I took chemistry in college and certainly didn’t have a clue. I won’t try to detail it any further, primarily because I might bore my faithful readers (both of them) and I’d get it wrong anyway.
I knew the young lady. I knew she was planning to go into engineering. I knew she was an extremely talented musician. I didn’t know she could speak chemistry. Those quotes were taken from the abstract of her project at Darke County Science Day. She came in second place. First place went to two 10th graders who titled their project “Mind Games.” Thanks to the digital age, they have proven it is possible to control objects with your mind. Is there really mind over matter? They think so.
What caught my interest the most, though, was a project presented by three seniors: The Effects of Age on Brain Activity. The test was finding Waldo in the “Where is Waldo?” book. How long did it take participants of various ages? High school and college ages had the best results, followed by young children and middle age subjects. Performing the most poorly?
Old folks. Like me. Some of my counterparts evidently gave up when too much brain activity was required. At least now I know why my eyes were glazing over trying to read the chemistry abstract.
The last couple of weeks have been a diverse look at today’s young people. I really felt stupid talking to students ranging from the sixth through 12th grades at the science fair. Then I had a chance to feel humble… I forgot about an appointment I’d scheduled with a teen about her Acts of Kindness club at the high school.
I forgot! I don’t do that, not if I want people to trust me later. I was embarrassed and upset with myself. Got to the high school and found her waiting for me, eating a donut and grinning. Not the least bit unhappy… or if she was she didn’t show it.
Feeling stupid, learning my brain power is dissolving and being humbled in a two-week time frame. For someone on the Grumpy Side of 60 that can be tough to take.
Add to that I check my mailbox at Edison three times a week and nothing is ever in it… I’m starting to get a complex.
Then there was the assignment I covered last week. It was Woodland Elementary’s second grade field trip to Garst Museum and Darke County Parks (Shawnee Prairie). A fourth of the classes went to Garst in the morning, then out to the parks in the afternoon. Another fourth switched mornings and afternoons with the first group. The other half of the second grade did the same thing two days later.
I chose morning… Garst first, then to the parks. Got lots of pictures, plus a pretty good handle on the instruction volunteers were offering the kids, from old fashioned bicycles and how people dressed in Annie Oakley’s day, to how to make maple syrup and the difference between today’s kids and the frontier kids.
As luck would have it, Callie Z was in the group I was following around at Shawnee Prairie. She didn’t notice me at first… her concentration was on the lessons she was learning. But then she saw me… you know, of course, what comes next: the hand goes up in front of the face but not before I see the smile. Then she did something totally unexpected…
She stuck her tongue out at me.
I cracked up. What a perfect wrap to a not so perfect two weeks.