I have the best clasroom in the world!
OVERHEARD IN OUTDOOR EMERGENCY CARE CLASS- Teacher: “What is the number one sign of injury to the chest?” Student:”A lot of pain?”
Today was the most beautiful day in the history of the world. Meaning, today was the most beautiful day in the last three weeks. That’s about as far back as I can think during this super-compressed time that is the winter term at Gould Academy. The sun was out, the temperature was high (it might have even gotten up to 30 degrees! Are you hearing me, Juniors?), and I was doing what I do here at Gould in the winter: Suffering bouts of narcolepsy.
No! I was wide awake! The narcolepsy comes later, when all of the coffee and sugar wear off. I was teaching the future ski patrollers of America (meaning Gould-America) to do some of the most important things that we do for people who ski and ride. I was imparting wise words from the great ski movie “Better Off Dead”: “go that way. Really fast. And when something gets in your way…turn.”
While I’m on the topic, “Better Off Dead” is probably John Cusack’s best movie (only slightly better than “Hi Fidelity“, because
A: He skis throughout the movie, and
2: It features the line “I’ve been going to this high school for seven and a half years! I’m no dummy!”
So back to ski patrol, which I’ve just determined through exhaustive research (looked at my schedule on the Infoserver) is the biggest part of my job from November through…what month is it?… And today I spent the morning, out in the sun, teaching two young patrol candidates how to guide patrol toboggans down the mountain. Safely.
I know what some of you are thinking: “Doug! Are you crazy? Letting young people control something as dangerous as a ski patrol toboggan? Is that sane?”
Hey, you parents out there in Glog-istan gave them cellphones with cameras. I think what I’m doing is MUCH safer.
In fact, I’m a firm believer in the capacity of teenagers to do great, meaningful, challenging things. That doesn’t mean that they always button their shirts correctly (I watched it happen today), but it does mean that if we set high expectations, teenagers can and will rise to the occasion. Ski Patrol is the perfect example. I would trust these kids with my life. Literally.
Here are some pictures of “my classroom” from today. Jealous yet?