Another Late Night Drive Home

Today was the last day of the Summer A term.  I know there are many students who are happy the term is over.  I was just glad the day was over.

It was a day that started very early this morning—somewhere in the neighborhood of about 0630.  There were accounting, writing, computer, and grade computations I had to finish before getting on the road.

At school, testing, more writing, and students filled my day.  Usually I eat lunch at my desk, but on this day, there was no time for a meal.  Today reminded me of my time in the Navy; early roll call, a day filled with nonstop work, a late dinner, more work, and taps at about midnight.

I did enjoy the drive home this evening.  Talking with an old friend, we reminisced about “the old days.” We reflected on how rich we were growing up; and this had nothing to do with money.  We did such great things!

We explored the corners of the universe.  We learned about math not from classrooms but from a natural curiosity instinctively and intuitively acquired by our need to study astronomy, study aerodynamics, and solve real life problems.  In a phrase, we decided we were not going to be ignorant.

And, oh the things we learned, to coin a phrase from Dr. Seuss.

For instance, there were these mathematical computations to determine the exact amount of surface area required for a feline parachute. Experiments followed.  Using a dead weight, about the weight of a cat, we tested parachutes by throwing them and the dead weights from the roof of my friend’s house.

Everything looked good.

Time to up the ante on testing.

Boo-boo yawned and seemed disinterested while we secured the parachute to his body.  Then it was off to the rooftop.

Now the cat became just a little bit concerned.

We hurled the cat into the air from the top of the house and the parachute blossomed.  The cat came down under canopy—exactly as the mathematical computations proved he would.  He tried to run off after the first flight, but became tangled.  We repacked his parachute and headed for the roof again.

After his second sky dive, he gently alighted on the ground, squirmed out of his harness, and did not come back near any male child for the next three days. 

As we remembered our childhood, my friend and I thought we would do it all again exactly the same way.

Today, Boo-boo probably disagrees.


©2011 J. Clark

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