I remember wondering about this when I took the SATs (and yes, they had them way back when I was a student). I also remember thinking about it when Amber was doing her SAT reviews. You know, there are so many things we question the value of when we are learning. Like those silly story problems in math, I found out those things do come up in real life, Well, maybe not about two trains passing or whatever it was, but other things.
One of the things I remember well was the whole reading comprehension exercise. I routinely scored well in this area. I am sure there are several of you taking the SATs or ACTs and wondering what is the point of the little stories and the questions to follow. Do you remember this? Often you were given a quick story about a subject you knew nothing about and then were asked questions about it. It was hard to follow the questions, often you wouldn’t even remember reading about that. Likewise, what you might have thought was the subject of the exercise was not really the subject at all.
Here is my point. Each day, I go to visit my mom. She launches off on some story that I do not understand, that I do not follow nor does it seem to make any sense. But thankfully, from my experiences in standardized testing, I am able to start with bare minimum facts and see a story emerge. I look for little hints in the story to comprehend what we are talking about. Yesterday, her story was all about going to dinner with some people. I was able to listen for the little clues. I picked up the words “Betty and Getty” who are her stepson and his wife in Denver. Therefore, I knew she thought we were in Denver and that she anticipated going out for a nice dinner. There is no point in telling her we are not in Denver or that Betty and Getty were not taking her out to dinner. That just seems to confuse and confound her more. Sometimes, she just flat does not believe me (obviously, I must be confused about where we are because clearly we are in Denver). So, the best plan is just to tell her, no, not tonight momma. Tonight we will eat here at this place. This does not assure that she will accept this answer but after I repeat it multiple times, she goes along.
Next, she launched into asking what she should do. Should she just wait and see what happens or do I have any suggestions for her? I was not sure what she was referring to, but once again with my superior comprehension skills, I listened and waited for more information. She asked, “Well, at our age, if we have a chance to be happy, shouldn’t we just go for it?” I realized then that she was on the “Jim and I should get married track”. Again, no point in explaining that she has been married for 15 years. No point at all. I told her (again) that Jim and Jay were coming to visit after Thanksgiving and she would see them then. “Well”, she decided, “we will just see how that goes and make a decision later”. Okay, I could go with that.
Each day is a new opportunity to use those skills I learned years ago. Each time I follow her story or her reasoning makes it easier for her to think I am following and supporting her thinking. And we just thought all that test stuff was worthless.