Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Friday--Get home to the loving embrace of my family and...LAUNDRY! Man alive, what a mess of clothing.

Got the debrief on the Fabulous Paper Trebuchet. As I had envisioned, it was broken before it ever got to class--it seems Catherine decided to pick up the carrying box sometime while she and her brother and sister were waiting in the gym to go to class, which managed to snap off the plastic soda straws I had used to hold the axles in place. Grr. Anyway, after much wheedling and digging--for some reason, Rebecca was very shy with the information--we found that even handicapped by having its poor little wheels gone, the trebuchet let fly with two fearsome volleys of sugary fury. One hit the ceiling toward the center of the classroom, and the other hit the bookcase. She explained all about it, and made one of those discoveries that changes your whole outlook when you’re young.

Your teachers sometimes don’t know everything.

I remember when I figured that out--I was in the fourth grade, and my teacher told us that every time you learn something, a small crease or fold forms in the surface of your brain. I knew that was total BS, even at nine years old.

Anyway, Rebecca had her epiphany when the subject of what defines a machine came up. Their teacher had told them that to be a machine, something had to do work, which meant it had to produce a change in force, a change in direction, or create a change in distance. ALL TOGETHER. (It actually can be any one of them individually.) Anyway, some little smartypants kid asked Miss Teacher how the lovingly-created machine before them actually did all three of these. She figured out after much deliberation that it did indeed produce a change in distance (since the Dot candy went way far away) and she figured that there was some sort of change in force, although she wasn’t quite sure of the magic. But the stumper came in the change of direction--just couldn’t figure that one out. So, obviously children, it was not a machine, now was it?

Seems that someone didn’t get that particular crease in her brain when she got her college diploma.

Anyway, I assured Bec that work doesn’t have to do all three things, and that even if it did, the fact that the candy first has to go in a big, looping, circle before being released meant that it did change the direction of the object, so her experiment was just fine. “Hmm. Well, you know, my teacher said she’s not real good at science stuff.”

Am our children lerning?

Anyway, it’s a good thing I can figure stuff like that out, because when it comes to remembering anything else, my brain is completely smooth. We got a call later on Friday evening from one of the dads on Rebecca’s soccer team to let us know the practice for Saturday got changed from 9:30 to 1 o’clock (which was very nice to hear). What was not so nice was I had absolutely no idea who it was until very far into the conversation.

CALLER: “Hey. This is [muffled--sounded like Drmlshfm].”

ME: [Thinking, ‘I wonder who in the world this is?’] “Hey, man, what’s going on?”

CALLER: “Awww, not much. Y’all have a good Christmas?

ME: “Yeeeah. Y’all?”

CALLER: “Yeeeah, I reckon so. Listen, I’m supposed to call and let everyone know that we’re going to get the team together and run Saturday at one.”

ME: [Totally mystified, unable to maintain charade of familiarity.] “Okay. And, ummm, this is for…who, exactly?”

CALLER: “For soccer…soccer practice.”

ME: [Okay, wonder which team this is supposed to be for--not making the connection that it could only be ONE team, since Middle Girl’s is the only one practicing at the moment.] “Who is this?” [Really, I have NO clue.]

CALLER: [Sounding somewhat perturbed] “This is Daryl [muffled--sounded like Donno]!”

ME: “And it’s going to be Saturday? At one?” [Tiny internal doorbell FINALLY goes off, and I FINALLY figure out who this is. Decide I must continue charade of denseness to make it seem as though initial bout of brainfade was intentional for the purpose of sporting about.] “And your name is Daryl?”

CALLER: “Right.”

ME: “And who are you again? And this is about soccer?” [Add slight snicker at end]

CALLER: “Aww, now cut that out!”

ME: “I’m really sorry, but I’m not sure what sort of soccer team you might be talking about.”

That went on for a little bit longer just so as to convince him totally that the whole exchange from the start had been my idea of a little joke. He either thinks I am quite the clever boy or a raving lunatic. Or quite the clever raving lunatic boy. Whatever.

Anyway, that was welcome news, in that it meant Middle Girl could still go with us up to the church building to study.

Which will be covered in the next installment we like to call…SATURDAY!!

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