Thursday, March 25, 2010

Things I Can't Do

Today I helped an eighth grade girl with her science project. Sort of. See, she wanted information about how the brain sends messages to muscles, and how those muscles connect to joints to create movement. Insomuch as it would pertain to robotic prosthesis. She already had plenty of "background" information, and was now looking for specifics about neurotransmitters and biotics. "Hm," I said. "I don't know much about those things. You're going to have to help me come up with some keywords." I kept the fact that I have a degree in Biology to myself, as I really don't know much at all about what she might need. I thought mentioning such a degree might lead to expectations beyond my ability. However, I do know my way around a database, and I was able to offer what I thought was a reasonable description of an "axon." And then I showed her how she could go home and do more searching. Eighth grader. With a really jazzy headband.

About an hour later, I was listening to a younger girl practice her reading. She was just at the age where she could read "Are You My Mother?" But she was reading our bilingual version, so she'd read aloud each page, first in English and then in Spanish. Her nanny, and, I'd guess, Spanish tutor, was cheering her on. I was impressed.

I feel like a slacker. :)

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