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Inside Teaching : June 2011
Inside Teaching | June 2011 SEE ME AFTERWARDS 54 WENDY HARMER has an objection: this homework malarkey is getting right out of hand. This week my son’s Year 8 science teacher sent home an assignment which required the observation of the behaviour of microbes – in this instance, yeast. So the boy had to bake bread. HELLO? Even I can’t bake bread! (And I’ve been on Masterchef. ON THE TELLY!!) My mother can’t bake bread. Nor can any woman I’ve ever met. So why, oh why, would you ask a 13-year-old boy to have a go? In my kitchen? Only this morning he implored me to make his instant pot noodles. Honestly, haven’t you people heard of Google? Now I’m sitting here, barricaded in my office to avoid the crime scene in the kitchen. I’ve strung up fluoro ‘Do Not Cross’ tape, rescued my young daughter and scarpered. I could tell the assignment wasn’t sent home by the maths teacher – the quantities for the recipe were all in Imperial Homework measure. I actually had to get on the internet and use a conversion table to be sure of the temperature of the oven. I could also tell that it wasn’t a woman who had set the task, because a woman could not be that cruel. A woman would at least have some understanding of the effort involved in scraping hardened bread dough off cedar blinds. Which is exactly what my husband is trying to do right now. He’s is in there behind the closed door armed with Spray ‘n’ Wipe and a pot scourer, muttering murderous oaths. ‘Crap!’ he calls. ‘It’s like CSI Miami in here! ‘Every drawer’s open. All the bench tops are covered in gunge. You can follow the footprints across the floor through the sugar. The kid’s left more clues than OJ Simpson!’ Not so much a bloody glove as a floury oven mitt. Meanwhile, the smiling perpetrator has left his ghostly trail across the lounge room carpet and into my office, as he munches on a half-baked bread roll and wants to create a graph, table or pie chart on his findings. Although he’s not quite sure what they might be because he’s lost the bit of paper which contained the whole point of the exercise. I’m no scientist, but even I know that it’s almost impossible to