Friday, August 24, 2012

Inspiration and Teen-aged Boys

File:Supreme pizza.jpg

Last night, my husband asked the kids what they learned in school today. Matt said, “Nothing.” He typically says this. And since I’m his teacher I just roll my eyes and smile.

Then Cal asked Jake, who’s in his first year of college. Jacob said, “Well, in my engineering class, I had to write a two page paper on ‘What inspired me to study engineering.’” Everyone exchanged glances. And then laughter.

Then someone (I think it was me) asked Jacob, “Uh, is your prof a girl?”

Jacob: “Nope.”

Luke: “Did they specify font size?”

Jacob: “Yeah.”

Me: “So what did you write?”

Jacob: “I asked the girl next to me what I should write. She gave me some great suggestions.”

Me: I smile and say nothing. But I’m not entirely surprised. I’ve taught teenaged boys for years. They have no idea what inspires them. Except maybe food. That’s it—Jake was inspired to be an engineer so he could get a job and buy food for himself.

Cal: “So how long was your paper?”

Jake: “Almost a page and a half. I asked the professor if that was okay. He said, ‘Whatever.’ I got the impression that he thought the assignment was dumb too.”

Yep, that prof’s been teaching teen-aged boys for a long time. I’m guessing that paper is a departmental assignment much along the lines of elementary school’s obligatory “What did you do over the summer?” first day of school writing assignment. 

Next up, a quiz on the physics of engineering--that's much more to Jacob's liking.


  1. LOL, what?! I'm surprised they had to write a paper like that, but at least it lead to an amusing anecdote like this one. :)

  2. Gee, I thought you were gonna give us your secret recipe for fantastic pizza. Oh well. I always hated those "what I did over summer vacation" assignments, too.