Sunday, February 19, 2012

"Hate" is Such a Strong Word

     I really try to avoid using the word "hate".  Merriam-Webster defines hate as "an intense hostility and aversion...a loathing...". says that "hate" is an "extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward" something.
     Today's photo prompt is "something you hate to do".  Most of the things I hate to do have to do with housework.  Laundry, cleaning the toilet, washing the light fixtures, ironing...things like that.  But it just so happens that today, when I'm trying to capture "something you hate to do", we are working on......

Science Fair Projects.

     It starts in early December.  The kids bring home a 14-page packet from school that includes the project guidelines, the judging and grading form, sample reports, and the project proposal form.
     I dread that day all year long.  I know that when the packet comes home we should start working on the project immediately.    
     We should already have an idea in mind (cuz we know it's coming, right?), we should get teacher approval that same week, do the research, conduct the experiments, analyze the results, write the report, and create the Science Fair Project Board within that next month.  Then the project would be DONE by mid-January and we could breathe easy.
     But NO.  The packet comes in December when we're too busy with Christmas activities to even think straight.  January rolls around and no one knows what to do for their science project.  We look online, we check out library books, and finally a topic is chosen.

     Then, invariably, the teacher denies the idea:  "No, you can't test whether driving while talking on a cell phone is distracting.  It wouldn't be safe." "No, sorry, you can't test whether there are more germs on the bottom of your shoe or on a telephone." (I don't understand why that one wasn't approved.)'s back to the drawing board.
     Finally approval is given (cue angels singing "Hallelujah").  We are so relieved that our topic has been approved that we set aside the project for a week or two.
     Before we know it it's February and only 3 weeks until the Science Fair.  One weekend is spent conducting the experiments and research, the second weekend is spent writing the report.  And the third weekend (this one) is spent creating the Science Fair Project boards.

      Don't get me wrong.  I love education.  I am a huge believer in challenging our children to learn and to think for themselves.  But I think it's the rare elementary school child who can complete an entire Science Fair Project all on their own.  Mention "science fair" to any parent out there whose child participates in one and I'm betting you'll hear a groan or a growl or some other indication that I'm not the only one who hates the science fair.


  1. So happy to be done with the science fair for this year!! Love how you wrote this, it made me laugh :)

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