Is it Monday already? How did that happen? The weekends go so fast sometimes, and those two precious days of not having to wake up at yeurgh-o'clock just aren't quite enough. We did do a lot, and a lot of fun things, this weekend though, so I can't complain.
Saturday, we got up early to go to Older Daughter's soccer game. They lost, but not badly, given that they were playing one man down (no, the other team didn't pull a player from the field), with no substitutes. I've been thinking a lot lately about teams, and kids not showing up for things like practices and games, and the reasons why that happens. I know that sometimes, something comes up -- a family trip, or an emergency, or being sick, or one time when two games get scheduled at the same time -- and that's just the way life is. But I also know (from talking to their parents) that for some of these kids, the reason that they regularly are late to games, or miss them completely, or don't come to practice, is because they're involved in so many other activities that the overlap means that they simply are not able to make it to every practice or game that their activities involve. Let me state that more simply: they are so over-committed that they inherently cannot, under any circumstances, meet all of the obligations associated with those commitments.
Now, it would be easy to say that hey, they're kids, and these are just sports (or music, or whatever), and come on, lighten up. And to a large degree that's true. But I've been thinking about what I see my college students doing, and about how often my fellow faculty members and I complain that our students are regularly late, don't come to class, miss meetings with us, fail to complete assignments, etc. Between the classes that they're taking, and work, and clubs, and teams, and family and and and, it is physically and temporally impossible for them to be able to do all of the things that they say they will do. And so they skip important classes, miss tests, don't do homework (and I can only imagine that they're doing similar things in other areas of their lives), and then are completely and utterly floored when they're told that no, special accomodations will not be made for them because they didn't meet their obligations. Or, they state baldly that they know they can't do everything, and so doing things half-assed is what they've chosen to do instead. And we wonder where they get the idea that it is OK to say they'll do more than they can, and then expect it not to matter.
I guess one interpretation could be that this teaches kids to judge what is most important at any given moment in a busy life. And that is truly an important life skill. But I also think that it is an important life skill to adequately judge what one can actually do. It also seems important to realize that letting other people count on you when you know that you're not going to be able to do the job you say you'll do is generally a bad idea. I'm not sure that this one has easy answers, but it's something I've been hashing through in my head, and you all get to share, heh.
After soccer, and our usual visit to the farmer's market, we had a quick lunch and headed out to Balboa Park to the Museum of Natural History to see the Body Worlds exhibit. We all thought it was truly amazing (this is definitely a ymmv sort of thing); the exhibit was well-arranged, and the explanatory placards included just the right amount of information. I'm pretty sure that the comparison between a healthy lung and a smoker's lung put the girls off smoking forever (and made me glad that, of all the unhealthy things I've done in my life, I somehow escaped that one!). The plastinate that included a spinal fusion like the one that I had was particularly fascinating one to me, in a sort of shuddery kind of way. Human bodies are amazing in their complexity, and this particular exhibit really conveys that viscerally (literally, haha). All in all, though, it was well worth the visit, and we were all happy we went. We also popped over to the zoo to see the new elephant exhibit, but it hadn't opened yet. Alas. So we visited the polar bears and the tree kangaroos instead, and declared ourselves satisfied. (Although I remain convinced that they put those poor kangaroos up in those trees; no way did they get up there on their own.)
After a fabulously yummy dinner at Saffron (thanks for the recommendation Kim and Anne!), we headed home, happy; we even had time for me to read a chapter from Fellowship of the Ring before bedtime.
Yesterday was a quieter day. I stayed home and admired all the flowers in the yard.
And did laundry.
Nope, no pictures of laundry. No pictures of the knitting I did, either, but I did work on the linen shell. I read, and finished an excellent book that I highly recommend: Fieldwork. Talk about a fascinating read. The author gets right into the minds of anthropologists and missionaries, and does it as if he, himself, were doing fieldwork; he does an amazing job of representing their lives, as they themselves see them, all without actually saying that he's trying to be an anthropologist himself. Extremely well-done. A friend loaned it to me, but I may have to own this one myself. I ate it up in record time, and there are parts that were well worth savoring more slowly. Luckily, books, unlike meals, can be re-experienced, and don't cause indigestion.
Neither did the lovely meal that ended the weekend: homemade fish tacos and strawberry-rhubarb crumble. Mmm...