I was helping Ryan the nephew with his homework. By that, I mean making him sit down and complete his work without being distracted by the telly, comic books, iPad or friends.
The boy goes to a private school so his assignments tend to be more fun. He was to read a book about visiting Mars as a tourist. It tells you what Mars is, where it is, the planet’s natural harsh conditions and what your fee entails. And that you could either take the Mars Express or detour via the moon.
He had to fill out a worksheet with questions based on the book. After he was done, I went through it and was puzzled. Under “What would you pack for the Mars trip?”, the boy listed ‘microphone’ as one of the items.
“A microphone?? Why do you need a microphone in Mars?? The answers should be in the book! Let me see it.”
So I went through the book. Page for page, word for word. It says that the weather would be unpredictable; dust storms, freezing cold, biting winds. No detection of water in Mars, gravity or the lack thereof might be a problem, and your fee covers the rental of a spacesuit and space shoes.
They tell you all of that and more. But there was absolutely no direct reference to what you should pack for your Mars trip!
That means, you actually have to THINK about the answers!
As a product of Malaysia’s rote learning KBSR/KBSM education system, it completely boggled my mind. And of course, I was completely ashamed for trying to force my downtrodden mentality on the boy.
Yeah get the answers from the book, it’s bound to have direct answers else it’s stupid and THEY (the system) wouldn’t allow such blatant stupidity, don’t bother me until you’re done, if you’re not done or got it wrong then it’s completely your fault and lack of interest, which means punishment time.
The scary part was, I didn’t realise that I was doing it.