Twelve Hundred Grand Canyons on the Moon

I’ve been slacking a bit on blogging. I apologize. It’s an occasional result of taking a full load of graduate courses while working the equivalent of a full-time job. Today was divided between tearing my hair out over the survey I was sending out for my master’s degree project and teaching shelter building and cross-country skiing to seventh graders from inner city Milwaukee, and I’m a little tired (by which I mean I’m exhausted).

BUT, I did get to spend part of yesterday evening conducting my own little astronomy program, lining up twenty-one of said seventh graders single file and showing each of them the moons of Jupiter and the craters on our own moon through a telescope. Most of them had clearly never looked through a telescope before, and it’s always wonderful to see and hear the reactions: “Wow!” “Whoa!” “Tight!” (“Tight” is like “cool” but even better, if you haven’t spent any time around city kids lately.) One boy kept looking from the image in the eyepiece of the telescope to the moon in the sky and back again, unable to believe what he was seeing. And the best was the boy who saw the craters and exclaimed, “It looks like there’s, like, twelve hundred Grand Canyons on the moon!”

So at least if my job is sometimes exhausting, it’s also a lot of fun. Happy leap day tomorrow, everyone.

4 thoughts on “Twelve Hundred Grand Canyons on the Moon”

  1. You may be slacking on blogging, but I’ve been slacking on commenting. So as far as we’re concerned, it’s even.

    Those “tight!” moments are what making teaching worthwhile. It’s great that you’re showing these kids, whose lives are probably limited in many ways, to see beyond their immediate world. Imagine them telling their friends back home about the twelve hundred grand canyons on that moon!

  2. A friend just got a new pair of high quality binoculars for a present (for bird-watching, so they’re not huge). She was flabbergasted when I told her she could probably see the moons of Jupiter through them. It’s true. You just have to know where to look, and it’s a real “sense of wonder” moment.

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