In three days, assuming that the coming snowpocalypse doesn' engulf us all, I'm going to be teaching a class for a group of Webelos scouts (for those not familiar, it's the level below being a fully-fledged Boy Scout, with cooler scarfs): the class will be a quick survey of the requirements to receive their Geologist pin. The pins indicate more advanced achievement in understanding basic concepts, or at least, as much advanced as a group of nine or ten year-olds can have.
I've taught these requirements several times before, and this is material that I know extremely well. I just hope that the darling little nine and ten year-olds are ready to pay attention and learn something. I've met these kids before, and I can only think of the "Not the Nine O'Clock News" sketch, you know, the one about the football hooligans. Remember?
No, really, it's not that bad. First off, did I mention that they're only nine and ten? So really, the comparison is only made for comedy value.
It's not that I doubt my side of things, or that the subject isn't intrinsically interesting. But the other groups that I've gone through the requirements with were - not to put too fine a point on it - well-behaved. They had been taught that it was rude not to pay attention. And while my son is a good quiet lad (and no, I'm not just saying that, ask anyone), the rest of them are... not. But maybe they are now.
Mainly, though, it's about not looking like a berk in front of my son. I mean, not yet. I'm sure that time will come, if it hasn't already. But I can take comfort from the fact that really, he doesn't particularly care about the other kids in his scout group... mainly, he's just in it for the badges. Which sentiment I completely echoed, once upon a time.