Call out for assistance and F.O. Pictures too!

My eldest was given an assignment that makes up 50% of the grade in one of her classes.  She must write a report, complete visual aid charts and then give a presentation. She also most answer a series of questions centered around the topic. See if you can guess what the subject is by filling in the blank for each of the following two sentences (hint, it’s the same answer for both blanks)

 1. How has __________________ changed our culture in America?

 2. How has  __________________________ impacted either your family or someone you know?

Any guesses out there? Come on, it’s something very important.   Could it be “Rising gas prices” or maybe “the economic slowdown?” What about “Global Warming” or the “War in Iraq?”  Well, if you suggested any of these topics you would be incorrect.  The million dollar answer is”American Idol.” 

No, really… Im not kidding.  My eldest has to write a biographical account, including the documentation of hardships faced by any past or current contestant on the show. In addition she has to create a visual aid and answer a list of questions, including the two aforementioned.

We have never watched American Idol.  What I know about it is that a bunch of people sing, some bad, some good. Then a panel of judges, including some grumpy English guy named Simon, a mostly sober Paula Abdul and some other guy, rips them apart.  I have no problem with people watching this show for recreation… or even with those fans who obsess with it.  However, I do have issues with this teacher assuming that just because she watches American Idol that the show must therefore be watched and revered throughout the nation by everyone.  Given, she is a music teacher. But why not have the children write a report on a composer or create their own songs? Heck, we can’t be the only ones to never have sat through an episode.  I asked A1 what children without cable were doing and she said that the teacher told them to Google a contestant.  Of course, that’s assuming everyone has a computer and internet access (unavailable at their school).

I ranted last night and threatened to write letters to both the teacher and principal requesting another assignment. But my daughter pleaded with me not to. She didn’t want to be embarrassed or get a bad grade. She’s going to look up a contestant on the computer for the biography portion.  So now all that’s left to do is to find someone who watches the show and interview them about how American Idol has changed his/her life.  So please, if any of you all out there have had a serious, or even mild, impact in your daily life due to A.I. then please let us know.

End of rant and request.

Knitting these past few days has been completely disastrous. Trying to create a requested white scarf should be easy. Most knitters could knock one out in an evening no problem. For some reason I keep having issues with the pattern, yarn, etc. and everything made has been frogged. Okay, almost everything. The mohair/merino combo. remained stubbornly intact.

Branching out scarf, take three

Another yarn has been tried and although it technically isn’t “white” it is still rather neutral. It’s a silk blend similar to E.L.s Silky Wool.

Branching Out scarf, take four

This project would be so much more enjoyable in a real color and without a deadline.

In return for me not raising heck at the school I was able to coerce my eldest daughter into modeling the finally completed purple people eaters. The poor girl inherited my ample calves so they fit her perfectly. 

Today the youngest and I stayed home sick.  Some gooey, nasty head and chest crud is spreading throughout the Pacific Northwest. The worst part about it is that it completely wipes out all of your energy. Blech.



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12 responses to “Call out for assistance and F.O. Pictures too!

  1. I too have never watched American Idol. I think the whole concept is ridiculous. As for the assignment, obviously, I’m not help. Sorry. But I can commiserate. Back in prehistoric times when I was a kid – hee – I too got a school assignment requiring knowledge of a tv show. But at the time, my family did not have a tv (ours had broken, and we had enough fun without it, it just wasn’t a priority – can you imagine??? LOL).

  2. I would like to suggest a Chicken Soup book that might help you – Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul. My sister’s friend, Debra Poneman, is one of the editors.

    Perhaps your daughter could (1) contact the editors directly for some insight. I understand they (the HCI guys) are very friendly and very helpful; or (2) contact Debra – there are links to her e-mails and an address at this website:; or (3) check the book out for some ideas!

    I don’t watch it either. Have never seen a complete episode. Haven’t read this book either – but my sister said it is great… and it was a wonderful boost to Debra’s career according to my sister.

  3. Your batting 1000. I don’t watch much TV and American Idol looks like a pure waste of time. My apologies. I love your socks. They turned out beautifully. And, the scarf? The minute you tell me there’s a deadline, I’m screwed. Take care, kiddo and get well, NOW.

  4. I was going to say television.

    I will not watch American Idol for love or money. Never have, never will.

    Actually, I don’t watch much tv at all anyway.

    My first thought was also to contact the teacher/principal/superintendent, too.

    You are not alone.

  5. That sounds like the stupidest assignment I’ve ever heard of.

  6. I’ve never watched A.I., either. I think the teacher should offer an alternate assignment.

    BTW, those may be the most adorable socks I’ve ever, ever seen!

  7. I have to say my guess was “terrorism.” And I would help, but we only watch AI when other things we watch are in commercial! However, an interesting thing to check would be how the winners have done compared to the second place people. I think the second place ones have done better career-wise overall so far. Certainly Clay Aiken has had tremendous success (blech, though).

    I would think this teacher could have let them fill in the blank themselves with whatever as easily as not. That assignment would piss me off.

  8. Rae

    I love the socks!!! Did you write up a pattern. They so remind me of Pirates!

  9. Here’s something for her paper:

    I’ve never watched it either and have no intention of doing so. I think it’s on the way out anyway. If so, then has it really had an impact on us as a culture? Not in itself no. As a part of Reality tv on the other hand? I think it’s helping to “dumb” down our society.

    All American Idol does is have someone sing a song that someone else has written, something that anyone with a radio can do. Where are the shows that show the complete process of writing a song – from a tune in the head to paper to played and recorded music? That’s the kind of show that just might inspire future generations and that might actually have an impact on culture and society.

    Um, there. end of soapbox. 🙂

    She might get a really good grade if she comes in on the opposing side of American Idol with a well reasoned article.

    Good luck to her!

  10. “Ahem. Good morning. American Idol has changed my life because…well, I had no life to begin with.” I would say, “ARE YOU F***IN KIDDING ME?” but I know you’re not. Sharon has watched the show, so has my sister. Not me. I watched an episode or two (while I was waiting for “House” or “Bones” or something and I was running my sewing machine most of the time, so I wasn’t actually listening to most of it), but that’s it. I would still talk to the teacher–but in a quizzical way. Perhaps she thinks this is a good way to reach the kids on their level. How many of them have listened to Mozart vs. watched American Idol? Probably more watched AI (which, coincidently, also stands for Artificial Intelligence).
    Good luck to A1 on her report!
    Fantastic socks! I love those! You’d have to make a plus-size pair for my ampler calves. More like Heffers, but that’s another story…
    Love, K

  11. I love your socks!!

    I have to admit, I watch AI!!!

    HOWEVER, I can’t say it has affected or changed my life! I just happen to not have a life! We get very little TV and….Oh WAIT!! I know how it has affected my life!! I am usually so busy and so tired that I never know what time it is or what day it is. On Tuesday, I kept arguing w/DH that it was Wednesday. THEN, I realized the Idols were SINGING vs. being sent home. So, I said, “You’re right! It is Tuesday! They sing on Tuesday and go home on Wednesday!” So, in summary, the biggest impact AI has on my life, is to serve as a Calendar!!

  12. I’m happy to say I’ve never watched an episode of AI – Survivor, on the other hand, every ep since the middle of season 1 ;o) (and yes, I’m totally pissed off that Parvati won this season)

    Either way, the teacher should have given an alternate assignment because there are kids out there who do not have TV and do not have easy access to the internet.

    Nice socks! ;o)

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