* I love the tutoring that I’m doing at a nearby grade school. My student, a 10-year old boy is inquisitive and thoughtful — and full of so much energy. I’m not sure that he really needs tutoring as much as he needs some one-on-one time and his teacher needs a break. This week we read a book about the moon. We measured, with a piece of string, how far we could jump. Then cut another piece that was 6 times longer to compare how far we would be able to jump on the moon.
* I finished a short story this week, one for critiquing in my writing class. The main character, a girl about 12, is exciting about the moon landing and all things space, but the story is really about her family breaking apart. I was glad that I could use the gravity exercise from the tutoring session in the story. The girl is being taunted by her twin brother and his friend who is interested in science, isn’t athletic and is a bit on the chubby side. She asks the friend how much he would weigh on the moon. When he tells her, she retorts: “Yeah, but you’d still be just as fat because weight isn’t mass!” It was probably my favorite part of the story. Of all of the comments I’ve received so far, nobody has mentioned it. That disappoints me a bit, because I think it is very funny even though it is mean — and exactly what 12 year olds might say to each other.
* I watched YouTube videos of the Apollo 11 moon landing and walk as research for my story. (Like this one). There are lots of clips of Walter Cronkite, but hardly any other news coverage. Did anyone other than CBS cover the moon landing? I know that CBS was the media leader at the time, but I was still surprised at how they were so dominant. Cronkite was overcome with emotion and left speechless, something that he spoke about in later years. Also on set with him was Astronaut Wally Schirra, who is seen wiping a tear from his eye after The Eagle had landed. It took me a while to identify who he was. None of the initial clips I watched identified him. Back in the 60’s, we didn’t have 17 bits of information on the screen. Apparently, we didn’t identify every three minutes the people talking either.
* There was a full moon this week and the moon has been visible during the daytime too. Very pretty. I tried to take pictures. Mostly they looked liked ultrasounds.
* I made a quick trip to Chicago to visit family yesterday. It wasn’t the first time that I’ve seen the wind farms in Northern Indiana, with the giant turbines that stretch in neat rows for miles, all dancing a coordinated ballet. But, it was the first time that I saw them in the dark. They are topped with red lights that blink, synchronized. It is eerie to see nothing but red lights, all the way to the horizon, about 100 feet in the air, blink on, then off. It would have made for a great alien invasion scene in a movie before the era of high tech special effects. I saw the turbines from an airplane a few weeks ago and was surprised at how much land they covered. Seeing them at night from the air would be interesting.
* Despite the full moon, the only thing that has invaded us this week has been the constant onslaught of falling leaves. This week it is the maples that are shedding, burying our drive. I think this is my neighbor’s cat. We’ve seen him before with prey in his mouth. I think he might have been telling me to clear the wet leaves from his favorite napping spot.