Get serious. Play more.

A quote by a man named Lazer from the 70s got me thinking about science education today.

book coverI love the conversations that happen in The Hub. A few months back, Troy Livingston and I were shooting the breeze and somehow got on the topic of teaching science. Troy recommended a book to me called “Teaching Science to Children” by a guy named Lazer Goldberg. I told him I would read any science book by a guy whose first name is Lazer. The book was first published in 1970, but the content within it feels timeless.

Toward the beginning of the book, a paragraph that jumped out to me as being visionarily prophetic. So much so, I might insinuate that Lazer Goldberg may be viewed as a influencer of science education reform efforts in similar ways that Dr. Martin Luther King was influential to the civil rights movements. The following paragraph gets me fired up about science education in ways that remind me of the reasons I entered into the field in the first place.

“What is wanted is the will to organize a climate for children’s science learning. In such a climate children continue their play. The games whose rules they learn elicit their most intense participation. There is no shame attached to error and failure, and fear has been cast out. Interesting errors are admired, and perceptive questions are applauded. Task governs time, and there is freedom to make, to think, to remake, to chat, and to dream a little. It is a place where dissent and independence are honored, where thought is not deprived of feeling nor art of thought. Above all, it is a place of diverse activity—social, intellectual, artistic, manual. It is a place where children transform bits of their environment and in the process transform themselves.”

I believe that the climate of science learning described here could be applied to any discipline and learning level without sacrificing legitimacy. If we are going to be serious about improving, we need our working and learning environments to be open to more playful energy.

It might seem counterintuitive, but let’s get serious and play more.

If we hold on firmly to our ideas, our practices, our ways of living in this world, this is ironically the quickest way to lose them. If we, instead, play with and hold loosely our ideas, practices and ways of living, this is the only way we find them, grow and move forward toward a brighter future.

Welcome Grant Robert and Graham Anthony

baby, child, children iconIn a recent entry, I wrote about the gratitude I had while Lindsay and I went to the hospital last week and found ourselves waiting for the twins to be born.

Well, the wait came to a close.

Here is the skinny:

So, it was Wednesday and Lindsay and I had been waiting for the babies to come while in the hospital since Sunday.

By the time Wednesday evening came, we were getting pretty relaxed thinking that it may just be a long while before these kiddos came. We were wrong.

At about 6pm, I decided to run home and grab some food and Lindsay was ordering food from the hospital since she was staying there on bed rest. At about 7pm, I had finished and gave Lindsay a call. She was just beginning her meal.

We ended our conversation at that time deciding that I should just stay home for the remainder of the evening since a couple of Lindsay’s friends were stopping by to visit and it would allow me to catch up on some needed sleep. Not 5 minutes after our phone conversation, I was fast asleep on the couch.

At about 7:30pm, Lindsay began calling and texting me. Unfortunately, even though my phone was right next to my head it was on vibrate and therefore I was not waking up.

Yep, you guessed it! She was in labor!

Suddenly, I heard a loud knock on our front door. It woke me up.

When I opened it, our friend Kristi Trader was there and she said, “it is time.” I figured out what she meant and began gathering my things. Arriving at the hospital at around 8pm, Lindsay was in sure labor.

By the time things were set up and the doctor was ready for Lindsay to start pushing it was about 9pm. In about three pushes, Grant Robert came out at 4 lbs. and 13 oz., but then it was time for Graham Anthony to arrive and he was having none of it.

The doctor tried using a vacuum. The vacuum broke.

Graham’s heart rate decreased to 56 causing doctor and the 8 or so nurses to go into emergency mode wheeling Lindsay down the hall to the elevator to do an emergency c-section.

Graham’s placenta had preceded his birth. He lost a lot of blood. In fact, he lost so much blood that his heart stopped (I am tearing up while writing this).

It took 7 minutes for the nurses to resuscitate Graham and they were expecting the worst at that point. He was pale as a ghost. They gave him a total of two blood transfusions. The wheeled the very drowsy Lindsay into the ICU to see him and Grant before we took Graham to the NICU at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor where I stayed with him for 4 days while he recovered, and recovered he did.

The nurses and doctors could hardly believe the progress he made in such a short period of time and attributed this to a miracle. Certainly, we had a lot of people praying for him and had world-class care. I also like to note that the name Graham means warrior and that he fought through some pretty tough moments.

We are grateful, beyond words, for the support, prayer, encouragement, care and love bestowed onto our new family of 5. The love, meals, messages, cards, flowers, babysitting, cleaning, transporting, check-ins, conversations and contacts have been sustaining to us through the rocky birth and will continue to be as we transition into the new normal of having three boys under the age of two.

Actually, there is nothing normal about this.

You can see more pictures here (sorry, I don’t have any ready to post of the two of them together or of all of us together yet, but they will be on this album when they are ready).