Dear Memphis and Brumby,
It has been an honor hosting you at the Debbie Miller Homeschool for Family-Centered Learning this past year.
Before we convert the classroom back into Daddy’s second bedroom for the summer, I am legally required to assess your competency across all 4th grade Common Core subjects. Please see the experiential, inquiry-based, engagement-focused, holistic exam below.
I have allocated seven hours for you to complete this exam, plus the entire weekend should you need it.
Mrs. Miller (a.k.a. Mom)
Last term we studied the Russian classic Anna Karenina. Consider the divergent consequences of Anna’s extramarital affair compared to those of her brother’s flagrant philandering. To what extent do you think these double standards still exist today? And what steps, if any, can modern thrill-seeking women take to avoid the same ostracism that befell and ultimately destroyed Anna?
The other night you probably heard Daddy using his big voice to tell Mommy that she isn’t allowed to take private tennis classes anymore. How would you characterize this statement?
- An assault on Mommy’s individual freedoms
- A heinous attempt at patriarchal domination
- Daddy trying to prevent the inevitable
- All of the above
Spelling & Punctuation
Below is a draft email from one member of the Cape Marina Tennis Club to another member of the Cape Marina Tennis Club who also happens to be a revolting skank. Please check for spelling and punctuation mistakes.
This is just a quick note to say that if you make one more off-base comment about me and Coach Nick I will slash your tires and sue you for defamation. The fact that you consider my friendship with Nicky “too familiar” is clearly a reflection of your woeful relations with the opposite sex. You’re just a miserable bitch with a bottom-shelf bourbon addiction and a flaccid backhand.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” — Nelson Mandela
Consider the concept of sexual monogamy. Would you characterize the practice of forsaking all others as an essential component for maintaining a successful marriage? Or is sexual exclusivity really just a flawed byproduct of man’s crippling need for stability? Justify your answer. Give examples.
Where do Chinese people come from?
Hypothetically speaking, Mommy and the nice tennis man are out in the shed practicing groundstrokes when all of a sudden Daddy comes home and asks where Mommy is. What do you do?
- Stonewall—I ain’t no snitch
- Tell him the truth. Growing up in a broken home is fun!
- Drop to the floor and pretend you’re having an epileptic seizure just like we practiced in body movement
In 500 words or less, explain how to scrub a hard drive. Alternatively, you can just go and scrub Mommy’s laptop right now. It’s under the front seat of her car. Keys in the fruit bowl.
Please spell carbon dioxide.
When did Lady Diana Spencer marry the Prince of Wales?
- July 29, 1981
- Before her prefrontal cortex was fully developed
- Way too soon
From the perspective of an 8-year old twin boy or girl, would you say it’s better to have one home and two rich parents, or two separate homes and two poor parents? Would you be willing to defend your opinion on this matter in a Family Court?
In the extremely unlikely scenario that Mommy were to lose the house in a big Judge Judy-style fight with Daddy, what would you rather do?
- Move in with Grandma and Grandpa
- Go live with Auntie Jo in Arizona
- Come help Mommy set up an ESL school in Bali
Congratulations on reaching the end of this informal, blended-learning, meaningful-minded exam. Please note that the contents of this exam are strictly confidential. Should the examiner find out that you discussed this exam with any individual—specifically anyone by the name of Dad, Daddy, Trent, Mr. Miller, Mr. M, Debbie’s husband, Brumby’s dad, or Memphis’s dad—you will be marked down to zero and banned from participating in all future Christmas activities.
Illustration by James Kochalka