Saturday, March 29, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
tonite i swang on the porch swing (well technically it's by our pool, so i guess it's a pool swing) with my niece and nephew. While my nephew babbled about something or other (he's not quite two...and the words aren't quite coherent), i had the following conversation with my niece (she just turned three):
Bethany: A bird!
me: Where? Did you see it flying?
Bethany: Yes. Birds can fly cuz they have wings.
me: Well where was the bird going?
Bethany: To get the food.
me: What kind of food do birds eat?
(silence from the little one)
me: Oh that's good.
Bethany: I like pizza.
me: What do you like on your pizza?
(A moment of silence, followed by....)
Bethany: ...chickens eat eggs!
me: Oh chickens don't eat eggs, chickens lay eggs. Baby chickens come from eggs.
Bethany: Yeah chickens come from eggs. But sometimes they don't hatch.
me: Well what happens then?
Bethany: Well you have to be patient...
(she said that last part to me like, duh, anyone knows that.)
And this is why life is good.
I wish all of my conversations consisted of this.
And a pool swing.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
It's difficult to pinpoint exactly what pathway my thought process took to arrive at this subject, but a few days ago I found myself pondering what life would be like if children were in charge of grown-up things.
Really, what would elementary school be like if it was infused with adult-ish elements? Let's consider the possibilities if, say, different groups from SUU found themselves in the realms of childhood …
Student Government: Considering that it's election season at SUU, my thoughts turn to what campaigning would be like among elementary students. Would handing out free stickers successfully secure a slew of devoted voters?
And what about campaign slogans? I can picture the signs now: "I rule and you drool," "David dominates at double-dutch," or "Bobby smells so vote for me." (Heck, if any of SUU's current political parties put up signs of this nature, I'm pretty sure it would secure my vote, at least.)
The University Journal: Just imagine if 4th graders were recruited to write for The Tetherball Times or the He-Took-My-Lunch-Money Gazette. It is difficult for me to imagine a pigtailed, overalls-wearing youngster being the editor-in-chief-of such a thing. And besides, what would the ambitious little reporters write about?
You can only cover a game of four-square so many times without your sports section growing stale, and you run the risk of becoming a tabloid if you keep pandering to the umpteenth news tip from a "reliable source" claiming to have laid eyes on the ever-elusive sand monster.
Athletics: Oh my, just picture the possibilities if the athletics program at SUU was akin to that of a schoolyard playground! The biggest factors in qualifying for a team would be, a) if you can run fast enough to claim the kickball field before the other classes get there, and b) if you invited the right people to your birthday party.
Actually, I think it could do a lot for collegiate sports if football teams reverted to two-hand touch instead of tackling, and if all disputes were solved by games of rock, paper, scissors. Sheer brilliance, I tell you.
The Tipsy Team: I figured if there's going to be an SUU-style athletics program at the elementary school, then there had better be a group of high-spirited fans to accompany it. I mean, what little boy doesn't want a crowd of rambunctious friends chanting "all day, every day" whenever he breaks his personal record in long-jumping off the swing set?
On the other hand, I think it might terrify the little tykes if they accidentally cut in the drinking fountain line and are barraged with a chorus of "PUSH IT" from the sidelines.
Academics: One good aspect of having college-level classes for elementary school children is that they would probably draw the most creative pictures on their scantrons on exam days. The downside is that recess would be out the window, and forget snack breaks or naptime.
And a little kid shouldn't expect any sympathy from his teacher if he doesn't quite make it to the restroom because he was too excited about the Bill Nye video. You're cleaning up your own mess, buddy.
I guess the drawbacks might outweigh the benefits in this situation, so maybe I should hold off on writing President Michael T. Benson or petitioning senate to create another branch of government named the Elementary Assembly. (But if I did, I would demand that a minimum of three representatives from every grade level be appointed.)
But still, even if a full-on SUU-elementary-school integration program wouldn't work out, I can't say I wouldn't enjoy a little more Oregon Trail and a little less WebCT every now and then.
Monday, March 3, 2008
This article was printed today, but I wrote it about an adventure I had last summer...enjoy!
There comes a time of year when one’s thoughts turn to things of summer and sunshine. For me, that time is every day between the hours of awake and asleep.
Whilst enduring the never-ending winter winds, I was recently reminiscing on an experience I had last July. And I thought to myself, maybe it’s time to share my adventure with the world … or at least with the student body at SUU.
Before I begin my story, it’s important to note one thing: I have been and always will be terrified of sea creatures and deep water. Aquariums, Sea World, the deep end of the pool … any of the above are enough to make me more than a little squeamish.
So with that in mind, my adventure began one July afternoon in Oceanside, Calif., on the beach with three of my best friends. Despite my aforementioned phobias, I relish the opportunity to spend time on the beach, seeing as how my family went there all of once when I was growing up, and that was in the dead of winter.
So after a morning of beach Frisbee and people- (and lifeguard-) watching, my friends decided it was time to swim in the ocean. Balancing my fears of the formidably vast body of water in front of me against my insatiable need to try most things at least once, I grabbed my Wal-Mart flotation device (probably meant for those under the age of 5) and decided to brave the waves.
I rationalized my decision, seeing as how the ocean couldn’t possibly be too deep if I stayed close to the sand, and in my people-watching I had yet to see anyone get attacked by any unearthly sea monsters.
So, feeling pretty calm about the situation, I plunged into the water. I quickly discovered two things: 1) My Wal-Mart flotation device lacked most things involving “flotation,” and 2) the enticing ocean waves were hiding a carpeting of sharp rocks.
I determined that the use of a Boogie Board would provide the needed floatation to swim over the rocks, so I switched vehicles and advanced out into the ocean to continue my escapade.
My best friend was with me this entire time, and she instructed me that the proper use of the Boogie Board was to swim out into the waves and then, when a big enough wave came, to turn and ride the board back to the safety of the beach.
By this point I had been sufficiently battered by the waves and had drank enough saltwater to fill Shamu’s tank, so I welcomed the idea of going back to the beach. I had a slight fear of losing my death-grip on my Boogie Board in the process, so I decided to attach myself to it with the provided wrist-strap.
Soon enough, along came a rather large wave, so I followed my friend’s instructions and prepared to cruise safely to the shore. Unfortunately, the ocean had other plans for me.
The wave hit me like a wall and flipped me under the water, at which point I think the ocean tried to pull each of my limbs independently in different directions. True to my previous worries, I did indeed lose my hold on the Boogie Board, but all the wrist-strap accomplished was to keep the board in close enough proximity to beat me over the head a few times as I flailed helplessly through the water.
Fortunately for me, God apparently still has some things for me to accomplish on this earth, so He didn’t let the ocean kill me entirely. I think the ocean was upset about the missed opportunity, though, so before releasing me from its grip it decided to drag me face-first through the previously discussed flooring of sharp rocks before spitting me out on the beach.
Sprawled out on the sand like a beached whale, with my nose and eyes burning from the intake of saltwater, I cursed the “rational” parts of my brain that had convinced me to enter the water in the first place.
Meanwhile, my friends laughed their heads off at me and proceeded to take pictures of my sorry state. I literally crawled up the beach to my towel where I laid the rest of the day, insisting my recovery would take days of sunbathing and lifeguard-watching before I returned to normal.
All in all, my experience can simply be chalked up to another thing I have to be afraid of — aquariums, Sea World, and now the ocean. Congratulations, Boogie Board.