Sunday post: "Fatherhood P.O.V."
Watching Him Closely
Its in his eyes.
Even @ 23 mos, everything the world can offer is found in my kid's eyes.
Absorbed, refracted, re-built, questioned, adored, challenged.
Everything. Captured in Beckett's eyes.
And I spend every second in his presence trying to figure out what he's just figured out. Put two and two together. Fallen in love with. Influenced by.
And what will stick as he shifts from pre-memory toddler to full-memory kid.
Kid Memory is the Darnedest Thing
A 7th grade science teacher said something to my classmates/me years and years ago that continues to hold fiercely to my gray matter:
The earliest event you can actually recall happening took place somewhere between the ages of 18 mos and 3 years of age.
[paraphrased just a bit, since I'm digging 25+ years deep on this]
Image: Into the Unknown, by Thomas Hawk
Not sure what causes this, nor do I recall any 'facts' he gave us to support his claim (although every time I ask a new class of students of my own to recall their first memory -- that does not require a parent telling the story over and over to them again -- I find that he was pretty much right).
My non-scientific guess:
Perhaps it occurs when a toddler/child is finally old enough to 'frame' experiences by real language of their own that allows the mind to finally hold tight to the event's existence in its future memory banks.
You See: The Radio Loves a Good Story
Thought about this again yesterday as I was listening to This American Life's "Fear of Sleep" episode on the radio. It was the story of the man's memory of his 6yo self watching a particularly classic 70's film that grabbed me.
Makes me wonder when my own 13 mos old Beckett will begin to collect events in his mind -- fuzzy and accurate alike -- that will end up in his conscious memory filing cabinet long into his adult life.
Probably something that involves oddly constructed boogeyman fear and/or the smell of homemade apple pie.
Nearly Spit My Milk Out
After listening to my 23 mos old kiddo repeat "Wuch moh Chalee, wuch moh Chalee, wuch moh Chalee"
[rough translation: "Watch more Charlie (Bit My Finger)"]
over and over this morning, I was charmed to have a fellow teacher type point out this lovely kid-centric vid recently, a video that oh-so-cleverly combines brilliant high-level satire with summer camp nostalgia:
Can't help but love the "All I did was trade Lunchables" kid. He gives a delightful close at the end of the vid, in particular.
Also had a hard time not spitting my milk out my nose when the "circle, circle, dot, dot..." moment happened at the 0:53 mark.
Ultimate Assignment Today?
Seems to me that the "PSA" [aka: public service announcement] -- both in earnest and playful terms -- may be the ultimate school assignment today in terms of combining the following formula:
digital video hunger/possibilities +
content research +
thoughful editing strategies +
a love your audience mindset =
legitimate demonstration of learning
Keep it to 30 seconds.
Be brutally honest to your students re: storyboard, edit, and audience components.
And tell 'em that for every 30 sec of final content the save, they might need an hour or more of raw footage -- and a lot of time spent rigorously editing -- until the final product really sings.
Come up with a dynamite rubric they understand and you can put your name on.
And then set 'em free.
Limits in terms of subject/curriculum?
None really exist, save for engendering academic purpose/results and maintaining a code of respect & common sense at all times.
Beyond that it doesn't really matter if one choose a political topic, satire, political satire, current events, history, literary characters creatively brought back to life, foreign language study, or life at school. It only matters that:
a) its relevant to the class
b) the students understand what they created content-wise
c) the superficial cleverness of doing video in class doesn't replace the power of a well-crafted piece put in the hands of a truly engaged audience.
For What It's Worth:
Because this falls into the "no specific blog post category" category -- and I simply ache to make sure everybody falls in love with it as I have -- I'm going to use the thinest of connective tissue to rationalize my placement of it here.
Answer: go back and listen to the entire This American Life radio episode and see if you can find the connection.
Hint: Colorado snow, 6yo hero, classic fright, 'nuff said.
Maybe you'll find an academic purpose for the vid. Or maybe you'll just grin nostalgically if you were watching film in the 70's.
In the meantime, see how many seconds it takes you to guess the literary/cinematic reference the vid comes to an end. Enjoy: