Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Black Holes are Amazing!

I have a confession to make. I can be as geeky as Hubby when it comes to science, art, and music. Poor kids! I think it's fun to go to a lecture on black holes or a presentation on 15th century music. I can spend hours at an art museum and love every minute of it. The kids, on the other hand, are easily bored by these things. They make it known to everyone around them that going with us is just a step above child abuse. But I am a geeky homeschool mom. I would much rather take them to experience something in real life, or listen to people explain their research, than to read it in a book. Once we were able to go on a replica of one of Christopher Columbus' ships. When we studied it the other day, they were able to remember just how small those boats were. Taking the kids to things like lectures, museums, and concerts is also a way to expand the kids' horizons and to learn more than street culture which is so attractive to them.  Yes, there is more to life than jerk dancing, football, dogs, and the Disney channel. Taking the kids out for experiences is also an opportunity to practice how to handle themselves in a public place. And, deep down, there is always the hope that they will learn something, no matter how small. So I drag the kids from time to time, despite their protests and whining.

Orbits of Stars Around the Milky Way's Black Hole

Today, we took them to hear a lecture by an astronomer from UCLA who was giving a public lecture at Stanford University. Andrea Ghez was able to explain in layman's terms how she discovered a black hole in the middle of our galaxy. Mr. I was just asking me questions last night about black holes and I found out about the lecture today. The timing fit perfectly with his interest, which doesn't often happen. It was so good to see an intelligent woman scientist be able to make such a complicated subject so understandable, even to children. Both kids seemed to enjoy at least part of the presentation. I don't know how much Ms. D understood, but Mr. I got quite a bit out of it.

I left the lecture amazed at the complexity and beauty of God's creation. We can search, learn, and discover our whole lives, and only touch a small part of what He has done. I hope the kids pick up on that wonder and awe. If they do, dragging them to Stanford will be worth it.

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