Sunday, July 10, 2016

Homeschool Field Trip: Children's Museum of Indianapolis

Just in case you were happy, be forewarned that I'm in kind of a bummer mood today. I miss Mac so deeply, all the time, that I get used to it, until I have something that I want to tell him, or something happens that he'd think was funny. Fugazi comes on my Spotify. Someone else shares a memory or a photograph on his Facebook. Or maybe nothing happens to instigate it; maybe I just miss him desperately all of a sudden.

Sometimes, then, I make a mental list of all the people whom I would rather have had a brain tumor instead of Mac. It starts off easy. Evil people, for sure. Donald Trump. That guy who shot Trayvon Martin. And then I add all the people whom I hate. My former next door neighbor. Most of my former bosses.

The trick is to distract myself and move away from the activity before I go much farther, because my best friend from seventh grade? Sure, I’d sacrifice her for Mac. That cousin whom I really like but also haven’t really seen in a few years? I could do without her, if I could have Mac instead. It’s a stupid game, because I love Mac more than almost anyone else, and it’s stupid that you can’t actually burn the world down to get back someone whom you love.


Of course, if one could do that, we’d all be dead a thousand times over from the people who would happily sacrifice us to save their own precious ones.

Okay, deep breath, because I have a lot to do today, and I really don't have time to grieve until I've gotten four people packed for two completely different vacations in two different climate zones, partly with clothing that we do not yet own. Also, we need to mow the lawn, clean out the chicken coop and yard, and I need to write something like six Crafting a Green World posts and adjust the shipping times on every one of my etsy items...

Argh, this is not better! Another deep breath...

How about I show you some photos from the day that we spent at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis this week? We spent half of it in training, as we are now official volunteers of the museum and will be working in the Paleo Lab starting next month, and I know all the secret stairways, and can help you if you've lost your adult, and can lead you to evacuation in an emergency. The other half of the day, though, we spent happily exploring all the happy museum exhibits both old and new:
This is new! The museum has a new exhibit on the International Space Station, and it's awesome.


AND they have Gus Grissom's Liberty Bell 7 on long-term loan! You know what a space nerd I am, and I'm especially super stoked about this guy because this is the craft that almost drowned Grissom in the ocean when the hatch blew off of it before the rescue helicopters had reached him. There was suspicion for a while that Grissom had blown the hatch himself in error, but he always denied it, and I *think* the controversy has since been resolved in his favor. If you can check out video footage of the rescue operation, however, I highly recommend that you do, because it's absolutely harrowing: you can see the helicopter hook the Liberty Bell 7 and attempt to lift it, but because it's full of water it's too heavy, and you can actually see it drag the helicopter down with it, until the helicopter has to let it go. At the edge of the screen, the entire time this is occurring, is Gus Grissom, actively drowning. He was rescued, the Liberty Bell 7 was lost, and it was only recovered from the ocean floor decades later.

The Liberty Bell 7 exhibit is located in the former planetarium, and they've used the screen to make a show centered on the craft.

David Wolf is the museum's Astronaut-in-Residence, and this is his logbook from one of his missions.

It's kind of weird.

This is the elevator to the Treasures of the Earth exhibit, and it's a ride and show all on its own. We've seen it a hundred times, but we still love it, especially Syd, who has a fangirl crush of her own on Josh, the docent who was filmed for this and is also one of the hosts of This Week's WOW.
Terra Cotta Warriors!
I want to use this same electrolytic process in small scale to remove the gunk from some of the treasures that we find with our metal detector.

Not treasures like this, of course, but still treasures!


The museum's Chihuly sculpture is its centerpiece.
Just so I can end on a sad note as well: now that our plans to be regular volunteers at the museum are firmed up, I've made the difficult decision to quit our weekly volunteer job at the food pantry. I'm going to miss it a lot, but to be fair, this new job is probably going to be much closer to following the children's passions than the food pantry was. The kids are hard workers, but it's clear that after several years of labor at the pantry that the work isn't necessarily inspiring to them. Of course being of service isn't about you, the servant, but about the good that you do, but there are so many ways to be of service in this world that you might as well do something that brings you joy, if you can. Working towards food stability is crucial, but working to increase our collective knowledge and to provide extraordinary learning opportunities to children and their families is also pretty great. 

And also, can I just say? Dinosaurs. We'll be working with dinosaurs. There are worse ways to spend two hours on a Friday, I can 100% absolutely guarantee.

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