In 8 days, I leave (cattle class, of course) for China.
In ~5 months, I take the SAT’s. I’ve always taken them in January before; also, it’s good to be able to concentrate on AP’s around the end of the year.
In ~15 months, I will be freaking out over college applications because all the other ambitious kids clamber onto their laptops and copy down each college’s essay topics in August.
Rather scary prospects.
On some happier sides, I get to beat up a guy in a big red suit in about 7 hours, and I have 2 days to learn to evenly distribute 3 octaves worth of (out of tune) scales into one bow. [That’s actually doable; I just have to think of it as 24 notes, which is 4 clusters of 1-2-3-1-2-3, instead of OMGihavetogoALLTHEWAYupIN1BOW?????!!!???!1one!!?]
A few nights ago, I wached a NOVA thing on Thirteen about string theory. Weird. Can’t even pretend to understand it at even the most superficial level-all that talk of “tiny vibrating little cello strings” and “dimensions like horn valves”… One of the few familiar things was a mention of “Yang-Mills,” which I knew to be a millenium problem.
Last night, I solved a NYTimes crossword puzzle. Though it was rated “easy,” I could only solve it with the aid of a (useless) children’s atlas, a world map, a history book, and several glances at the answer key, to make sure that I wasn’t going too far off track. My pride blooms because there were many “Eureka moments;” one clue said, “Lent ender.” I kept thinking lend, like a loan, so I kept trying to stick “payment” in. When I understood that Lent represented the 40 days and nights in the desert, the answer of “EASTER” dawned on me. *shrug*
Princeton Review’s Raw Score–>Scaled Score–>200-800 score is pitifully similar to doing taxes. Unfortunately, my skill at “critical reading” is nearly as pitiful.
After half a year of tutoring a level 3 (?) geometry student, witnessing her struggles, and helping her formulate strategies to attack problems, I almost think the “new” SAT’s math section is near impossible for people like her. The poor girl has trouble enough doing arithmetic on her calculator–how’s she supposed to spot 3-4-5/6-8-10/5-12-13/9-40-41 triangles at a glance, or battle with the new “logic problems?” An online guide says, regarding “logic problems,” (and I paraphrase) “Stick to the given, don’t generalize, and for the love of cheese, don’t use common sense.” No one teaches logic to “average” children (or below-average ones, like Dubya) anymore, and I don’t think sanity-loving educators would want to start now.