Thursday, March 05, 2009
My Brain Hurts
As well as having my own legal homework this week, I also edited my son’s university thesis intro paper. He had the presence of mind (and the diplomacy) to note in his request - “…just check for spelling and grammatical errors. I really have no idea whether you'll be able to understand what it's all about - hopefully I do a good enough job explaining it, but it may be pretty technical.”
Pretty technical??? It’s a bloody foreign language!
But I was damned if I was going to read his paper and not try to figure out what the hell he was talking about. I studied it as though I was preparing for an exam. Granted, I would have failed the exam, but still….
I was impressed beyond words (quite unlike me) with the content. My inner voice kept interrupting my concentration to shout – “My kid wrote this!” “My kid knows what he’s talking about!”
Meanwhile, I was struggling with just about every second sentence. Has my brain atrophied with age? Does the fact he’s a Science/Psych major and I was a History/English one excuse my bewilderment?
This experience was in no way similar to looking over those public or high school papers my kids wrote – wielding my red pen and leaving such comments as, “This is a HUGE run-on sentence – fix it!”
Nope. I was out of my depth with this one - although I valiantly tried to make sense of it all. Needless to say, I did not make any constructive criticism. I was afraid to touch a sentence for fear of inadvertently changing the meaning of it – a meaning I could barely grasp in the first place.
I am comforted by the flimsy (wishful thinking) belief that I can take some credit for the kid’s smarts. I did teach him how to read at the age of four…
And I’m just fine with the fact my son is obviously way beyond me in the I.Q. department. All my kids are – they now pass on their wisdom to me.
But, my god, I feel stupid. Although it’s an okay/acceptable kind of stupid. When it’s relative to your own kid’s intelligence, it’s not quite as painful to admit.