Sunday, June 24, 2007

Summer Field Studies Curriculum Has Commenced

The last twenty-four hours have marked the beginning of N.'s intensive "summer field studies curriculum."

Yesterday, after services we had several errands in town, so our Shabbat was, alas, somewhat abbreviated.

We had to visit the Boy Scout Shop to get a few things because N. was leaving for camp this morning, bright and early.
We had to drop off N.'s gear at Mrs. W.'s house, because he was assigned to her car. By packing her car a day early, she hoped to avoid accidently leaving anything behind. Smart woman, that one!

And finally, we had to go to one of the Big Box Home Improvement stores to rent a Superduty truck, go to the lumber discouter and pick up our Wood Flooring.

That was an adventure!

The pallet was stacked with 34 boxes, 4 across and 7-8 deep. It was loaded onto the drop-side bed of the rental truck with a forklift and put right in the middle. It was held together with plastic straps and shrink wrap.

Bruce assured me that it would not move. When we got to the I-25 south to I-40 east fly-over, I recommened to Bruce that we stay in the far right lane and go very slowly because there is a curve with a short radius. Bruce said, "Don't worry!" And took the curve at 50 mph in the left lane. The load shifted and two boxes appeared to be sliding off.

I reminded Bruce that there is a reason that G-d told Abraham, "Listen to your wife!"

We had to pull over and check, but Bruce could not move the heavy pallet back into place. In order to relieve my worries for the rest of the trip, I used the situation as an object lesson for N. We discussed Newton's 1st law and what is actually happening as you accelerate around a curve. We talked about centripetal force and the issue of equal and opposite forces. There's nothing like real-life, high-stakes examples to cement an idea in a kid's mind! N. demonstrated his knowledge with diagrams and equations--algebraic, though. We are not up to calculus, yet.

Thank goodness, Bruce drove slowly and sensible for the rest of the trip and the boxes of flooring are now stacked in our living room where they will sit until Thursday, when we begin our work. If you look closely you can see Bruce resting in the recliner after we man-handled 34 boxes into the house in less than 30 minutes! We're buff. And tired.

Last night, we got the last-minute stuff together for the first unit in N.'s summer intensive field studies: Boy Scout Camp.

This year the troop is spending a week at a Boy Scout Camp near Fort Davis, Texas, and I did not have to drive. In fact, we did not even have to take N. into town. The caravan agreed to meet us at the I-40 Sedillo exit.

N. was so excited last night that he could barely sleep, but he was still "bright-eyed and bushy-tailed" (we are working on metaphors) this morning when we met the caravan as the sun rose over Sedillo Hill.

There was one little hitch. I had filled out the medical form required, but the troop leader had neglected to tell me that he needed N.'s insurance card. We are waiting for the camp to call with a fax number, although we did give the information on the medical form. Since no one has called, we are guessing that the information given is probably good enough. They should be there and eating dinner by now!

The camp will be a better field experience than anything I can devise. N. has signed up to work on the following merit badges:
  • Horseback Riding
  • Outdoor Survival
  • Rifle Shooting
  • Archery

Aspects of Outdoor Cooking and Camping skills will also be taught. That's a lot of learning packed into one, short week. As I looked at the requirements for each of these, I realized that he is going to be a very busy Boy Scout this next week. And he'll come home pretty tired. And this is only part I. He'll be home a short time before he gets to fly to Chicago by himself (non-stop). That's part II of the three part field studies.

I waved good-bye with a brave smile as the caravan pulled out. I know this is good for him. I know he will have a ball. And I know he is going to learn more in the next week than he has in the last month.'s going to be awefully quiet around here!

1 comment:

steph said...

That's how I feel when my in-laws visit! They take the girls off with them hiking, etc, for large blocks of time; I end up with hours of time to myself that I have no idea what to do with. I enjoy it, but it feels so weird that I usually squander it in the worst way. I can't even begin to imagine them not being wholly dependent on me. It's surreal when I go to work--I like the break but I feel like I left a body part at home! But my kids are still so little yet.

From how you've described N, I bet he's going to be exhausted but reaching Nirvana after a trip like this! Good for him. Sounds as though moving out this way was a wise parental decision...and not too bad for you, either!