Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Be Careful What You Teach

Once, not too terribly long ago, when teaching some part of history, I explained to my girls how, during much of history girls were not taught anything but home-making skills.  I bemoaned the fact that the pendulum had swung much too far in the other direction and that although women were now being educated to heights never before even dreamed of by most women, very necessary life skills were being neglected.  And smaller, less necessary, but highly worthwhile skills of making things beautiful instead of just utilitarian were being ignored altogether.  My  emphasis on all this was probably in support of my wanting them to practice their embroidery. :D
At any rate, what seemed to stick with Kay was the fact that at one time women did not have to learn math.  This little tidbit was thrown out again today during an especially trying day of math lessons.  You see, math is the only thing she needs to graduate, but it is the bane of her existance.  I eliminated all math but a basic, practical math course for her, but I insist that she make her way through this before I'll give her a diploma.   She hates it, and in her eyes it's only redeeming quality is the fact that she'll not be required to do Algebra.  She insists that Ri and I are speaking a foreign language when talking over higher math problems.  After all, what in the world do x, y, a, b, C, d, r, and P have to do with math?!? Let alone x2 (as in x squared, not to mention cubed, to the power of 4...), or 2x, or 4xy, or...   You get the picture.  She doesn't - and has no desire to.  Hence her soliloquy today on the heinousness of women's sufferage.  Did they not know that they were condeming subsequent generations of helpless females to the drudgery of MATH?!?  What could they have been thinking??  Why were they not happy to sit at home, learning how to cook, clean, and embroider (although this is not her favorite occupation it sure beats fractions)?  Why, oh why???  It was a very long soliloquy.  It made it's way through several rooms in the house and even followed me into the work room to ask a highly rhetorical question - I can't even remember the question, but one look in her general direction sent her off to another room, still expounding the horrors of  the success of those erstwhile suffragettes.


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