Snow Goose Introduction - Nancy Sherer
I'll never run out of things to say about the day on an
ice-breaker with thirty one sixth graders, but I've decided to do it all
in three short installments.
Your first question would be, is that a typo, or are you trying to be
Your first question should have been, what is an
The Snow Goose is a boat big enough for thirty one
sixth graders, a crew of teachers, and a couple of volunteers who come
along to boss the little kids around. In the summer, the Snow Goose harbors
around the coast serving as a floating lab and classroom where budding
eleven year old scientists collect data about water salinity, temperature,
and what the phrase 'poop deck' means. In the winter, the Snow Goose cruises
north to break up ice, but I never found out why.
In the first article I get the subject of science out of the way because
this is when you are all most alert and interested. I'm saving the good
stuff for later. So under the title of 'Science versus Scientists' you
will learn about how after taking numerous science classes at a university,
barefooted Flor taught me what a mole is in less than thirty seconds.
Yes, in twenty eight years of being married to a chemist, I was never
able to understand moles and molar because Jerry is incapable of answering
yes or no to a question no matter how carefully I phrase it. Flor, on
the other hand, held up a big, red Styrofoam ball with two smaller Styrofoam
balls attached to it to represent water and two big red Styrofoam balls
attached to each other to represent an oxygen molecule and explained how
much of the two ball molecules have to be dissolved in the three ball
molecule or else life on earth will end, not with a bang, but with a gasp.
Well, that isn't how she put it because these were just sixth graders.
No point in making them scream and cry in despair first thing in the morning.
She was such a good teacher that I would have had a crush on her if only
she hadn't repeated the Legend of Chemical Bay.
The completely false rendition of history claims that a local paper mill
was shut down for polluting Bellingham Bay with chemicals and making the
town stink. In fact, the mill was shut down because of Enron's energy
manipulations that made electricity too expensive to make paper. Like
every business on the west coast in that black-out year, the multi-national
corporation was brought to its knees by government deregulation. But the
false story has been written down as history and accepted both by the
Greens, who claim they beat Goliath, and by the Suits, who claim that
the Greens destroyed the economy.
You be the judge of that.
The next article I write will be filled with colorful children. Tales
of the shortest boy in class wooing the tallest girl with 'phut, phut'
imitations of rap music and graphic depictions of a murder in the novel
he is currently reading. Or the boy who could not sit still and shut up
for thirty seconds, and I won't tell you his name because everybody heard
it in warning tones all day long. Or how the one kid who never seemed
to be paying attention knew all the answers. Okay, so that was all the
same kid, but I'm sure to think of anecdotes of other children as I go
The third article will be miscellaneous stuff that I pull out of thin
air. I hope you enjoy them. If I ever get them finished. I'll try real
hard, but I can't spend all my time reminiscing.