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Bob and Suzanne visit


Bob and Suzanne were up in the Bay Area this weekend, checking on a friend's family (long story, not mine to tell), and asked if they could stay with me. Ignoring the kabillion times Bob and Suzanne let me stay at their house and the desire to return the favor, I was unbelievably happy to have them stay at Krikitt Downs, my excitement not very well contained.

Suzanne has asked for suggestions for dinner. I had made a suggestion for a Malaysian restaurant I had never been to, but a couple joining us whom I hadn't met yet suggested an Afghan restaurant about a mile from my house, the restaurant, oddly enough, I wanted to originally suggest, but didn't. I don't know why I didn't, but I was happy to go.

Life happens, making Bob and Suzanne a little late, which worked out wonderfully for the six of us at dinner with the Dillers. Bea's aunt and Peter, were both early, allow Kris and I a few minutes to catch up with them before everyone else showed up. When Bob and Suzanne arrived, we were all BFF.

As much as I miss my friends, I have to admit that I enjoy the stories they have to share when we meet up: stories that are new and fun because I wasn't there to experience them in the first place

Take for example, Bob's current volunteer project: he teaches the application of science concepts to a class of fourth graders. Here's this Caltech grad, who knows a lot about just about everything in science (let's say 46 science subjects, the 47th being one too many), and can explain any of it in such a way that you understand it. That holds true even if "you" are a fourth grader.

I wish I had had Bob teaching me science in fourth grade.

He's currently working with them discussing the possibility of a manned spaceflight to Mars. He has his class thinking about all the things that have to happen to make that possible. The kids divide into groups to tackle the logistics of different parts of the mission: from lift-off to survival to investigation to return. dealing with air, food, water, recycling nutrients and wastes, etc. The lesson is about the application of science and rational thought in creative ways so different from the "memorize this fact" sort of scient learning that is so overwhelming in today's education. How to problem solve has to be the best skill to have, and the worst one taught.

Bob's class named their ship a great name: "Beyond." See? Ten year olds can be creative and brilliant when asked.

Bob happliy told us a new story tonight, too. A group of Techers were together doing something or other they weren't suppsed to be doing (a bonfire maybe?), when the police showed up. Most everyone left, but one person stayed behind. He was told to disperse by teh police officer, and yet refused to leave. When the officer threatened to arrest him if he didn't disperse, he still didn't leave. He was arrested. When asked by the court why he didn't disperse, he commented, "One person can not disperse."

The charges were dropped.

I love Bob's stories.


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