A Case of “The Slows”

With two sophomores in Pre-Calculus, Spanish, Honors Chemistry, and the like, there’s not much I can do to help with homework these days.  So when Claire asked me to come over to her chair tonight to look over a review sheet, I went with some trepidation.  She must have seen my fear, so she added, “It is for history.”

Whew.  That I can handle.

Her note sheet had some smudges, obscuring some of the answers.  So she asked “Why did President Lincoln fire McClellan?” 

“The first or second time?”  My response surprised her, but she re-read the question and realized it was referring to the second time.  So I said, “because he refused to attack Lee’s retreating army after Antietam.”  She looked at her sheet, figured out the missing words around the smudge, and decided I was right.  One for the old man.

“How did President Lincoln describe General McClellan?” Claire asked.  “That’s easy,” I replied, “Lincoln said McClellan, ‘had a bad case of the slows.'”  

Now I had her!  “How did you know that?!” she exclaimed.  I smiled.  It isn’t often I get to bask in the glow of admiration from my teenagers’ when it comes to questions of homework.

Finally!  All those years of devouring Civil War histories paid off in the self-satisfied feeling you get when you come across as something less than clueless to your teenagers.  You’ll never know when you have to pull a quote about “The Little Napoleon” out of the air.  So study up!

More to come…