A little tired this morning. Stayed up until 2 am.
RESEARCHING SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS.
We have a load of science experiment books, and of course the internet overflows with them, which makes it difficult sometimes to pin something down, and do things that make sense and actually teach rather than produce a “wow!” factor.
I also like to practice some before I do it with the boys to make sure they actually work. So if you’d looked in my kitchen window last night, yes, you would have seen me doing things with candles, balloons, yeast and mason jars.
It did lead me to think about schools (again). What if, instead of pouring money into the latest electronic gizmos, that will certainly go out of date in a year, an elementary school invested in a science lab and a science coordinator? I’m sure there are some schools that have such a thing, but I’ve never seen it, and it strikes me as just as important as having an art or music room. Yes, by the time you get to middle school, you’ve got such a set-up, but really, kids are so naturally fascinated by science – all kinds, from physics to zoology – that it seems to make sense to me.
The most successful experiment this week was quite simple. It’s this: crushing an aluminum can. It was all about air pressure, of course. I like talking about air pressure – there are lots of simple experiments you can do to show that air is actually not “nothing” but most certainly “something” even though we can’t see or feel it most of the time.
It’s a good segue into spiritual conversations, too, you know…..
For Halloween, we read The Raven, listened to Christopher Walken declaim it, re-read and acted out Act 4 scene 1 of Macbeth – I was the Second Witch, in case you’re interested.
I’m starting to go out and talk about Bambinelli Sunday. Had two interviews this week – one noted below and another yesterday with a Lexington station. I have another that will be taped next week. I’ve also set up a weekend of booksignings in Charleston at the Daughters of St. Paul bookstore. More will be here as the details are hammered out.
BTW – the issue of what makes an interesting/inspiring/absorbing/reverent experience of Mass and (in general) parish life has popped up in the Catholic blogosphere again over the past couple of weeks (as it does periodically)- may I recommend How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist as a means of navigating that question? It’s all about the word, the letters of which Michael used as chapter starters: S-A-C-R-I-F-I-C-E.
Oh, and as long as I’m being a bookseller – it’s All Saints’ Day!
Not much to report re/Huntsville Tuesday this week. Michael was feeling puny, so all we did in the afternoon was pop into a pet store that had a great reptile collection - but he felt so bad he couldn’t stay. When even the lizards and reptiles can’t afford you comfort, you know you feel badly. We spent the rest of the time in search of soup.
This week. I read a book! From start to finish! It was this one - & Sons – which had some patches of great writing, but was ultimately kind of a mess, but one that got me thinking anyway. It’s the story of a Salinger-type reclusive writer and his relationship with his (of course) sons. The ultimate effect was of a narrow, cramped world in which human beings have no greater point of reference than themselves. Without the transcendent, parents become gods and children become possessions, with soul-crushing consequences for both. A world in which all we have for our sense of meaning, affirmation and self is the mirror and other, limited, human beings – rather than a God who brings us into being out of love, with a purpose and a destiny – is nothing but a deadening circle of endless recriminations in which we blame and condemn each other for not being god or claim that role ourselves, always to most destructive ends.
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