I pointed out the rounding thing to Patrick this morning and told him the internet suggested that maybe the quiz was looking for 0.7 or 0.67. He (coldly) informed me that since the question did not ask him to round to a tenth or a hundredth - after it rejected 2/3 - he had pressed and held the 6 key for five minutes to indicate to the online quiz that the 6's were infinite and he went on to add that a world in which the decimal equivalent for 2/3 is 0.7 is not a world in which he, personally, wants to live. He also said that he thinks it would be weird and misleading for the question to express itself in fractions (m=1/3) but expect the answer to be given as a decimal.
I said uh-huh, yeah, I see where you are coming from and that's great and I admire the purity of your ideals but you still got 4 out of 5 on the quiz which is an 80% which is a C so perhaps... ?
He stomped off and I am reminded of the recent Book Report Incident, which went down thusly: the grading rubric for Patrick's January book report showed that points would be given for correctly presenting the title of the book and the author. This seemed like a gimme to me but when I glanced at Patrick's paper I saw that he had written: "Sabotaged" by Margaret Peterson H.
I said, "Patrick! What happened to the author's last name?"
He said, "Oh, her whole name wouldn't fit on the line in a 28-point font so I abbreviated."
I said, "What? Just use a smaller font!"
And he said, "No. I really like the way that font size balances the subheadings further down the page."
I said, "But you didn't given the author's name. You'll lose points. Get a lower grade."
He said he was ok with that. I pressed the issue. He told me not to worry about it. I got exasperated, he got snooty. Did Jackson Pollock agree to paint a kitten in the center of all those dribbles just because his mother told him it would look nicer? No! Was Patrick going to compromise his aesthetic just because his mother thinks that a book report's function must triumph over a book report's form? No!
Once upon a time I thought that it was a given that Patrick would be a great student and my biggest worry with him was that he would continue to face out during circle time when all of the other kids were facing in but lord a'mercy... exhibit P.
PS I went all tiger mother and changed the font for him.
He said, "Great. Now the page looks lopsided. Thanks."
I said, "Patrick, it's a g.. it's a d... it's a book report. It's not a f.. it's not a piece of art."
To which he said, "Well. It certainly isn't now that you've finished with it."
PPS Not to be a full year out of date with my contribution to the obscure blog outrage collective but you know what bothered me most about the tiger mother thing? The idea that acceptance into a prestigious college and/or graduate school should ever be viewed as a measure of parental success. My mother says your job as a parent is to raise children who like themselves because every other good thing in life originates there. Granted with me she maybe could have also focused on being likeable but you should meet my big brother. He's TERRIFIC.