Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mastering an Educational "Crisis"

I'm shopping in Target today and my daughter calls.

"Mom, need you. I'm having an emergency."

My heart sinks to the floor.

"What's wrong?"

I'm imagining every parental worst case scenario: She's been arrested and this is her one phone call, the house has been broken into and she is hiding in a closet, any number of parental nightmares involving cars, drug cartels, and abductions race through my maternal mind.

"Well,  in THREE HOURS I have to turn in the topic for a research paper I'll be writing in the spring."

"Oh, I thought something was wrong."

"It is!"

She's in grad school getting her master's degree in education.

She then unloads a barrage of possible topics, research ideas, things she interested in:
How the lack of parental involvement correlates to poor academic achievement.
Imagination and how it connects to and accelerates learning. 
Any number of things involving home schooling and how the results compare to traditional education.
The negative impact of standardized testing.

"Mom, you have to help me decide what to do."

"Okay, let me move over to the condoms, housewares is full of annoying pushy women and I can't think...oh, excuse me ma'am."

As I suspected the birth control aisle was deserted. I wondered if things cranked up here on Friday night.

My daughter and I had a lengthy discussion about choices for topics and how hard it would be next spring to do research or a case study to prove her theory. The problem wasn't that ideas were hard to come by, it was choosing one.

"I really want to do it on classroom climate, but every time I google it the articles are literally about what the temperature in the classroom should be!"

"Dumb down your search. Look up  desk arrangement, color,  the way the room is organized, whether art is present or if the room has a window, and how that affects a child's ability to learn."

"But CLASSROOM CLIMATE is the correct term for all those things and how they impact learning."

I'm noticing how many different kinds of condoms are available.

"You are going to have to search for it in a different way."

She's going over all the topic choices again, I can feel a little panic in her voice.

"You have 3 or 4 good choices there. None of them will be the wrong choice, so it's just a matter of which one you think will be the most interesting to study next spring."

We chat a bit more and she thanks me for my help.

"Oh, you are welcome, Sweetpea. And one more thing...THIS IS NOT AN EMERGENCY! If you call me to tell me you have an emergency I'm going to expect to be the second call after 911.

"Well, what do you want me to call it?"

"A crisis. You can call it a crisis."

I wonder what the woman who is walking by as I ponder the vast array of condoms,  and overheard my comment thinks. Probably that it's  a bit late to be picking them out now if I already have a crisis on my hands. I notice there is one called  Legend (I imagine the kind of guy who thinks this refers to him, buying it with a six pack and tobacco). I think how it might be fun to be a cashier working late on weekends. 

"Okay, next time I'll call and say 'Mom, I have an educational crisis."


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