minutia press.
Passing the 6th grade

It's good to know that if we had to go back in time and pass the 6th grade, my wife an I stand a good chance of passing. We know this because for the past few weeks, we've been "helping" our daughter with several projects assigned as homework. In talking with other parents, we all seem in agreement that the assignment is not just for the students, but for the parents as well.

Lately my daughter has been consumed with collecting, pressing, mounting, and identifying various leafage from around this area. I used to think that leaves were more or less the same, but even a 6th grader can tell you that there are myriad differences. What do the veins look like? Is it jagged around the edges? How to the leaves arrange themselves on the branch? Deciduous, evergreen, bush, tree...

The differences are more than you can shake a stick at.


Oh man, the famous leaf project. Mine was in 5th grade, when I lived in metro Atlanta. My parents loved driving up to look at the Fall foliage of north Georgia, and I loved putting off my homework until the last minute because I was the bratty smart kid that didn't need to work hard (oh, to be in 5th grade again...). After one such trip, and the week before my leaf project, which was intended to be a semester-long term project, was due, I sprung it to my parents that I had to collect about 30 different varieties of leaves, which I planned to do in our yard sometime that week. Needless to say, they were livid, and pointed out to me that only pine trees grew in our yard, or in anyone else's yard for that matter, and that "pine needle" was in fact only one kind of leaf. So we took a last minute trip back up to north Georgia and spent a whole day driving around finding and categorizing leaves. If not for my parents I would've failed the leaf project, and therefore science in 5th grade, and from there who knows? An endless downward spiral of bad grades and procrastination?

Posted by: Chris Hill Festival at October 19, 2002 8:52 PM

I guess some day there will be a sitting president who will be hauled before Congress.

Chair of the investigatin: "Mr President, is it true or not that your 5th grade leaf project was in fact completely the work of your parents, while you stood before your 5th grade peers claiming the work to be your own?"

Reply from the President: "I am not a crook (my parents told me to say that)"

Maybe this is where the expression "turning over a new leaf" originated?

So, all you not-yet-parents out there -- keep your leaf album in good repair as you will need it once your children reach 5th grade.

Posted by: rkc at October 19, 2002 11:13 PM


Posted by: ip address at May 4, 2003 3:53 AM