Thank you so much to Dehesa Charter School in Escondido, CA, for having
me out to speak about my expedition to Antarctica.
The class, led by Ms. Beardsley, was very attentive and loaded with intelligent questions. Thus far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the level of inquisitiveness by the school children. Really, “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader”, is quite true.
The kids knew there are no polar bears in the Antarctic (thank goodness). Right there, they had masses of adults beat out. Aside from bears in zoos, there are no polar bears within thousands of miles of where I was in Antarctica. In fact, other than perhaps a few microbes and bacteria blown in on the wind, there was none, zero, nada life where I trekked, from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole.
The students at Dehesa Charter were massively excited to learn about the
expedition and what it was like down there. Interestingly, one of the most important questions from the kids was about my partially living off of butter. For me, it seems perfectly normal that it was necessary to chomp down on two sticks of butter a day to maintain my energy and weight. Yet, for others who have never traveled and camped in extreme cold, eating quantities of butter is an alien activity.
Also, they seemed to wonder if I might have any imaginary friends while I was down there. I didn’t have any imaginary friends but I did take Monster with me. So in a way, yes I did take an imaginary friend. He was Wilson, a la Castaway, in the modern vernacular. Monster is a book and stuffed friend children’s series being developed for sale mid-next year (2014).
I was happy to share my story with the students and was extremely honored to receive a book created by Ms. Beardsley’s class. In this book, the pupils wrote questions and made drawings about the expedition. I was blown away how good their hand writing is. In future blog posts, I’ll put in these pictures and answer each child’s question.
And, too, several pictures were given to me, made right after my talk. I will happily post those up. Thank you so much! The children were inspiring, as their inquisitive energy made me smile and their enthusiasm was quite overwhelming.
When looking at the cart full of butter, one of the students asked, “Did they
think you were crazy when you brought all that butter up front?” Yes, the checker at the register did! In fact, it took three transactions to ring up the 140 blocks of butter because Abu Gosch’s point of sale system couldn’t handle that many copies of an item.
It was fun to see all three grades, 1-3, immersed in the subject. They didn’t fiddle or become distracted at all. The discipline these young children had was amazing, to say the least. For something that might be boring, like geography, cartography, transportation, and camping, these bright sparks showed no boredom at all.
Thank you, Dehesa Charter Elementary and Ms. Beardsley!