We're learning about the Moon and the Solar System. We watched a few documentaries on the Apollo program and the manned trips to the Moon. It's neat to turn the kids on to stuff that they don't know about. That's why it can be so much fun to teach. There's a comedic side and a frustration side that run with the enjoyability portion of teaching. I guess this is a three-sided model of teaching. (This is the theory part that will be taught in education grad schools from now on.) Anyhow, we were watching a pretty interesting and pretty cool documentary about the Apollo 11 mission and my kids just can't help themselves from talking. It's just the most bizarre stuff. "Look...he's wearing a spacesuit!" Yes. That's what astronauts wear. "That thing blew up! Why did it blow up?" It's a rocket. Rockets are filled with explosive materials. They are really friggin' dangerous. They just told you that before the footage of all the rockets blowing up. "He in a black hole!" No. He's in space. Space is that dark black color. "He's wearing a spacesuit and hopping around." Yes. He's on the Moon. He'd be a dead man without that suit. He's hopping because there's less gravity on the Moon. "Gravity? There's gravity on the Moon?" Yes. If there wasn't any, they wouldn't be sticking to the surface. "That looks like it's burnt up." Yes. They just told you that Apollo 1 had a problem and all three crewmen burnt alive. "What's that black pile of stuff?" That's Apollo 1. "They're on the moon?" No they died. It was a catastrophe. "So what did they say when they got back from the moon?" They didn't say anything. They died. "But Gus Grissom was walking around. I thought you said he was dead?" They took the film before he died. "So he's dead?" Yes. "Did he go on the Space Shuttle?" No. "Mr. Who was that man who died?" Gus Grissom. "What's that thing that looks like fried chicken?" The crew of the Apollo 1. "That pile of stuff?" Yes. "Burnt up like fried chicken?" Yes. "Mr... chicken is so good. I'm hungry for chicken...." And so it went.
It's fun to teach. It's also so sad and frustrating. Humorous too. I feel sad that my kids have no prior knowledge of the simplest things. The space program was 40 years ago. I don't expect them to know that much. I wish they could be a bit more reverent. I got choked up when the Apollo 11 crew walked on the Moon in our documentary. My kids were talking through it. It's not a bad thing to believe in your country and to be emotional about the good things we do. Even from an engineering perspective it was awesome. The Saturn V rocket worked perfectly. Awesome. I'm not sure how we get that feeling of emotion to happen in our students.