We’re about halfway through the term, and frankly the “old grind” is a good deal more palatable this year. We do get sore butts from sitting in front of our laptops for hours on end, but computers let you jump all over the place, so you get this constant sense of novelty, plus lots of the articles are written for adults and are way more interesting than dry-as-dust textbooks.
In science today, we had a discussion of complex systems. The subject matter was completely new to me, and I did find some of it hard to follow. Mr. Gagne told us homework was to read a Science Digest article and answer a set of questions. I got home, practiced sax, ate a snack and logged on to A·B·D. I checked the calendar, scanned my newsfeeds and looked for messages. Succotash had written asking for help with an algebra problem, math not being his forte; he wasn’t on so I sent him a message saying “No problem.”
For science, the screen showed my work was up to date except the day’s assignment and a research paper, which isn’t due for two weeks. I clicked on the assignment and found a link to the Science Digest article – about “Nemetics” – and 10 questions.
I opened the article, gave it a quick read, and then scanned the questions to see how hard they were and if I could answer them. Zilch. Those “N-shapes” had me stumped.
I went back to read the article again, this time looking specifically for answers to the questions. When I got one, I’d enter it into the system. But I still couldn’t make head or tail of “toroid constraint.” I checked the knowledge library and read the general description and the teacher’s notes, but it still wasn’t clear. I was getting a little frustrated, so I took a break and shot down Zentrians for half an hour.
Getting back, I noticed a link to a video on toroid constraints from the Khan Academy. After seeing it, I thought I understood, but wanted to compare notes with a couple kids in my class. I messaged them.
Around this time, Succotash popped up online so we chatted a bit and I solved his problem. He gave me a “thumbs-up” token.
While waiting to hear back on the toroid imbroglio (OK, I found it in the thesaurus), I opened my science project folder where I keep notes I’ve written, documents I’ve grabbed from here and there and a draft of the first page. I glanced over the first page and that led me to recheck my notes. I read two or three articles and plunked in some notes that I hope are good enough to be copied into the final paper at some point. The articles led me to other articles, which I looked at, and copied some to the folder.
About then, the laptop pinged and the two science classmates wanted to talk. Everyone had had grief over the toroid thing. We hashed it out till it seemed reasonably clear. I put my last answer in the system and fired off the Q&A to Mr. Gagne’s machine.
Dad knocked and I asked him to come in. He’d been following along on his computer, and we shot the poop about toroid constraint for a bit. He was going to check out the Khan Academy video for himself.
I was done!