Time management is a contradiction in terms, if you think about it. Time just keeps doing whatever it does. You can manage it all you want, and it will still keep going one second per second. And a lot of those seconds can be spent on Facebook. A lot.
In December, Rhino was absolutely required to be finished with her AP US Government class (University of Missouri), which, to her credit, she was. She was supposed to be finished with the first semester of AP Biology (U of North Dakota) and with her AP Environmental Science class (University of Nebraska), although not finishing the Environmental Science class would be no big deal, as the AP exam for it wasn’t until May. She was also supposed to be finished with the Research Methods class she was taking with me at my university. And with the war and literature homeschool class. Remember that one? I made a joke that she wouldn’t finish the war class until November. Which was really a very funny joke because it is now May and Rhino still isn’t finished.
So let’s consider the one of these classes that actually did get finished: the methods class. Rhino spent about three weeks in her room “writing” a paper that came out slightly better than if it had been randomly typed by chimps. Maybe it was typed by bonobos. In any case, to put it mildly, it sucked. If Rhino were stupid, incompetent, and incapable, perhaps turning in a crappy paper for an intermediate college level class at a top-notch university would be unsurprising. However, since Rhino had already proved herself to be both smarter and a better writer that the majority of students in the class, it was surprising. Especially as she had spent three weeks on it.
So what was she doing in her room during those weeks (when, by the way, we had tried to get her to work downstairs. Or I had. I’m not sure what Mr. A’s involvement was). Well, Facebooking. Lots of it. Apparently about 50 hours a week’s worth, although she might have watched reruns of Gilmore Girls in there somewhere too. You know, to take a break.
The sad thing is that her topic was not only really interesting, it was something that really interested her. She took field notes on play styles of the homeless children at the preschool where she volunteers. She noticed themes of police interaction, illness, and death in the children’s play. Baby dolls got sick and died, no matter how many times you called the doctor. The Lincoln Log house had no door, but it needed windows “so they can bust out.” And there was a constant litany of “I’m going to call the police on you,” often complete with words I’m not sure I learned until I was in junior high. Said with effortless fluidity by three-year-olds.
So at our house, there was a lot of screaming. Mostly by me. Sometimes accompanied by some of the same words that the three-year-olds were using. Rhino accompanied the screaming with lots of meaningless apologies and genuine sobbing. I would not call this harmony. At least it was winter time and the windows were closed.
Rhino did rewrite the crappy paper and brought it up to B-level, but that still left three other classes to finish in about a week.
It didn’t happen. And so the saga will be continued.