Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Teenage learning

Today's learning was uneventful, which I really appreciate, since yesterday was a doozie.  Aside from very brief and practical interactions, my teenager and I usually only spend time together twice a day.  Once for algebra, and once for Chumash.

This results, on occasion, of her emotions coming to the surface during our Chumash sessions.  Sometimes I wonder if my girls have negative associations with Chumash because it's the only time of the day when they have my (mostly) undivided attention and so all the feelings that they avoid or keep at bay end up coming up in the safe time with their mommy.  Sometimes Chana (and Sarah back in the day) will just start talking about things on her mind.  Sometimes she will share feelings of anger, sadness, doubt, or fear.  Sometimes, she gets more and more agitated and ends up crying ("I don't even know why I'm crying!").

In the middle of all that, we started Yona.  I wanted to do Rashi, too.  We argued about that.  Chana felt Rashi is part of Chumash.  I said I wanted to do it.  She said but it's not part of Yona.  I didn't answer.  She said, "Why aren't you answering me?"  I said that I can't think of anything to say that will be convincing to her.  She said, "Why do you want me to do Rashi, anyway?"  I said that I want her to work on her Rashi skills.  She said but she knows Rashi.  (Which I disagree with).  Same old.

She didn't think Yona really happened, she thought that the sailors were very superstitious, she felt that if there was a storm and they cast lots and someone's name came up more than once, she would think it was just a very big coincidence.  She thought that Hashem's approach was bossy and an abuse of His power.
We talked about the fact that Yona, a navi, disagreed with Hashem and even though Hashem is clearly more powerful, Yona stood his ground and didn't agree.  We talked about the concept of "conquering your nevua" i.e. not telling a prophecy a navi is told.

We started off with her translating.  In the middle, she said, "I just really can't stand Chumash."
I said that translation is difficult and not so much fun.  She said she doesn't need to get good at it; she has the English right there or google translate.  (I rolled my eyes a little because does she really think that's as good as being able to translate herself from the original?).  I said I am sorry it's not so enjoyable to work on translation skills, but I think it's important for her to be able to translate.  She said maybe I make her translate too much.

I ended up taking over the translation.  She had been complaining about how even when she knows the words, since everything is switched around, it's confusing.  And the tenses are confusing.  And the ways of expressing things is confusing.  So I translated the rest, which was good because we got into Yona's tefila which is a poem and I was assuming I'd translate, anyway (and I peeked at the English).

Today, we opened Yona and she started translating herself.

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