Wednesday, May 6, 2009

wednesday bonus blog: california kids

so today . . . the bonus blog is about the weather. i was reading some comments on facebook today lamenting the lack of spring weather in some places. i thought about it all the way home, after tossing my sweater on the passenger seat and feeling the wind blow my hair into my face (yes, i know it is kind of a driving hazard) and enjoying the warm sunshine . . .

i used to live where it rained a lot. i also lived for a while in a place where there was snow on the ground most of the winter. but i don't anymore--now i live in the land of perpetual sunshine (and yes, traffic and occasional smog and lots of concrete--but it's still paradise!) while we enjoyed the weather from the very beginning, we were often amused by the way people here reacted to the weather--especially any sort of WET weather.

i also had to change the way i teach some things. it is hard for kindergarteners to understand the sequence of seasons when they live someplace where there aren't any. and frost on the windows? it just doesn't happen here. so in the beginning i blogged about the weather a lot--almost as much as i now blog about food!

this blog was orinially posted on myspace on thursday, october 2, 2008. you would think after living here for 7 years i would have adjusted enough that i wouldn't even think about the weather anymore. but you would be wrong. there is still just enough oregon in me that i wake up every day wondering what the weather will be like--even though 98% of the time the answer is going to be "sunny and warm."

southern california is unique for many, many reasons, not the least of which is it's weather. when we first moved here, i was continually amused by the "storm watch" reports that would usually be followed by a cloudy day. having grown up in oregon and driving in rain so heavy you can't even really see the car that you THINK is in front of you, i laughed at what passed for rain here. monday was one of those "rainy" days. we were out on the playground for recess and there were a few clouds hovering about. pretty soon the kids started shouting, "it's raining! it's raining!" and scrambling for cover. technically it WAS raining--i did witness a few damp spots on the sidewalk and even felt a drop or two on my face. but here is the proof that i am becoming a california person--my first instinct was NOT to say something to the effect of, "are you kidding me? this isn't rain--it's just sprinkling." or another favorite phrase, "what? are you made of sugar? you won't melt, now get back out there and play!" oh no, not any more! now my first thought was "oh no! my car!! it's going to be all rain spotted" which, of course, it was!!!

i say all of this to remind you that california kids don't really know about the weather. here we have sunny days, with an occasional "rainy" day thrown in to keep us from being bored, i guess. even in the winter it rarely dips below 60 degrees. in fact, i used to have a "weather bear" at school that the kids could dress appropriately each day according to the weather, but they got kind of tired of always having to choose tank top or t-shirt and shorts or jeans. you would be surprised how often our weather bear was forced to wear a winter coat and rain boots just "because they're pretty," which kind of defeated the purpose, so we don't have a weather bear anymore. but i digress . . .

so anyway, whenever our curriculum (which was not written in a southern locale, by the way) uses weather to teach a concept, it can be hard for my students to understand. on tuesday we were talking about community helpers in social studies and were focusing on doctors. on their paper there were drawings with explanations of things they could do to stay healthy. the first picture showed a little girl wearing ear muffs and a wooly scarf around her neck and it said to dress warmly when it was cold outside. as we discussed this, i asked how they could tell that it was cold in the picture. one little girl raised her hand and said, "oh! oh! i know! it's cuz she's wearing glove ears!" i thought that was a pretty good way to describe ear muffs if you had never seen them before.

yes, glove ears . . .

1 comment:

Al said...

wow. i was hanging around surfing everything but "so today.." you were EARLY!
anyway, just to let you know im not a happy camper now.