23 March 2009

My Thesis Is Ready For the Shoe!

My thesis is in the shoe! Read on to learn the lessons of the shoebox...

In the mid-1990s, I was a student at Ramblewood Middle School (wow, that is one annoying website...) in Coral Springs, FL, as my older brothers were before me, and my younger followed before they rezoned him. I had a terrific experience at Ramblewood.

One of my favorite teachers was my science teacher, Mr. A. He was actually the first person to show me an internet search, on something called Gopher. He was the teacher who gave me Diet Cokes whenever he made a joke at my expense. Not a day went by without me getting a DC, and I loved his jokes. Also, this explains my love of DC a little. He called me [color] shirt, based on whatever I was wearing. When we studied genetics, and it was revealed that I had no earlobes, he had everyone in the class point and laugh. I never felt so noticed, happily, as I did in Mr. A.'s class.

Mr. A. also taught us how to balance chemical equations, and this is the single-most lasting lesson I learned at RMS, except for maybe my passionate commitment to English grammar. When we learned how to balance equations, Mr. A. taught us to check and double-check, and then write a special symbol over the bi-directional arrows that connect the first side of the equation to the second.

Mr. A. explained that during the Gulf War, his classes were filling shoeboxes to send to soldiers, with supplies and candy and notes, and his classes added something extra - sheets with balanced equations. Once they were sure the equations were balanced, they would draw a circled "SB" for shoebox, indicating satisfactory completion, and put the sheets in the boxes for the soldiers. I liked the "SB" because it was also my initials.

By the time I was in the class, we weren't sending boxes to soldiers in Iraq and Kuwait, but we were still confirming the completion of our equation balancing by writing "SB" and calling them "ready for the shoe."

This phrase stuck with me, and since then, I have said often that something is "ready for the shoe" at the end of a project or assignment, to resounding blank stares.

Today, I will turn in my thesis on Israel Education. It is 132 pages. Each curricular unit ended up being 30ish pages, and the rest of the paper is my literature review. After 2 years, 2 thesis advisors, 2 grad programs (Davidson and visiting at Hebrew U), 2 camps (plus FJC and the Berk), 2 flash drives, an ocean and a lot of complaining, I'm turning in my thesis. Now pdf'ed, I can say:

My Thesis Is Ready For the Shoe!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

SBB I heart you.
It was delightful watching you through this process, and hearing your words of encouragement in our final stretches this month. And of course, tonight was incredible. AHHH.

My thesis too is ready for the shoe.