Saturday, December 11, 2010


Tis the time of year across the land where students flock to the libraries, studies, dining room tables, living room floors, hallways - buried in a tower of books and notes so that they can cram an entire semester's worth of knowledge into their brains before the semester exams. It is not fun. It is not pretty. It is the reason coffee is so deeply coveted and snacking a mandatory activity.  All nighters are being held in every college dorm as students prepare for the final examinations that will test all that they learned. Exam week has begun in earnest here at Yesteryear Acres. I know that exam time is always torturous. I know that trying to remember 18 weeks of French verbs or geographical facts or algebraic equations and solutions is exhausting. In the past, I have been a most wonderful support system for my studious children. I have baked goodies, popped popcorn, made hot cocoa and answered any and all questions.  Up until today, I have escaped the dreaded exam week unscathed.  Yes - up until today exam week while painful for my children barely registered a blip on my own personal radar. Today however - I am in full blown pain.  I am in full blown agony.  I am missing hair on the top of my head and what is left has all turned grey in just one day.  I am frazzled.  I am exhausted. I am utterly despondent because exams are not over until FRIDAY and I have to live with my children until then. What brought about this drastic change? I can answer it with one simple sentence.....This is the first time my son has ever had exams. My son is NOT a studier.  My son does his homework as quickly as humanly possible and then heads outside to work.  Now granted - he gets all A's and does really well but the effort he puts into it would be best described as minimal.  Even though he is in junior high, he is taking 3 high school classes and is now experiencing semester exams for the first time.  The agony that surrounds him is palpable.  The agony that surrounds me is suffocating.  His algebra teacher sent home an 18 page packet of problems that all have to be done over the weekend as a study guide for the upcoming exam.  18 pages.  Approximately 16 problems per page. Approximately 10 minutes of stalling before attempting each problem and then 10 minutes of complaining how he doesn't want to answer a problem that he knows how to do followed by another 10 minutes of whining and then precisely ONE MINUTE TO ANSWER THE PROBLEM!  That adds up to 31 minutes PER PROBLEM.  31 minutes of torture. 31 minutes of how I wish I lived somewhere else.  I am serious. I have very little sanity left.  Did I get to watch the Army Navy game today? No.  Did I get to enjoy the beautiful warm weather? No. Did I see the sun, the sky, the grass, the snow, or enjoy the beautiful sounds of Christmas carols?NO! My day - and I mean my ENTIRE day was spent listening to my son whine and complain and stall and accomplish what I consider to be a pathetic amount of work.  Now I am sure you are asking WHY. WHY did I torture myself by staying? WHY didn't I leave and let my son suffer alone?  WHY did I continue to stay in his presence? Well the answer is because he FOLLOWED me.  If I walked to the kitchen, there he was. If I was working with the puppies - yep - there he was again.  Living room - no escape. Dining room - right beside me.  I had a 6 foot SHADOW all day.  He needed an audience for his misery.  He begged me to stay with him and HELP him so that he could do well on his exams. OH MY GOSH. I was in my own personal prison for the day.  And guess what the forecast for tomorrow is? More Algebra followed by French Verbs. Worst. Forecast. Ever.
Now that is one equation I KNOW IS 100% right!

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