Last Friday I woke up in Paris. Oh, not literally. And sadly, not to the café latte and sinful croissant I should have been offered, given the circumstances. At 6:55 a.m. my nine-year-old daughter Delia burst into our room and sounded this verbal alarm:
“MAMA!” Bang… consciousness. “You did remember this is the day I have to hand in my Paris project, right?!”
WHAA…? Dislodging the second earplug from its canal, I tried to piece together the vast lapses in memory that had brought me to this frenzied start to my day.
“Mr. Cheng says I have to present it to the class TODAY… C-O-M-E O-N!!”
Dreamy memories of our March break trip suddenly dissolved into a cloudy recollection of a Bristol board purchase back in April (conspicuously stored behind the fridge) and the “essay” on Paris landmarks she had been hunt-and-pecking (IN SUBTLE CAP FONT) ever since.
This was not an assigned report, but something she had volunteered to do. As such, it had never shown up in her daily journal (which, let’s face it, I’d stopped checking in February anyway), so admittedly, this was a ball I had clearly dropped.
With report cards just around the corner, I couldn’t help but think of my own grade three teacher, crotchety old Miss Boker, who, I believe, was 108 when she taught me. She was the first to coin what would subsequently become a staple in teachers’ comments on my report cards: “… if only she would APPLY herself.”
Ok, so we were a little late in starting, but by God, I would not see my daughter get sucked into the cycle of academic negligence I had written the book on. Thus, we began.
With no time for caffeine, I frantically sifted through 700+ photographs on my laptop, with such easy identifiers as IMG_1849.JPG, looking for those few select moments that would define her trip. By 8:15, all hope seemed lost.
Yet somehow, with only 2 minutes to spare before leaving for school, we had located every photo, printed them, cut them, laid them out along with her text, and glue-sticked the sweet bejeepers out of it all into a pretty respectable project, by all grade three standards.
So, take THAT, Miss Boker! Oh yea, WHO’S applying themselves NOW?
Uh… Delia. Right, Delia of course!