Even half asleep.
My daughter was writing an ethics paper--not for an ethics class, but an actual research paper about ethics--and asked for my help. I hesitated, not because of the subject matter, but more because I've been feeling uninspired lately. Oh, and also because I've "helped" this child write papers for that class before, and as writing partners go, she's hot and cold--she thinks you're full of shit and initially hates everything you come up with but eventually comes around to accepting her limitations and becomes more comfortable with the notion that she might need your to help wrangle all of the thoughts zipping around in her head. The only reason the paper writing processes don't turn into epic battles is because I'm able to remind myself that it's her paper, and if the paper is bad, it's not my bad. Does that sound cold? I dunno....homework is a delicate thing for any parent. Yes, I could have written that entire paper in an evening, with one hand tied to the chair, but what does that accomplish, besides Child #1 coasting through her writing class? Considering that I would like her to actually learn a thing or two, and that she is at the age of dogged resistance to learning anything from me, I place her in ISD 273's capable hands for the bulk of the academics and largely let her fend for herself.
My daughter is no slouch. She's been writing well-developed stories since the first grade. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you "The New Adventures of Mocha and Poo", a comic book series written and illustrated by one M. Karaba, aged 7, about a super-hero chocolate lab and her stealthy but stinky side-kick....a poo. Together they battle the forces of evil, personified by The Litterbox Kids ( AKA our two cats). I won't discuss the details of what brand of super-powers these mighty foes unleash upon each other, but I will indulge that bodily functions make up the bulk of them. Who says diarrhea and fart jokes are only for the boys? This was a brilliant masterwork for such a young mind.
As amazing as her brain is, the formalities of an academic paper make her twitch. They make me twitch, too. Duh. Monologists are not usually the ones you tap to write your research paper, or even DO research: A) It is infinitely more fun for us just to make shit up, and B) Grammar? Style? What? What?
Besides, have you ever seen a research paper in which somebody uses the word "Duh" not just IN a sentence, but AS a sentence?
Didn't think so.
We ventured forth, comedic "charms" tucked neatly away. There was no mention of poo, and nobody said "duh". Push. Pull. Push. Pull. Discussion, discussion, discussion. Phrases questioned, thesaurus consulted, words replaced. The thesis statement took an hour to complete.
Then I dozed off a little.
I awoke to questions about the difference between social and economic sacrifices and which did Albert Goering endure as a result of his anit-Nazi activities?
Is it morning?
I mean, how long--physically, in hours--do people have to talk before the name "Goering" just...comes up?
Oh yeah....ethics paper.
I'm so glad I grew up and learned how to bullshit my way through just about anything using the written word, and the English language (my version of it) in general. I don't think I have an all-nighter in me. But I was a little impressed with myself. Even un-inspired, and with sleep in my eyes, I was able to artfully expound on both Hermann AND Albert Goering, and also quote On The Waterfront (Don't ask.) without once using the word "Duh".
Take that, bitches.