(My Opinion..you don't have to like it.)

Part 1

There is an odd relationship between how smart you are and what your homework habits are like. As your intelligence level increases, you tend to do less homework because most of it is the same stuff you have had an extensive knowledge of for a long time. Also, when your intelligence level is extremely low, you also tend to do less homework because you don't understand most of it. I think there is an even point towards the middle. As your intelligence starts to become a little above average, you tend to do all of the homework you are given for two reasons. You want to reach a higher level of intelligence and you don't want to be stupid (at the low end of the intelligence meter). The middle intelligence class tends to have high motivation while the high and low intelligence classes tend to have low motivation. If only school was flexible enough to accomidate (spelling?) the needs of all three intelligence classes instead of trying to bottleneck everyone into a single intelligence level, i think every student would be a lot happier.

Part 2

This is where students everyday are given either very useful assignments or very boring and repetative (spelling?) assignments. Depending on your intelligence class (see Part 1).
The only way to get through a day of high school (if your intelligence level is high) is to have a lot of friends and a small library of books at home to keep you busy at school while teachers are busy handing out pointless assignments.
Now there is a suggestion. Find someone (preferably of the opposite sex) that you can think about all day instead of doing your work.

For your low intelligence people, the only thing I can think of is to find a hobby that interests you the most (as long as it isn't harmful to others) and keep yourself busy all day.

That's my 2 cents.

Homework is a waste of time in only two cases:
  1. When it is busy work.
  2. When it is "done" but not understood by the doer.

From high school through college, I noticed that homework helps most visibly for math classes. This was most apparent to me in Calculus IV which I had to take twice. The first time I took it, I started off religiously doing all the homework assigned, then later slacked off and was unable to fully catch up before exams. Because of this, I was only able to understand exam problems hardly and superficially. The second time I took the class, I did all the homework, and the exams, which used to seem next to impossible for me, were so damn easy.
Consider, for a moment, the first months of 1997. Electronica is just about to explode commercially in the US. The Chemical Brothers are poised to release Dig Your Own Hole, which would wash through the media to become the de facto standard in incidental music. Daft Punk's Homework was released just four months before Dig Your Own Hole and, in many ways, represents the first step towards a legitimate and mature Electronica genre.

Homework does something that no electronic album before it really could; it manages to treat the music seriously and at the same time be accessable to a large, pop-oriented audience. Previous to this album, electronic music was very serious, in every regard. To listen to an album like Orbital's In Sides required a great deal of appreciation both for the genre as a new concept and for the innovation, which may at times have taken the place of quality. It was difficult for the casual listener to become acquainted with electronic music because in the early 90's it was simply not ready for a mainstream audience. A song like Underworld's "Mmm Skyscraper, I Love You", a twelve minute sprawling track, may have been an enjoyable listen but there is simply no way one could convince a radio station to play it.

But why should Homework be considered the album that bridged the gap between the snobbery of the underground electronic scene and the bottomless pockets of consumer culture? The answer is simple; Daft Punk created an amazingly solid record.

This is a party album, with rollicking house beats that could keep any dance floor hopping. At the same time, it manages to innovate the well-worn house genre with new depth. "Rock & Roll'" imbues a four by four beat with a strong acid kick and in the process creates a sound which is unique and satisfying. The formula that makes this album so successful is clearly present in this song. Here, the French duo take a simple and tested technique (like a house beat) and put a fresh spin on it, thus satisfying both listeners who are new to electronic music and veterans who have been grooving to acts like Massive Attack since the eighties.

The observant listener may also hear twinges of Disco, a sound which Daft Punk would later perfect in their second album, Discovery. Disco licks and grooves are apparent in both "Revolution 909" and "Around the World" which explains why these are two of the most enjoyable cuts off the album. This is what Daft Punk does best, borrowing from the old and making it sound refreshingly unique.

Daft Punk's Homework is a serious work which does not alienate its audience. None of the music's credibility is sacrafied; the glossy made-for-television feel of later albums such as Moby's Play and The Chemical Brothers' Surrender is absent here. On the whole, this is a mature album which exemplifies good pop music.

Track Listing
1. Daftendirekt
2. WDPK 83.7 FM
3. Revolution 909
4. Da Funk
5. Phoenix
6. Fresh
7. Around the World
8. Rollin' & Scratchin'
9. Teachers
10. High Fidelity
11. Rock 'n Roll
12. Oh Yeah
13. Burnin'
14. Indo Silver Club
15. Alive
16. Funk Ad

First of all, this node is Americentric. I don’t know what the politics and policies of homework is for noders from other lands but since I can only speak for myself, here goes.

I’ve been watching the news an awful lot these days and in-between the debate over Operation Iraqi Freedom (yeah, that’s what it’s officially called) and whether to “stay the course” or “cut and run”, the recent anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and whether the Feds or the local officials are to blame for that whole mess and the upcoming mid-term elections about whether the Democrats will regain the House and the Senate, another interesting item caught my eye.

For most of us who are parents (and students), the end of August and the beginning of September mark the death knell of summer. Gone are the lazy days of doing pretty much nothing and long nights doing pretty much of the same. The time has now come to get your ass in gear and get to K-Mart or Target or Kohl’s and get those precious back to school supplies and maybe some of the new fall fashions.

For you parents with older kids and for you older kids yourselves, you pretty much know the routine. You know what’s expected of you. After all, you’ve done in the past and its been no big deal. It always helps when you’ve been there before.

But for some of you out there this will be the year when little Johnny or little Susie is leaving the comforts of home for the first time and branching out into a brave new world. It’s there that their teachers are charged with molding them into the fine upstanding citizens that we all want and hope them to be.

The first couple of days are usually a piece of cake. After the initial introductions are made the kids get the lay of the land, the they seem to be at ease with both the pace and the environment and all is right with the world.

And then the fun begins…

In these days of the No Child Left Behind Act both schools and teachers alike are struggling to get more kids to pass standardized tests. After all, it’s in their best interest to do so. The schools get their funding and the teachers keep their jobs and everybody gets a pat on the back and goes home with a smile on their face.

But is it best for the child?

Or for that matter, what about the parents?

According to the reports that I’ve seen, kids as young as kindergarten and first grade are bringing upwards of three and fours hours of homework home a night. Besides basic math and reading, they’re actually being assigned “projects” that require “project plan”s and have to be scoped out. This usually eats into dinner time and may even wind up going late into the evening as Mom and Dad try their best to make sure Junior keeps pace with his or her peers.

Some parents are now claiming enough is enough and that given the fact that many of these kids come from households that are either led by a single parent or require that both spouses work, there just isn’t enough time in the day for them to help their kids with the nightly routine. This leads to failure and later to low self-esteem issues. There’s also some debate being stirred about limiting a kids natural curiosity by having them just memorize facts instead of asking questions.

Other parents claim that too much of a good thing is never enough and the study habits that their kids are developing now will eventually prepare them for life in the real world when they get older.

Teachers seem to be caught in the middle of the whole debate. Some claim that they’re under pressure from the parents themselves to ensure that their little Johnny or Susie doesn’t fall behind their peers in terms of academia. After all, these are the “formative years” when habits, whether they be good or bad, are being built and there are those standardized tests and school funding to think about.

So, how much is enough?

Nobody knows. The so-called experts are as always, divided. From my own personal experience, I’ve seen kids who I thought were idiots’ blossom into geniuses. I’ve seen the so-called class clown get elected to the local school board and I’ve seen the Mensa types fall victim to crime, drugs and alcohol. Nobody can seem to agree on the where or the when or the why. It just happened.

As for me, I guess I’m either really biased or just really damn lucky. In her first six years of grade school, Anna rarely has more than a half an hour or so of studying to do a night and even that seems rare. She’s done just fine when it comes to testing and as far as the future goes, right now it couldn’t be brighter. She seems to have a good balance of sports, an appreciation for the arts and sciences and a decent enough home life at both her moms and at my place to carry her through.

On another personal note, in retrospect, I swear to God sometimes I think I learned more about life by playing in the schoolyard than I ever did in the classroom.

Just something to bear in mind for all you go-getters out there.

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