Thursday, February 3, 2011

Education on Snow

It is late. I am on a snow day. And I feel like teaching.

Real snow days are not for play dates, driving around, or going to the movies. No offense Freakonmics blogger. But snow days in my mind are dedicated to physics, science, engineering, and daredevil stunts. That is, when you have finished getting paid for shoveling driveways and sidewalks around the neighborhood. Lets not forget some good family time where you build a snowman family.*

Designing, building, and organizing an awesome sledding hill complete with jumps is an effort in fun, design, creativity, and organization. Furthermore constructing snow walls or barriers in order to have epic snowball fights is also a must. And lets not forget finding a wall so that you can pile up 3-6 feet and jump into it from above. Going super fast down a hill (engineering, physics, design), jumping off a wall (testing gravity and snow compression), and snowball fights (principles of compression, strengths of materials, chemistry) are all awesome feats of awesomeness (copyright jimmyc, because its late and I said so)!

Kids don't go outside nearly as often as when I was a kid, but they should, and snow is the perfect excuse. "Its cold" is not a reason to stay inside. Your kids have abercrombie and fitch Eddie Bauer  (I am old) gloves, hats, scarves, underarmour, goretex coats, etc. Use them dammit! I might be strange, but I would walk miles in the snow just to do it. And I know I am not alone. I saw it in a movie once, "O Captain, My Captain". 

The blog post had the air of "old" people having a snow day. Snow days are about kids (movie: Snow Day). And if kids have snow days they should be out being kids learning about the awesomeness of snow. And, yes sometimes that means doing hard work to achieve your goals. Maybe it is shoveling the sidewalk or digging out the family car, or snow removal from the roof. And then its sledding but not before gathering all the snow on your block to make the awesome luge run you saw on the Olympics ... getting water to make it nice and icy (Chemistry, engineering, physics, science!). Just to go faster.**

So stop being "old". You will have plenty of time to make your kids old. Give them the tools to be young, creative, and inventive ... away from the computer (unless autocad can do design work on snow).  I guess I am saying we should always be thinking about investments not immediate, gratifying incentives.

* Not to be confused with collegiate activities which involve constructing *other things* with snow.

**Someone in OK was killed when she tied her sled to a truck and stood in it as they crossed a bridge. Not the kind of activity I endorse.