flotsam and jetsam

I think I did a pretty good job on the test last night. I know for a fact that I got three wrong - I never learned how to do prime factorization, and our textbook, which I paid $84 hard earned dollars for, sucks mightily, so even though I studied the chapter summary, as directed by the teacher, I didn't see anything about how to do prime factorization. (I did, however, see that the list of prime numbers excluded 5 and 7. Nice going, editors of the what might be the worst math book ever published!)

Lots of stuff on my mind today, but I'm having trouble putting anything together. On my moms list, we're discussing the sad state of science in America, particularly as it relates to evolution vs. intelligent design. We're also discussing the poorly written NYT articles about the Ivy League "Future Stay At Home Mothers" Club, and I think we are in agreement that although the topic provides much food for thought, but there was little more than a mouthful of crap in this article.

At home, we're talking about the plan to land another man on the moon, which has Loki excited even though he said he doesn't trust the Bush administration to do anything correctly, and he assumes that this is just another step towards the militarization of space. He just can't help it, the idea of space travel makes him giddy.

Sio is talking about college. She went to a presentation by MIT earlier this week, and she came home gushing. In October, she's going to presentations for Yale and CalTech. And we're going to try to visit WPI and RIT within the next two months. She didn't get cast in the fall show, but she was tapped to write the script for the drama club's float in the Homecoming Parade*

Monkey is showing a huge amount of progress on the school front. I think my math class is helping her, actually, since she and I can do our homework together. She also is proving to have some serious creative writing skills - the teacher gives them writing prompts a couple of times a week and asks the kids to write a paragraph based on the prompt. Monkey's paragraph about being in the desert gave me the chills - there was an underlying tension in the paragraph that impressed me.

*I went to a regional high school in a rural community, and there was no football, and therefore no homecoming. But homecoming is a big deal in our town. The high school has a parade, and each grade and several clubs compete for the best float. The best float is not merely something that looks good - at the grandstand, every club does a skit or a dance or something special. The winning club/class gets either $500 or $1000. The Drama Club has built in advantages: kids who are comfortable performing, really excellent costumes, and set building skills that blow away the competition. (Last year, they had a set that looked like a regular building, but when they got to the grandstand, the building opened up into a lab set. After the experiment went horribly wrong, from the middle of the set exploded into a 20 foot high monster, handled by student puppeteers. It was awesome; they lost because they went over the time limit by 3 seconds.)

This year, the theme of the Homecoming Parade is something about Books or Stories, so the Drama Club is doing Harry Potter. Sio wrote a 3 minute long skit that combines highlights of all 6 books, using The Compleat Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged as her guideline.

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