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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tyler Town ... and other stuff

Today was Tyler's "Invention Convention" at school. A few weeks ago we received notice that our 2nd grader was to create an invention, which would later be displayed during said convention. That was it. No details, no instructions, no theme. I didn't even know if the invention was supposed to be real (as in really work). Don't you love school assignments?

So, after debating a few topics we decided on "Tyler Town." It was a group of cards that Tyler designed that no matter what way they're turned, you can play cars on them. Make any sense? Either way, check it out:

He did such a good job on it! We listed what he'd like in his town, and then he drew it all. He used a toy car make sure he didn't make the parking spaces too small. In fact, he often could fit only one parking spot at each location, so his hospital says, "1 car at a time." This cracked me up.

I was pretty impressed with his work until I went to see what others in his class had invented. I really liked the welded pig piggy bank. That is one talented 2nd grader. And the robot that sucked up toys and sorted them into the right spot -- that was one brilliant kid. Jokes aside, I often wonder if teachers give kids these types of assignments as a test for the parents. I could name a few who failed in the "2nd grader" part of the assignment.

On to other lovely assignments, Becca has an assignment where she was supposed to write down quotes from me and Paul that are good life lessons. Mind you, she's had a month to do it, and in that time we've given lots of good lectures/lessons. However, none of those were recorded, so tonight she cornered each of us and asked us to say something wise. Not easy to do on the spur of the moment. I asked her to see what she had, and she had three quotes from me.

Let me take a little detour here. Most of my friends don't yet have teenagers. Thus they don't understand why it is I am often frustrated with Becca. My friend Julie said when she went to a parent night at school, one teacher described that early teens are reorganizing their brains at this stage of their lives, and to think of it as a file cabinet being reorganized. Then she said our favorite quote ever, "And sometimes files come up missing." Paul and I say that regularly to each other now (of course out of anyone's earshot).

Back to the quotes ... I looked at what she had written for me, and one quote said, "You don't have to know someone to forgive them." I know exactly what conversation she overheard, so I asked her what I had meant by that. She said she had no clue. So, she had taken one quote from my conversation and put it down (incorrectly, I might add), but had no idea what kind of life lesson it was supposed to teach. Sigh. Teenagers.

For those of you curious about what I DID say, I had been talking to someone about forgiveness, and I mentioned that you don't have to have to have a relationship with someone if you have forgiven them. I've been in more than one lesson where the topic of forgiveness comes up, and people always assume that if you have forgiven a person then you are friends again. Not necessarily so. We can forgive without ever having to encounter that person or open up ourselves for danger or abuse again. I explained this to Becca by mentioning her step-dad, who drugged her mom and invited drug dealers and users repeatedly into their home. Although Becca has to forgive him for what he did, that does not mean she needs to call and re-establish any type of relationship with him. That would just be stupid. By the way, I always point this out when these lessons come up, because I really think some people think you actually have to contact the person and talk things out to completely forgive them, which is not the case ...

I guess she (I) was right -- you don't really have to know a person to forgive them (like the person who cut you off on the freeway, the mail person who bent your mailed pictures, groups of people who protest against LDS churches for exercising their right to vote, or teachers who invent busy work and annoying assignments).

In any case, I am VERY happy that I am not the one in school. Who knows -- in a few years I may be the only one in the house not going ...


the Rowleys said...

I love Tyler's invention. Very cool. Michael would love something like that. :)

Lizzylou said...

Very cool invention, where can I buy one?

Leslie said...

Niiiice job Tyler!! And I too flunked at the invention convention when Jentry had to do it. I had no idea what they ment and we built a bird house. lame. But now I'll get what it is when Brinley is in 2nd grade.

Hilary said...

Here's a life lesson Becca can learn from me: "If you have the chance to live by your best friend, do it!" :)

Dashley said...

I loved Tyler's project. What I love most about it is that it is creative and he did it by himself.
p.s. I am copying and pasting your D-land post for our friends that are coming out here next month. Hope you don't mind. :)