Every now and then, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom shares a tidbit of absurdity from her day. A day deep in the trenches of the education battlefield. Tidbits which embody the spirit of Abraham Lincoln's quote: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
Which is not to imply that the youth of today are fools. No indeedy. They are some pretty sharp cookies. But sometimes...oh, sometimes...they speak before thinking their statement through. Today, for example.
We watched a National Geographic video about man's interference with a polar bear migration route in Manitoba. The video began with an overview of the polar bear. How large and powerful they are. How most people have never seen one except in captivity.
During the voice-over of Jason Robards, a group of second- or third-graders observed a polar bear from behind a plexiglass window. The polar bear was standing in a water tank, eating a fish, inches away from the faces of the students. Their viewing platform put them right at water level. You could only see most of them from the neck up. Water sloshed against their window as the ten-foot bear moved closer. And one of my watchers raised her hand and asked,
"Are they in a zoo?"
The class fell silenter. You could have heard a pin drop if Jason Robards would have shut his gaping yawp for a moment. They turned to look at Zoowonder. Then at me.
"No. They are standing in a pond, up to their chins in icy water, inches away from a wild polar bear eating a fish."
From the miniscule snort that she emitted, I'm pretty sure Zoowonder recognized the outlandishness of her query.
Kids these days are really smart. You just have to set them up to realize it.