Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Don’t Bother Trying to Understand Your Homework

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To give you an idea what it’s like to try guiding one’s child through a school project requiring reading sources a bit beyond his age level, we shall conduct the following exercise: I’ll give you a text to read; you read through it and tell me what it means (I recommend reading it out loud, if your environment is conducive to such a Dadaist display).

Fleeg mumpert walg y zutt. Proog y zutt walgrittnerfugg, Fleeg zowner alcrathnan. Fugurisnitchunkel y zutt walgriddertooth, alzangritch palpo wonkiner zutt strilky nilky poork. Yankly zort zutt y yoon Proog, Fleeg, y Borformorportorgor – alnitcher y grooooon – zelky relt monder, eustardardcart y myoin.

Yoink, Fleeg zutt mornilter criltch pronk newgredingly plornk; yegeeltun hunkly Borformorportorgor zralting myoink. Trugglehutt miffnunk zilto credoonly orthin puginteress. Myorkning howlfin yeff ur hoolk deef grooklin gorf zzzyt y zutt.

Algrambin huzzing myurt zutt Fleeg y Borformorportorgor thrankliosian khort.

Now tell me: did you try to get all the way through, hoping that it would all become clear, as if by magic, or did you stop almost immediately and skip to the end?

If you have any sense whatsoever, you did the latter. If, however, you are a certain ten-year-old, you insisted on wading through the whole jumble and then pronounced yourself thoroughly acquainted with the source material. Hey, I read through it, didn’t I? No one ever said I have to understand all the stuff, just that I have to read it.

How can you argue with such logic, I ask you all? This is true – no one ever explicitly told him he must understand what he reads. As far as the latter stages of the project, which call for writing about the historical event, are concerned, well, he’ll jump off that bridge when he comes to it, I guess.

After all, there are more important tasks to accomplish, such as distracting his younger brother from his work, not to mention devising all sorts of objectionable lyrics to children’s songs (“Stinky doody went to town…”), usually accomplishing the former by perpetrating the latter. I appreciate a good ribald rhyme as much as the next guy, but there’s a proper context for it, and this wasn’t it (this from the guy who just greeted a visiting relative by belching emphatically).

By the way, there will be a test on the contents of this post, just to test your comprehension. Borformorportorgor.

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Written by Thag

March 1, 2011 at 7:49 pm

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