Thursday, March 19, 2015

A lazy teacher and an overachieving child.

"Mom, can we go to the LRC?"

I got this text from my child yesterday.

"We can't go.  They close early tonight.  We can go tomorrow after school."

"I can't," she's texting on my MILs phone, "I have a rough draft due tomorrow."

"When was this assigned?"

"Right before the bell rang."

So I gave up and called her.  Seems as though they were discussing projects.  My heavens, I'm stunned since they've done NONE all year.  They chose people to research and then right as they were getting ready to walk out, her teacher announces that a rough draft is due the very next day.  Now, my child is a preparer.  She likes to READ the book.  Over the years, we've taught her to take her time, go back through, make notes and such things.  We've encouraged her to pick "chewy" subjects-- something that she'll learn from.  Don't take the easy way out.  This is an opportunity.

My child could choose herself, her parents or someone famous.  She chose Nikola Tesla, because doesn't every girl choose Nikola Tesla?  I mean, she could choose members of bands or singers, artists, parents, herself-- anyone.  Tesla it is.

In all honesty, I'm not surprised in the slightest.  K has had a bit of a fascination with him this year and I even purchased her a Nikola Tesla book for her for her birthday.  (It's a comic book, but nonetheless . . . )

We made a plan.  I had her put me on speaker and I asked my MIL to take her to the library.  They were driving past, so she did.  They found a few books.  My MIL also looked some things up on the computer and had K watch something and printed something things out for her.

K had health homework and math homework.  M helped with math and we hit the ground running on the Tesla report.  She was juggling 3 books and telling me what she wanted to say.  We handled as we did the science fair project-- she talked and I typed it out for her.

"It has to be handwritten, Mom."  Of course it does!  :S

Finally at 9:30 PM, I gave up.  I told her that she had what she had.  We were able to take him to the beginnings of the Tesla Electric Light & Manufacturing Company.  I told her that as a rough draft, he couldn't expect more.  I mean, the kid got home after 6 from my in-laws and we just can't work incredible miracles.

She started handwriting it.  She wrote until 10:15 (past her bedtime) and I finally told her that we'd get her up early to handle the rest of it.  The kid set her alarm for 5 AM.  I told her that was too early and told her to sleep until 6 AM, though I was awake at that point.  She wrote from 6 - 7:30 AM.  She took her time and wrote neatly.  I felt bad for her.  But, she did what was asked of her.  She complained thought.  "Mom, last year Mrs. S gave us time."  I know.  Believe me, I know.  So, what did she write?
When Nikola Tesla was born, it was a stormy night.  He was born at midnight on July 10, 1856 in Smiljan, a small town in Croatia.  As soon as he was born, his mother said to him, "Welcome home, my Nikola."   He was the fourth child in his family.  His mom's name was Djourka Tesla and his father was Milutin Tesla.  Nikola's father was a minister and his mother supervised servants, ran the farm, sewed the family's clothes, raised her children and she was a famous needlepoint designer in the region.  She also loved inventing things!  She made looms, butter churns and kitchen tools, including the mechanical eggbeater!  
When Nikola's brother, Dane, was 12, he was thrown off of the family's horse and he died a few days later from all of his injuries.  Then, when Nikola starting accomplishing stuff, it caused his family to grieve because they remembered his brother's talents and Dane's great things that he might have been able to do.  Nikola started to feel like his parents were rejecting him, especially his mother.  He grew up with very little self-confidence.  I understand how he felt.  
Nikola started doing experiments when he was little.  They didn't always go so well.  Once, he jumped off the roof of the barn.  He thought he would glide, but it failed and he had to stay in bed for 6 weeks.  When he was 5, he made a wooden wheel that spun because the water was moving the wheel.  He noticed invisible energy!  When he was 9, he built a propeller spun by flying June bugs.  The propeller whirled for hours!   
Nikola went to the village school.  He loved reading so much.  His father wouldn't let him read the books in their house.  His parents wouldn't let him read after dark because they thought it would ruin his eyesight.  Nikola stole candles, his father found out and hid the candles.  He made his own candles instead.  He would then read until the crack of dawn.   Nikola was interested in electricity from the beginning of his education.  He went to a pretty new junior high school that had a really great physics department.  The water wheel he made when he was little made him think of using Niagara Falls for power with a waterwheel underneath the falls.   
In 1882, Nikola Tesla discovered rotating magnetic field.
In 1884, he moved to America to meet Thomas Edison.  He worked for Thomas Edison.  Nikola fixed the dynamos on the ship, which weren’t working that well.  Nikola said I’ll redo your shop.  Thomas Edison said that if he redid the shop, he would pay him $50,000.  It took Nikola a year to finish it and then he went to Thomas Edison.  He asked Thomas Edison for the $50,000 and Thomas Edison said that he was sorry that it was just sarcasm.  He told Nikola that he didn’t understand American humor, but offered to pay Nikola an extra $10 per week raise.  Nikola refused it and QUIT!  He went on to his own company, The Tesla Electric Light and Manufacturing Company where they would use alternating current electricity. 
At least she chose a very interesting man.  I'm kind of excited to learn more about him.  I just wished that she had more time than, "It'll be due sometime next week."  Really?

ETA:  He didn't even bother to look at them today.  Almost all of the kids had what he asked for and he said that he didn't want to look at them because he wanted to be able to read them.  Um, really?  Throw them a bone and look at them, please!

1 comment:

ChupieandJ'smama (Janeen) said...

Great job, Miss K! And wow, to her topic. Tesla, who? ;)

And GRRRRRRRRRR to the teacher. A few more weeks and this guy will be in the rear view mirror.