Thursday, December 04, 2008

Do All Parents Spend Eight Hours on School Projects?

Adam UN Quilt

This square was made for Adam's UN Day project where all the student's squares were combined into a larger class quilt. In each of the smaller squares, they asked us to put pictures of the child's family, a family tree including which country each person was born, some stories or quotes about child's ancestors, and recipes or family traditions.  Of course, the perfectionist in me took over to produce Adam's square.

The family tree was by far the toughest part.  The only place where I have the Chinese names of my ancestors recorded is in Adam's baby book.  I had my mother write the Chinese names of all the people including myself (I can write it, barely).  My Chinese handwriting is atrocious, so if I were to transcribe the names, it would look like a 10-year-old wrote it.  So I scanned the pages of the baby book and meticulous cut and paste the images to create a tree that would fit into the square.  I added the lines in Powerpoint and wrote in the countries that each person was born by hand.  Since this is the only place that I've even seen my own grandparent's names written down, this exercise was extremely beneficial to be able to capture this information digitally.  But seriously, it took me about four hours to complete this one square. The other ones were done in Powerpoint as well, as well as I can digitally scrapbook.

For the stories, Doug provided these about his Russian grandmother:
When Rachel was in Russia, she had to hide in the basement with her eldest son because the Cossacks came looking for them.
When Rachel emigrated to the US by boat, she sewed all her money into the lining of her jacket. Some man tried to feel her jacket to get the money and she had to push him away.
I provided these stories about my mother:
When Linda was a baby, her father tried to sell her, but she was saved by an aunt who reminded them that she was the only female in her generation.
When Linda was a child in China, her family had to run from the Communists in 1949. Her brother couldn’t be found that night and ended up living in exile in Mongolia for the rest of his life.
Of course I didn't do this whole project without Adam's input.  He had to approve all the pictures, because last year, he got laughed at for having a picture where he was kissing his sister.  I was outraged!  Showing affection gets laughed at in first grade?  Here was the offending project:

All about Adam

I did this project at the last minute before it was due on the day after Mother's Day. I had to fly out the next day for business so I spent my Mother's Day night meticulously sizing pictures to fit in the various spots (notice how Adam's soccer kick fits perfectly into the star).  Nowadays when I get a school project, I try not to procrastinate and work on it over several nights as if I were doing it for work.  Maddening I tell you!  Do all parents spend this much time on school projects?  Or am I just insane?

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