Wednesday, February 25, 2009

master forger

Having Primo in middle school has taught me many things, including the art of making homework look like it is 200 years old. I do not know why this is such an important skill. Truly, this does not seem like it is something that one can put on one's resume unless, of course, one wants the resume to look like it dates from the time of the American Revolution. Or unless one is planning a career in art forgery. Either way, when the assignment came home last Friday requiring the project to look "like an authentic item carried in the pocket or knapsack of [a] member of the expedition,"* I knew it was time to break out the matches.

In case this is ever a skill YOU are called upon to possess, let me fill you in on the steps. Start by using one of those lesser-known fonts, that looks like antique writing in the eyes of a 13-year-old. Change the ink color to look more sepia-toned. A couple of different options are available for the next part: we can debate the artistic merits of staining the paper with a wet tea bag vs. dirt from a flowerpot until the cows come home, but this time we used dirt because Primo thought it would be more true to the look of something carried in a knapsack. I am SO thankful that these assignments really have the kids paying attention to the details of the lesson being taught.


Then it was time for the edges, which is my personal forte. Not to toot my own horn, but thanks to all the practice the middle school teachers have given me over the past three years, I have become quite proficient at "aging" the edges without torching the document.

IMG_4107 IMG_4102

The entire thing, with accompanying illustrations, was mounted on historically-accurate oak board, and voila:


I wonder what grade I'll get?

* This is a direct quote from the homework assignment explanation sent to the parents.


  1. Kris,
    You are a woman of many talents.

  2. Thankfully, one side of the equation (you) has creativity....but I continue to worry about the level of competence on the educational side. But I guess it's back to the old axiom: If you can't deal with the big issues--in this case, teaching history--think up some diversionary tactics to fill time voids with cutesy activities and camouflage the fact that teaching skills are less than stellar.

  3. that torching thing is amazing, and i am definitely trying it the next time my mother is out of the house.

  4. Personally, I found that completely drenching in a pan of tea, then baking it in the oven were the key to getting good grades in middle school. I don't remember anything I learned while doing that exact same project, but I DO remember how to age it. You are right, not useful at all, but I guess it did get me through UFRE/MS.