Thursday, January 31, 2008

Civics Lesson

Back in 2000, when Patrick was 13, he was becoming much more sophisticated in his interests. Sure, he had moments where he watched Power Rangers, but he was also watching ER and the news.

So, just before the election, the usual OMG IGNORANT VOTERS hysteria was going on (which, yeah, is a big deal, but of course the media was very sensationalistic about it.

One of the things they did was take random people and show them pictures of then-President Clinton, Al Gore, and George W. Bush. Naturally, it was edited to show people in the worst possible light, but even so, the amount of ignorance -- some people not only couldn't name Gore or Bush, many couldn't point out our current, sitting president, who had been in the news quite a bit for the type of senationalistic things that even non-political people are interested in.

In other words, I thought sex was supposed to sell?

Anyway, Patrick happened to be watching the news when they were doing that, and he named everybody. He could even say who was president and who wanted to be president.

So I've been watching the current elections, trying to figure out a way to involve my kiddos. I think I've mentioned before that we often find places on our classroom map, with the ultimate goal of everyone but Elastigirl being able to find America on a map, and with Elastigirl being able to find the map.

Then, tonight, when I'm supposed to be making homework, it hits me -- I have a bare cabinet just waiting for a long, narrow chart. The kind of chart that would involve three columns: state, Democratic winner, and Republican winner.

Like this:

Then, I made a book that the kids will put together containing the same information. We'll add to it as the primaries progress.

My ultimate goal for this is to expose the kids to the concept of "voting," to get them to at least recognize a couple of the candidates, and, in Elastigirl's case, to at least identify the "girl" and the "boy."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

And This Person is Teaching Your Children

I'm not going to link to the blog I found this on, 'cause that would be mean, but I present to you a statement of such utter "???????" that I just had to share:

"Babylon 5 was my favorite Star Trek show."



Sunday, January 27, 2008

To Boldly Go

So, this weekend, I channeled my inner geek and went to see Star Trek: The Tour.  It was pretty cool -- I think the neatest thing for me were the set replicas (some of which you could actually stand in/on, but Patrick had stomach trouble and didn't want to wait -- as you can imagine, those lines were the longest).  I took a few pictures, but like a certain blogger who I used to have a horrible crush on, and now read 'cause he's an awesome writer, my camera battery died.

At least I'm in good company, eh?

Oh, and my second favorite part: they had a simulator ride (think Star Tours) where you are bringing some sort of technobabble thing to the moon -- but you're on Shuttlecraft Hawking (very cool); also, there were like 50 47s stuck into the short ride.

I've been a Trekkie since I was five, when my dad was buying the Original Series episodes on VHS tape (he correctly predicted that VHS would win the format wars because there was no way to record to Betamax at home) and showed me "The Trouble With Tribbles."  

The first three seasons of Enterprise didn't interest me (to be honest, they lost me in the first five minutes of the pilot with the bumpy-headed Klingons, a continuity gaffe that was so awful as to be ridiculous), though the fourth was vastly better (they hired Star Trek novelists who actually found a way to explain the aforementioned horrible continuity gaffe), and I'm not at all sure about the current movie, so it was nice that the exhibit focused largely on the Original Series and Next Generation.

It allowed annoyance-free nostalgia.  :-)

Where it all began.

*sniff*  "Let's see what's out there.  Engage."

"Many such adventures are possible."