reasons to hate school holiday assignments – part 372

Joe/Frank has yet another holiday assignment (you may recall Joe/Frank is 11 years old).

The question spans three pages. Normally it is the fact that assignments are given during holiday time which annoys me – however I have taken umbrage at the assignment itself on this occasion.

Question 1 involves completing a family tree back to great grandparents – this part is, as they say, easy peasy – until you get to Joe/Frank’s teacher informing him that he should not include half-siblings (of which he has two – Nancy, of course, and Bort, his baby brother). Are they any less his brother and sister because they have one different mother/father? I told Joe/Frank to include Nancy & Bort and if his teacher had a problem with it, then his father and I would have some strong words to say to her on the matter.

Question 2 raises my hackles just a wee bit further:

“Once you have told us about yourself you need to then choose a member of your family1 to interview. The person you choose needs to have migrated to Australia from their country of origin” (teacher emphasis) and a series of interview questions follow.

Unless we hold a seance, that ain’t gonna happen, lady. Joe/Frank’s fam. has been in the Antipodes for at least 150 years (on all sides).

I understand the rationale behind the assignment and I’m all about multiculturalism, but this is slightly ridiculous. There is a small concession at the end of the question: “If your family has lived in Australia for MANY generations, you can still provide information on your ancestors and where your family’s origins are from.” Ummmm, what if you have no idea where the hell they came from, but you sort of assume they are from the UK? Should you just make something up?

Deep calming breaths.

1One assumes they must be full blooded relatives, none of these half-relatives who are obviously not really family members at all.

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