real difference. In the trenches, if you will.
He completely blew my mind last week, by describing a family who chose to homeschool its oldest child until he turned 15, at which point he displayed extremely antisocial behaviors (go figure - never met other humans of his own age -), and then summarily handed said child over to the public school system. Which here means: To the personal care and feeding of the man I married. Good thing he has room for this kid in his heart. If you have wondered how/why I could love someone who threw away my fleece, this is one of the many reasons: Did your parents screw it up? I'll get you into college anyway! Last week was the end of the semester, which meant he had to read, critique, and grade the final exams of all 180 of his students. That's a lot of essays. And then he had to create new lessons for the beginning of the new semester. Lotsa homework.
Lindsay gets gobs of homework. In the 6th grade, Linds studies for two different math classes, advanced placement language arts, social studies and science. I have wondered this year at the amount of after school work her teachers pile on. I suppose if you throw enough spaghetti at the wall, some of it is bound to stick. She's not the sort to complain about it, but she does notice that it cuts into her recreational reading time.
Campbell has homework every week, too. His is all received on Friday, and he has to pace himself through it all week long to have it done in time to hand in. To say that Cam dislikes homework would be like referring to the WEBS warehouse as "a yarn collection": Something of an understatement. Last night Phillip asked Campbell if his homework was done. Something in the nine-year-old psyche twanged, and Cam went from zero to pissed off in a nanosecond. He launched into a rant against fathers, homework, and the impolitic cruelty of the universe. Phillip's hair may actually have blown back.
And me? Well, I am making swatches for my steeks students. Normally the pre-class swatch is the responsibility of the student, but since my Madrona students are already making an entire full-size garment before coming to class, I feel that asking them to make swatches too is just tacky. 72 stranded colorwork swatches. Lotsa swatches. Swatch-a-palooza. Swatch-tastic. Sure, it's homework, but it's not really my homework, so somehow I don't mind it. And that's when I got the e-mail:
"The homework for the class you will attend at Madrona has been edited. Please download the new homework instructions to prepare for your class."
One of the great things about the Madrona winter retreat is that the teachers are all encouraged to also attend classes as regular students. I am really excited about what I will learn this year. So much so that I seem to have completely skipped the part where I look at the homework requirements. It never even crossed my mind to check. That's right: I'm supposed to be knitting a mini-sweater in order to participate in my class. I was this close to being the only student to show up with her homework not done. I, who live in the House of Homework, on Student Street, in the City of Study, in the Province of Preparation. Didn't even think about needing to attend to my own homework. Ironic much?
Oh, sorry, Janine Bajus, world-renowned teacher and designer, for coming to your class unprepared, with no homework! The dog ate it.