Monday, March 19, 2012

The Critical Thinker

Frack had another academic A-HA moment at our kitchen table yesterday, and I love it when that happens. See, I got an email on Wednesday from one of Frack's teachers that-let's just say-didn't make me want to shout up and down the street with pride. Having said that, Frack took it like a man and paid his penance. Yesterday was a gorgeous day and since Frack was home, I told him that I needed two solid hours of homework from him after he was done helping out around the house.

Frack was pissed. He was moaning and groaning and I think he might have even punched a wall on his way upstairs to retrieve his backpack. (oh no you didnnnt!!) When he came down stairs, we spread everything out on the kitchen table and I decided to help him study for a Biology test he had today. There was a hell of a lot of huffing and sighing, eye rolling, and 'tude flowing from the young man at the table, so I confronted him.Frack expressed his belief that Biology was "stupid" and you guessed it, "unnecessary for his future."

"I'm never going to use this in real life, mom." he complained. "It's a colossal waste of my time."

Probably, I think we've all thought this exact same thought when we might have been Frack's age. I'll guess I even said those exact same words to my beleaguered parents at some point in my adolescence. But the Gods of Academia must have been smiling down on me at that very moment because I unleashed this sage-like monologue about how academics is really about teaching critical thinking strategies. Since Frack will not be pursuing a career in medicine or science, (so he says) Biology, I opined, is a specific means to an end to train his mind to approach a subject, any subject, using critical thinking techniques.

I was brilliant and I was eloquent. I don't know what came over me. I used my own experience with politics. While I don't really claim to jump up and down when Bill O'Reilly is on TV, (My Liberal Guy watches political news programs often) I told Frack that I listen, because it's my responsibility to make informed decisions about what happen to our country. Frack was uncharacteristically riveted. It was just one of those teaching moments with my children that made me grateful for the opportunities that I received as a kid and took advantage of. After I was done imparting my wisdom, I left the house to do some errands. I told Frack I would return later and quiz him on his "Cell Transport and Cell Structure" studies.

When I came back, some 4 hours later, there was a different kid sitting at the kitchen counter. He was brilliant and eloquent. He was explaining methods of cellular transport to me like he was a Rhodes Scholar applying for a Biology grant, and he was DELIGHTING in his own knowledge. After Frack aced everything we had dinner and sat to relax. My Guy later showed us a pro-Obama YouTube video touting his achievements during his time in office. Frack, in his newly minted sponge-like desire for information, loved it. He started asking questions about politics, political parties and political ideologies. Never one to discuss politics in mixed company, I gently reminded Frack that what he had just seen was produced and released by our President, a President who is running for re-election in this election year.

A robust political debate ensued between My Guy and I and Frack soaked up every bit of it. He got a great education about all sides of the politics of an election and such. And just when I thought that My Guy had the advantage with Frack, Frack looked and me and said,

"Don't worry mom. I can use critical thinking to make my own decisions about partisan politics."

I freakin' love that kid....


Heff said...

Off topic, but that's my favorite pose whilst on the turlet.

Anonymous said...

you lost me at "liberal."

Denis Verdecia said...

This was a WIN! a HUGE Win!

sybil law said...

Well done, Candy!! :D

Scope said...

Gotta love the "ah ha's" when you get them.

the walking man said...

You scared himm into studying...he thought he was going to have THE TALK with his mother right there with the biology book open. Whoo Wah you let him escape.

Hey Bama what the hell else is there but a liberal, you know we live in one party country. Corporacracy makes n distinctions.

Furtheron said...

I've been lucky with my kids my daughter needs to be reminded about timetabling work but she gets it done, my son just always got on with it never any hassle at all.

Good for you though - hopefully this lesson will stick

Anonymous said...

Walking man, I was just seeing if you were paying attention,ha