Friday, January 7, 2011

New Beginnings and Old Baggage

            “I hate the first day of a new semester!”

            “You didn’t have a good day, sweetie?” I asked sympathetically.

            Alex frowned as he handed me a sheaf of papers. “Look at all the required work for the AP Physics class. I’m never going to be able to do all of that.”

            I looked at the syllabus. The darn thing was 6 pages long. It was a high school class, for heaven’s sake. If there was background music for this scene, it would be Chopin’s Funeral March.

            My teacher training kicked in. “Well, it does look like this is a lot of work, but there’s nothing in here that you won’t be able to do. If you keep up with it, you won’t have any trouble.”

            His expression told me exactly what he was thinking.

            Time to switch to mom mode. “I remember feeling just the way you do now. Believe me, it won’t be as bad as you think it will.”

            He didn’t believe me. Go figure.

            “Remember when I was getting my Master’s Degree at Mercer? I would come home from every first class crying to your dad. I was sure I couldn’t handle the work load after I looked at the syllabus. But I made it through every class just by taking it one step at a time.”

            “You’re a genius, Mom,” he replied drily. “I mean, what is your IQ again? And didn’t you graduate with a 4.0?”

            I sighed heavily. “I graduated with a 4.0 because I did all the work that was required. Don’t you remember watching me sit at the kitchen counter until 1 AM writing papers and taking notes about the reading?”

            “Yes. That’s because you’re obsessive-compulsive, too.”

            “I AM NOT…” I closed my eyes and counted to 10, “…obsessive-compulsive. Besides, this isn’t about me. It’s about you. I’m trying to encourage you. I know you’ll do well in the class. You love Physics. That’s what it’s all about, really.”

            He thought for a moment. “OK.”


            “You’re right. I love Physics and I’ll do fine in the class. Would you sign the syllabus for me?”

            My mouth dropped open. “Um…sure.”

            He bounded up the steps to his room, whistling Freebird.

My eyes narrowed as I watched him leave. That had been too easy. It was going to be a long semester – for both of us.


  1. The dimensions of work are those of force times distance. The work is positive if the motion is in the same direction as the force and negative if it is in the opposite direction.

  2. I couldn't have said it better myself. Um...that's a physics thing, isn't it? lol