We made it to Virginia. Part of me wishes I could wind back the clock and switch our choice, switch to staying in Florida and taking our chances on what might have been available to us in 2021 if the Navy decided to make us move again. But good things have happened since we moved here. I need to remind myself of that.
Both of my school-age children are now in wonderful Catholic schools. This is such a blessing, and it probably wouldn't have been the case if we still lived in Florida. The curriculum at their new schools appears to be spot on. Michael is studying the same works in his English class that I encountered when I was a high school freshman: stories by Sophocles and Poe. The standards are quite high for his performance, and teachers are holding him accountable rather than catering to his inherent teenage proclivities. And Katie is learning cursive handwriting, as well as attending class in person 4 days a week. Whenever we run into a question or hiccup, I can call her teacher to get help.
What I saw while my kids were enrolled for the first quarter at our local public schools was astonishing. It has opened my eyes to an issue that is so important in our society: the quality of children's education. Why is the teenager up the street from us learning World History by reading essays that claim Chinese culture is superior to American culture? Why are children in our public schools being taught to focus on body language in literary analysis exercises rather than being taught to read closely and understand the meaning of words on a page, or spoken words on a stage? I don't have the answer to these questions, but I'd like to be part of the solution.
Stories about science have the power to give us perspective. They show us that bigger things have happened in the history of our planet than we see now in our strange, contentious election season. They reveal geologic time scales that are orders of magnitude longer than the span of one dark and dismal year, or one human's lifetime, however long or short.
Done right, these science stories show us how humans are able to find truth through a process -- the scientific method -- that serves to separate us from our biases; serves to double and triple and quadruple check one fallible human's findings so we will not be influenced by superstition and fear, or simple error.
Here's to a new year ahead of us. A new chance to explore this world and try to consider what we learn with the optimism of our childhood, when we accepted that the world is a very big place, and sometimes things happen for reasons we don't yet understand.
Photo and text copyright held by Brittany Moya del Pino, all rights reserved. (2020)
I write about curious phenomena around us. I also write about people who are passionate about their careers, hobbies, or life experiences related to science. This blog chronicles my journey.
©Brittany Moya del Pino 2021. All rights reserved.