How the Earth was Made

Not to be outdone by his sister’s creation myth (see my previous post), Griffin shared his own version:

This is my way that the Earth was made. There was a big explosion in space that made a big huge rock and then it melted into lava and then it kept on cooling and cooling. And rain came and then grass started growing and little particles in the water came and the particles got bigger and bigger. Some were in water, and some were on land. And the ones on land were dinosaurs. and the ones in water were kinds of fish. And that’s how the Earth was made.

I think he intended to say a bit more, but he became fatigued with the telling and decided to wrap it up. I may check in soon about a possible sequel.

How Animals Came

At dinner tonight, Maggie asked “How did animals came?” A few clarifying questions revealed that she was interested in how animals arrived on the planet Earth… literally, where animals came from. We talked a bit about microbes and evolution, but she wasn’t especially interested. After some consideration, she produced her own version. Here’s what she had to say (scrawled down verbatim on a scrap of paper at the dinner table):

The ground came.
The animals came from the ground.
And humans came from the animals.
Humans built houses and then
they lived in houses.

New career possibility: developer of creation myths.

My Dubiously Relevant Subject

Every year I begin my eighth grade social studies class by asking students to answer this question on an index card:

Why is social studies the most important class you will take this year?

It’s an outrageous question, of course, and I learn a lot by seeing how each student tackles it. Most simply write out some reasons why social studies is important. Others add that other classes are equally important. A few argue that another subject trumps social studies altogether. Occasionally someone identifies it as a leading question and castigates me for pedagogic incompetence.

This year, however, I received an answer that had me laughing aloud at my desk after school:

I don’t know yet. Convince me.

Challenge accepted!

Maggie’s Astronomy

Maggie and I were joking around this morning about whether it was night or day. She pulled open the bedroom curtain and pointed to the sky and said, “See, the sun is in the sky!”

I replied, “Wait, Griffin is in the sky???”

She rolled her eyes, “No! That’s not what I was meaning. The Earth has a sun in it. Not a kid son.”

I clarified, “The earth has a sun in it?”

“Yes,” nodding vigorously, “it’s what makes it day time.”


Update: During a recent bike ride, Maggie demonstrated more of her astronomical knowledge. The kids love biking around a circular paved area in front of one of the dorms at Macalester. Maggie decided that she was “the sun” and biked in a tight loop in the center of the circle. Griffin and his friend, Zoe, orbited Maggie as planets. They whooped and hollered, arguing over who was which planet, while Maggie repeated, “I’m the sun! I’m in the middle!”

At some point Griffin got too close to her, and she shouted, “I’m super hot! I’ll burn you! It’s called a sunburn!”

Yellow Cabin – Summer 2016

Another lovely summer weekend at the cabin. The water was warm so we spent much of our time on or in the water. Many highlights of this trip escaped digital capture, including seeing young otters playing by the lakeshore, a few sightings of a belted kingfisher, and a bizarre close encounter with a meditating cormorant (who remained standing on a sunken log unperturbed by Griffin approaching nearly within arm’s reach). Plus Daddy capsizing and emerging from the lake covered in muck. And a humongous man-eating water tarantula (that’s its scientific name) on the dock.

But we did manage to get a few shots. Click below for larger versions.