Implementing an Online School Program Across the Pacific Ocean

My son, Mr. J’s Earth science class gave him an assignment a few days ago to “go to a wilderness place fairly untouched by humans” and make observations on the wildlife and the ecology. Uh-Huh. Over 10 million people in our city. It’s pretty impossible to find anyplace that hasn’t been either cultivated or trampled. When was the last time you saw a forest where the trees were all evenly spaced and the trunks all painted white from about one meter down to the ground. Boy that’s wild all right. Fortunately Mr. J.has done a lot of wilderness roaming in the U.S. and he was able to use an experience from memory and describe it (the teacher was informed of the situation and our chosen way to compensate what the environment here lacks).

Today, he got a new assignment,  fill a jar with clean water, and a jar with non-drinkable water (such as from a river or pond) and using plant fertilizer conduct some observation-based experiments. Hah. No. No kid of mine is going to touch the “mystery water” in any Chinese pond, and he’s definitely NOT bringing it into my house.

The next thing it said was that he needed some plant fertilizer. Beats me whether or where you would buy that here. So, we’ll check at the supermarket and with Mr. Hot Stuff’s co-workers and see if fertilizer is a possibility, but if not, we will have to go the “organic” route and use some dead fish. How is that less disgusting than pond water you ask?  It’s a matter of understanding the “known qualities”. Fish is fish and it stinks when it rots. Pond water may have fish, but it may also have cigarette butts, 500 hacked-up loogies, and been the emergency potty-stop for hundreds of children and adults alike. We. Are. Not. Touching. Pond. Water. Sure, the experiment might have dramatic results, but sometimes the results matter less than the trouble of attaining them. So, Mr. J.’s “undrinkable water” will come from our tap, and the clean water will come from our water dispenser. We’ll see how fast the algae grows. Joy.

winner-winner, chicken dinner 🙂

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