The closest to Normal (Illinois) that I've ever been.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tripping it up

This was the week of the killer field trip. On Wednesday, I went with Sam and the Glenn Elementary 4th graders to Funk's Grove Maple Sirup Experience. It would have been an excellent experience indeed if not for the fact that it was @10 degrees, and we had to spend 4 hours outside in the woods. By the end of the trip, my feet, hands and face were numb/windburned and swelled up and my back hurt from continuous shivering. The kids had a great time and we all learned much about maple syrup (and sirup).

An enthusiastic volunteer with a tomahawk tells us the story of the Native American discovery of maple sap, and how Native Americans boiled sap into syrup without metal cookware. So very cold...

We go in the barn to learn how the maple sap evaporator works.

We go inside for a few minutes to learn about grades of honey and taste some samples.

Recess outside with relay races.

Sam playing some boy game.

I find Sam's interactions with his classmates puzzling. He clearly doesn't have much in common with the other kids, so he tends to keep to himself. But everyone in his class seem to be friendly with each other, with no clear friction or bullying/cattiness. When the kids are put in groups or given free time for running around, Sam engages with the other kids readily. The other kids seem to like him and sometimes seek him out. There are particular kids that tend to gravitate toward him/he gravitates toward them, but when he gets to pick his own seat on the bus, he chooses to sit alone.

We re-enact the functional anatomy of a tree.

Practicing tree tapping.

The real thing. Of course, as cold as it was, the sap was not flowing.

Thursday, Joseph's kindergarten class came to the ISU Planetarium, which is 6 feet from my office. The show was OK, and I offered to give the kids a tour of the lab afterwards. The kids enjoyed the Madagascar hissing cockroaches and crickets that we had in the lab, as well as the bug-shaped graham crackers that I gave them. But the parent chaperones clearly thought that I was some crazy bug-lover which was disheartening. The lab is a clean functional space, but I suppose that it may have looked shabby and antiquated to people who think that labs are supposed to look like on CSI. It gave me a new perspective on what I do that was not at all helpful.


Beth said...

Scientist moms are the coolest! At least that's my perspective.

Jessica and Adam said...

Thanks Beth!

The trip sounds cold Susan, so cold. You are a good Mom!