Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Test of Patience

I was looking over the contents of my son's Friday Folder last night. You know, the folder that comes home on Fridays with his completed work and tests. One test caught my eye, a vocabulary test where he missed five of the questions. My youngest son certainly has a pretty good grasp of the English language so I looked over the questions he missed.

Here is one of them:

A person needs be patient in order to

a. eat dinner.
b. wait for a delayed train.
c. play in a band.
d. go into a hospital.

My son chose a. And let me tell you, this shows me he absolutely understands the meaning of the word patient.

In his lifetime of experience, he has had to be patient many many times to eat dinner and has never once had to be patient waiting for a train. He has had to wait at crowded restaurants, while ravenously hungry, to be seated. He has had to wait, while ravenously hungry, for me to finish cooking dinner.He has had to wait, while ravenously hungry, for food that has been ordered in a restaurant, to be served to the table. He has had to wait, while ravenously hungry, to eat his food until others at the table have been served. He has had to wait, not hungry but perhaps bored, to be excused from the table until others are finished with their meal.

Another question he missed:

Good baby-sitters are always alert. In this sentence, alert means

a. watchful and wide-awake.
b. fun and energetic.
c. not easily upset.
d. trained in first aid.

He chose b. I absolutely know that he would say a good babysitter needs to be energetic and fun and that means they are alert, awake. He would say, why would they need to be watchful?? That's not a good babysitter in his mind!

Yes, for a fourth grade boy, it requires much more patience to eat dinner than wait for a train. And an alert babysitter is fun and energetic, not watchful.

Are these tests written with fourth grade boys in mind??


Cindy said...

I'm with him!

I think I could make a very good argument for d, going into a hospital, as requiring patience too!

Amber said...

You are absolutely right, he's had more experience waiting at the hospital than waiting for a train too. BTW, how is it without the braces?? Your teeth look beautiful, didn't get a chance to tell you at the meeting yesterday.

Emily said...

Ugh! Wordly Wise!

Those books are so poorly written. There are frequently more than one perfectly acceptable answers given the audience to whom those books are intended.

Patient for dinner is so much more relate-able than patient for a train. Please. They are not ad men commuting into the big city from the burbs.