My name is Jonene Ficklin, and I'm a full-time wife, mom, writer, and professional artist. I've been drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I use colored pencils, oil paints, and watercolors. I love what I do!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oh, My Aching Brain Cells

I went to school. I did. But just in case the free basic education – granted to me by right of our wonderful government – didn’t stick, I had children.

Did you know that homework never ends? Neither do tests. The masterminds of the universe made sure of that.

Just tonight, my daughter covered the table with notes, a wild look in her eye. “I’ve got three tests tomorrow – one in U.S. History, one in Medical Terminology, and one in English. Help me study?”

So during dinner, our conversation went like this:

“Uh, AICD?” (my husband)

"Automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator, right?” (my daughter)

“Yeah. Wow.” (my husband)

“Holy cow.” (me)

(my daughter, giggling) “Okay, next one.”

“Okay, smarty pants, what is Arteriosclerotic heart disease?” (me, mispronouncing it)

(daughter, really giggling) “What?”

(husband) “Can I see that list?”

And then it got even more interesting. Her vocabulary words, which have to be spelled correctly go something like this: phlebitis, vasospasm, intraventricular and coronary (which I would be having if I had three tests tomorrow).

We moved on to gentler subjects like U.S. History and I remembered how much I forgot.

(my daughter) “Hey Mom, do you know what year the Boston Tea Party was?”

(me) “Yeah, 1773.” (I just barely saw her notes before she asked.)

(daughter, impressed) “Hey, not bad. So what are our three basic rights?”

(me) “Uuuuuuh, religious freedom, right to bear arms, uh . . .”

(daughter) “Life, Liberty, Property.”

(me, hitting my forehead) “I knew that once.”

I know when to run. I leave my awesome husband with my smart daughter and go help my younger son with something more up my alley: 6th grade geography. This month’s assignment is to memorize the continents and major islands of the world. I grab the map and sit back, smiling. I think I can handle this. But then, my eyebrows shoot up somewhere near Pluto. My son needs to learn 22 islands.

I have a question for you. Do you know where Celebes or Baffin Islands are? Really? Okay, I can understand memorizing Australia, Greenland and Antarctica, and even two of the islands of Japan (Hokkaido and Honshu), but this is really impressive. I’m now learning (or re-learning – but I’m not sure if I did the first time) where Luzon and Ellesmere Island are.

If you know, just skip this paragraph, but if, like me, it’s driving you crazy, here’s where you’ll find them:

Celebes: Indonesia – above Australia, on the west side

Baffin Island: above Canada, on its east side

Luzon: Phillipines – just south and east of China

Ellesmere Island: above Canada, just above Baffin Island

Just like my daughter, my son has them down after a few tries. It must be lovely to have fresh, uncluttered minds.

I sigh and sit back, thinking to myself, So here I am, getting a free education. Again. I feel kind of smart. Now if I can just remember where I left the car keys . . .


  1. It's so true. My kid A had to learn all the countries in the world. She kept asking me for help and I kept answering, "Kid, those weren't around when I was in school. And by the time you learn them, they'll change the map again." :)

  2. Ha ha! So very true. I think they have to learn them fast BECAUSE things change so fast.


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