February 2010


Celebrating being a Square: Last Friday in Evansville

So last Friday I was in Evansville, Indiana, visiting my friend, Disenchanted, while celebrating being a square—something I will be for a year before a 13-year pause before my next square experience.

This was also the day that I gave a guest lecture in her class over one of my favorite topics, Project Wagon Wheel – a project that was going to detonate five nuclear bombs underneath Sublette County, Wyoming, in the early 1970s.

Amazingly I found it to be a lot of fun standing in front of a classroom full of college students—something I haven’t done for six years.

Teaching is an amazing and wonderful experience. The energy I got back from the students was the greatest possible birthday gift on an otherwise quiet birthday.

I’ll admit that occasionally I’ve thought about answering the call to become a high school teacher in America, but I realize that although I have the right personality to do it, I’m unable to control my mouth adequately and would say something that would get me into trouble with the parents.

For example, in this class, I was talking about that fact that when I was in elementary school in Denver, we had “duck and cover” drills on a regular basis, which were, as far as I can remember, for nuclear bombs. We also had drills for tornados (a far more likely occurrence), in which we went into the hallways to protect ourselves from the ample glass in our regular classrooms.

I thought to stop and pause and ask the students if they’d experienced duck and cover drills when in school—and none of them have. This is where I would have gotten into trouble in a high school because without thinking I through out the off-the-cuff remark, “Of course not, you probably had shooter drills.”

Mentally I was kicking myself.

Fortunately the students were not freshmen and took my comment the way I wanted it to be taken.

After class we retired to the in-house Starbucks location—accompanied by 8 or 9 students—mostly undergraduates. It was energetic and awesome to see so many people join us—I would have expected it to be just Disenchanted and me having a post-class drink.

In the end, I suspect the conversation would have lasted longer than an hour had the shop not started closing at 3—its usual Friday closing time at this location.

3 comments to Celebrating being a Square: Last Friday in Evansville

  • Reko

    Hi, Adamo! Thanks for your wonderful, enlightening posts. I’m headed to Charlotte, NC for the weekend. Have fun in the DDR.

  • koko

    You’ve always been quite good at teaching. I have always appreciated such odd remarks. Also very nice to hear that you had a good birthday. I hope you had some cake?

  • Duck and Cover. Ah, memories! These methods were quite similar to what they trained us to do if there was an earthquake. So they were able to teach duck and cover along with our earthquake drills in my elementary school.

    Duck and cover is a fantastic idea, because hiding under a table is going to save you from getting thrown against a tree by the pressure wave of the nuclear blast. *shrugs*