Salty Sunday

Originally posted on my http://overlyenthusiastic.com blog:

I grew up listening to U2.  I am a big fan of Bono and all of his fabulousness.  Today, the song Sunday, Bloody Sunday was on my XM Classic Rock station.  Not sure when U2’s Joshua Tree songs became classic rock, but I guess they did.  Bummer.

But this is not what this post is about.  It is about salt, 4th grade and work.  These three things have no connection at all, you think? Well, they do.

String Bean’s 4th grade class was required to create a salt map of the great state of Ohio.  What is a salt map, you ask?  I didn’t know what it was until a thousand page long rubric came home stating all of the specifics.  Essentially, it is mixing a special salt mixture, putting it on a pizza box in the shape of Ohio, creating all of the hills, valleys, rivers and lakes in the state and picking a theme to label the map with.  Whew.  That made me tired just typing it!

Master Chef Tom began saying each day after school, “This weekend we are working on the salt map.”  Basically he would say it to whomever was around, as if he was working up the courage to start Bean’s project.  I would sit and roll my eyes and continue reading my Kindle or messing around with the iPad.

The weekend (two weeks later) finally came and Tom and Bean started to diligently work on the salt mixture.  They spread it over the state layout on the pizza box and put it in the laundry room to dry.  Apparently salt mixtures need a full week to dry.  Who knew?

By the next week, Tom began his after school statement again.  “This weekend we are working on the salt map.”

Finally, we were pressed to deadline.  Salt maps were due on Tuesday and it was the Sunday prior.  They take this cardboard pizza box with this crazy salty state and set it on the kitchen table and they look at it. (Insert cricket sounds here.)

I swoop in and begin helping by painting the box and the salty Ohio.  Then, Tom and Noah cut out and glued the million cities, lakes, rivers and surrounding states that were required on the rubric (I did mention the rubric was a thousand pages long, didn’t I?!)

Next for the theme.  Tom and Bean picked this out long ago.  First, they were going to put the state parks in Ohio on the map until they realized there are MANY state parks (almost as many as the number of pages of the rubric.)  So they narrowed it down to the Underground Railroad stops in Ohio.  There were 13 of them.  How do I know?  Because I printed them off, cut them out, labeled them and helped Beanie with the key.  I am smarter now.

My question is:  How do children who do not have parents who take an active role in their education complete a project of this magnitude?

Here is the finished project:

The Masterpiece

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