(Tucker and I at the computer getting ready to get some info on how to throw the boomerang I just brought him back from Australia.)
Me: So where do you want to start?
Tucker: (Already typing “www.yout…”)
Me: Wait a sec. (Trying to sound wise.) Before we go there, why don’t we see if we can get some background? (I’m thinking physics, aerodynamics, etc.)
Tucker: (Keeps typing “…ube.com)
Me: Tuck. Seriously. (Grabbing mouse.) Where could we go to find some other info about boomerangs?
Tucker: (Sighs) Ok. (Starts typing “www.wikiped…”)
Me: I just think we might find some interesting background and stuff.
Tucker: (Clicks in search line and types in “Boome…” and I notice for the first time that Wikipedia now has partial spelling drop downs.)
Me: Hey, look at that!
Me: You can just find the word in the list now. Pretty cool.
Tucker: They’ve had that for like a month, Dad.
Me: They have? (I look at him to see if he’s smiling, but he looks serious.) Hmmm…
Tucker: Boomerang. There it is. (He clicks.) So what do you want to know?
Me: Well, how about we see if… (Before I can finish, he clicks on “Throwing Technique.”) Yeah. There ya go. What does it say?
Tucker: “A left-handed boomerang circles towards the right, and a right-handed boomerang circles towards the left. Most sport boomerangs are in the range of about 2.5 to 4 ounces. The range on most of these is between 25 and 40 yards/metres. A right- or left-handed boomerang can be thrown with either hand, but the flight direction will depend upon the boomerang, not the thrower…” Aw, c’mon Dad. This is boring. (Starts typing “www.yout…”)
Me: (Chagrined) Ok, ok. I just thought maybe that would help. (We watch as page changes.)
Tucker: Here! How about this one. (He clicks the top link.)
Me: Now Tuck, you know, you should probably take a second to try to figure out which videos might be the most…
(Video begins to play.)
(Both of us laugh hysterically.)
Tucker: Oh my god! Let’s watch it again. (He clicks the play button and we replay it, stopping as girl’s legs flail into the air. More laughing.)
Me: (Gaining composure.) So, it looks like you just throw it like you would most anything else.
Tucker: (Clicks on next video, which shows three guys throwing boomerangs at the beach.) Yeah, dad. That doesn’t look hard. Let’s go! (Grabs boomerang and heads for door.)
Me: Wait! Tuck! Go over in the field next door. Don’t throw it in our yard where you lost the last one. (Remembering his tears after first toss of the boomerang from last year’s trip to Australia ended up in bamboo patch never to be seen again.)
Tucker: (Half way out the door.) Ok!
(Finally leaving house five minutes later, looking over to the big field next door where I see him running toward the house.)
Me: Hey Tuck! What’s up?
Tucker: Um…I need the baseball.
Me: The baseball? Why?
Tucker: (Look of angst on his face.) Um…
Me: Are you kidding me?
Tucker: I’m sorry dad! It just went really high and now it’s stuck in a tree. But I can get it. Where’s the ball?
(Twenty minutes later.)
Me: Tuck. It’s just too high up there. We’re going to have to wait for a stiff breeze.
Tucker: Sorry Dad. (He smiles.) You want to go watch that video again?
Both the video and your dialogue with your son made me laugh out loud. Excellent example of how kids think… plus a great story. Thanks!
Steve Ransom says
Thanks for this little dose of reality. I laughed…
Seriously – if this were a classroom learning experience, how would/should the teacher handle kids’ first responses to go to YouTube or Wikipedia and how would that teacher curb the students’ disenfranchisement with not being allowed to go there in their attempts to learn? How should the teacher empower students without compromising the quality of learning outcomes?
Should we let students fail more? Perhaps that is a powerful learning experience…
Lisa Nielsen says
If they can’t learn at school we can teach them how they can when they leave school. Learning can be homework and at school we can discuss, process, and digest. Tis a shame it has to be that way.
Lisa Nielsen – The Innovative Educator
Dean Shareski says
Great screenplay…waiting for the movie.
Chad L. says
This sounds like a great comic strip. Perhaps he could use one of the online comic strip makers to tell this story. If he’s not interested, you could!
Your post reminds me of a time I returned from a trip to England with gifts for my kids. I brought my son this awesome kite, and it got caught in a tree. We ran back to our house, grabbed a long pool cleaning device, and returned to get the kite. It was gone. I guess the wind came faster that day rather than sooner.