Monday, July 23, 2007

just returned from a family trip to the loo (st. louis)- a familiar town, yet one which i hardly know, or hardly have explored. went to the science museum (for a superheroes exhibit, for the 5-yr.-old)- went to the zoo (for the 2-yr-old)...high points included the following: check-engine light came on before leaving, so we rented a pt cruiser- having already bought tickets, looked forward to short vacation, etc. various excitement about science center's exhibits, including angry hulk, styrofoam spaceship at planetarium, huge yet delicate ball-rolling mechanism....sometimes i, as a very large kid, need to be reminded of the magical harmony of science as it can be presented, tactilely and visually. at the zoo, the usual disconnect between the difficulty of seeing proud, sentient beings in captivity, yet at the same time the connection between children in particular, and the natural world- their awareness that these animals are real, and so different. they make an impression. the hippos in the water; the pacing lion, the polar bear and the monkeys, perhaps more than most. we got worn out and everyone is sleeping well except for me, jacked up on coffee trying to finish preparing for the upcoming week. i'm grateful, though, to get a break; to get away; to spend some intensive time really watching and being with the little guys, doing something just for them. life is going by quickly, they're learning stuff and talking about it, and, if my mind is elsewhere as it tends to be under these stressful circumstances, i might miss it. in the hotel pool, the 5-yr.-old learns to swim. in the car, the 2-yr.-old sings new songs, uses clever words to get under the skin of his brother. stages of development, milestones pass like road-markers. the loo- as good a setting as any, with its arch, its hill, its old brick row-houses, some elegant and well-taken care of, and we saw the hill (italian restaurant neighborhood) for the first time. much of the town, we haven't really seen, in spite of my being here thirteen years now. but there's always time for a change, room to learn. i give credit to my wife- the organizer- leaving it up to me, it would have been another weekend at home, grading papers, trying to catch up on laundry.

and, some decent weather, for at least part of the weekend- dry, warm, pleasant, summery. a bloom on everything in sight...saw a lot of corn, busting out in tassels, reaching for the sky, taking in the iowish sun. wondering, though, if the ethanol is behind the check-engine business...

it's back to the grind, the large stacks of papers, googled together in some cases, like a pick-up-sticks game with phrases- i've stared putting my thoughts here, and don't offer a link to it on my work weblog, because it's not really for every student to read. it's not secret, though. i wonder what to do. writing about it helps.


Blogger J-Funk said...

How fun! You didn't get stuck in the Arch did you?

10:05 AM  

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