An Excerpt From the Award-Winning Tell-All
Lucy and CeCee's How to Survive (and Thrive) in Middle School
Lucy: Some teachers have BPS (Big Project Syndrome).
CeCee: BPS teachers just love, love, love the big projects. They love creating them, assigning them, talking about them, and grading them.
Lucy: Big projects either make or break you. Speaking from past experience, I can only vouch for being broken.
CeCee: So when you are assigned one, especially a long-term big project, it’s best to do your bestest because it’s very easy to get overwhelmed with the big project. And when you’re overwhelmed, it’s very easy to procrastinate. And when you procrastinate, it’s very easy to blow it off.
Lucy: And when you blow it off, it’s very easy to fail.
CeCee’s Tips on Acing the Big Project
♥ Really understand the assignment. If there is a rubric or criteria chart, be sure to follow it. Ask questions if you are unsure about something.
♥ Make an itemized list of all materials you will need, including poster board, markers, and so on. Buy all your supplies early on so you’re not panicking the night before.
♥ Organize and calendar all due dates, especially if there are multiple deadlines.
♥ If the project includes research, seek help from the information master herself—the school librarian. When she’s not shhhhhing, she can be very helpful in helping you find the appropriate resources.
♥ Break up project into small parts or tasks. Make a little schedule or have a daily check-off list.
♥ Project should be superneat. No typos, ripped edges, or messy writing. Always word process it if you can. When it’s time to submit it, make sure to write your teacher’s name, class, and date on a title page—along with your name, of course.
♥ Set a date to finish a few days before it’s due. If possible, show the teacher, and ask if you’re on the right track so he or she will know you care.
♥ If the teacher allows, do something extra cool—like a video or PowerPoint.
* * * * * * * * * *
Life Science, Mr. Kragler
Science project notes on electricity experiment (and love analogy) by Lucy Pringle
Objective: To demonstrate static electricity using cereal, my hair, and a comb.
*Twelve-inch piece of thread
*Hair (dry, not wet)
*Puffed rice cereal
1) Okay, first, I tied this piece of puffed rice cereal to one end of a twelve-inch piece of thread. Then, I taped thread to the edge of my mother’s dining room table. (She got a little trippy about the tape taking off the finish, but I explained it was helping me pass science.)
2) Next, I washed my comb to remove all my hair oils and dried it well.
3) Then, I charged the comb by running it through my hair several times.
4) After that, I brought the comb near the hanging cereal piece and noticed it swung on its own in order to touch the comb. I held it still for a few seconds until the cereal jumped away by itself.
5) Knowing the cereal jumped away because of Mr. Kragler’s spellbinding lecture on the dynamics of electricity, I tried touching the comb to the cereal again. As expected, it moved away as the comb approached, sort of like I do when I see Lyle Whitehurst coming down the hall.
Okay, so the act of combing my hair jacked up these electron thingies because the comb has a negative static charge. And then, the neutral cereal was attracted to it but only at first. When they actually touched, the electrons moved from the comb to the cereal, making them all spazzy. Because both objects had the same negative charge, the cereal was repelled and then voilà—electricity!
This was a supercool experiment and reminded me of when I liked this BMOC, Josh Land, who I thought was the polar opposite of me: cool, attractive, and wildly popular. Anyway, it turns out he had this serious negative charge because he thought he was all that (and wasn’t) and liked this other girl, Kandi Klass (who eventually wanted to kick my butt). As it turns out, this negative charge had a negative effect on me. And yeah, it took a while, but eventually, I got repelled by him and now can’t even stand to look at him—mostly because his feelings were never reciprocal and his girlfriend still sees me as hate bait, but we won’t even go there … cuz now I like a new boy named Eddie—and guess what—he likes me! (IDTBC—Impending Drama to be Continued!)
Anyway, who would have thought Life Science was so much like real love? This experiment rocked, Mr. K.!
An excellent analogy, Ms. Pringle.