Grandma Diary: Censorship & A Science Museum

My grandson looked over my shoulder as I read the morning newspaper. “Why are those girls crying?” he asked. I quickly turned the paper over. How to explain sexual assault to an eight-year-old? “They’re upset about something bad that happened to them,” I said and looked through the paper quickly to find a story that might satisfy his news curiosity and be more appropriate.

An article about a state park and a potential golf course development seemed to suffice and my grandson grasped the potential environmental issue and said he hoped there would be protests against the golf course.

It’s hard to share the constant bombardment of news with little kids.

He and his sister had slept over. He’d already plowed through half the bag of library books I borrowed, and we’d heard enough “Knock Knock” jokes to last a year or so. Then at one point, I heard them humming lyrics from Hamilton. Their parents, who saw the show, play the music in the car and the kids know several songs. My grandson performed what he called an entire sentence, mimicking the rapid pace and diction of one of the lines. They asked if they could go see the show. No, I told them, they’re too young for some of the lyrics (profanity), and I wasn’t sure that they’d really understand the story. Instead, we’re planning a trip to see The Lion King. I think for now that satisfied them.

After a pancake breakfast, we took them to the Liberty Science Center, newly renovated and touting its planetarium, the fifth largest in the world. Before the show, we had time to tour some exhibits. Climbing the stairs to the second floor, we saw a staff member demonstrating how sound effects objects. That staff member happened to be our son’s former high school biology teacher.  

 

The kids went into a space simulator, climbed a rock wall, and participated in all sorts of physics experiments, including a “Power of Air” demonstration. 

The planetarium show, “To Worlds Beyond” toured the planets and solar system, posing the question about life beyond our Earth. I told the kids that most likely in their lifetimes, they’d be able to travel into space, as easily as they now visit their other grandparents in Detroit.  I wonder about life beyond Earth, and sure hope that they’re taking better care of their planet and inhabitants than we do.

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About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. (www.educationupdate.com). I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, www.smithsonian.com. (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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8 Responses to Grandma Diary: Censorship & A Science Museum

  1. Robin says:

    i love this! Be sure to send to Rich. He will love this!

    Like

  2. Pat Skene says:

    Lovely post and so great to have grandkids with which to share these experiences. Enjoy…they’ll be teenagers soon enough. 😊

    Like

  3. Margaret Crater says:

    Lovely times, Lisa, even the knock knock jokes! Was the teacher possibly R. Cohen? I could just imagine him doing something like that….
    And regarding the news, oh absolutely, and not just with kids. I was sitting in a doctor’s waiting room the other morning with a lady in her 90s (who regrettably could hear just fine). The “news” was playing on the TV there, just one painful, sordid thing after another. I wished I could reach over and put my hands over her ears! though maybe that would have been a bit much….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very fun ages. Yes, Rich Cohen. Great teacher and person.

    Like

  5. Ahh you’re the coolest grandma ever, Lisa! ♡
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you! Not sure how cool I’ll be as they get older so have to take advantage of it while I can!

    Like

  7. That’s a wonderful outing, Lisa. And anyone can learn through an enjoyable presentation.

    Like

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