The wind is still blowing a gale here. Yesterday, the harbor was a froth as I did three boat tours with the coastal cruise company that hired me as the lecturer/scientist for their trips. The only difference with today's weather is that it is raining as well as blowing. It will be another interesting day on the water.
I wish that I were totally enthralled with doing this job. I give it my best but trying to reach the 8th graders this week is difficult. Some seem to be interested so I focus on them. Those who spend their time squealing and acting out are the ones that I don't focus on. I am not a counselor. And I am learning that I am not a teacher for those who don't want to be taught. I have spent my career working with motivated people and have spent a lot of time writing papers and proposals in solitude. I am affable but uncomfortable with large groups of disinterested people. One of my shortcomings, I suppose.
I talked to a chaperon yesterday who happened to be a retired art teacher. She said that in her 31 years of teaching, she has seen the kids change dramatically. The eighth grade girls dress like hookers and yet will act like young girls with their squeals and games like "patty cake". The boys dress and act like kids. There is growing evidence that the onset of puberty in girls may be shifting earlier and earlier, possibly due to obesity or exposure to environmental chemicals. This is obviously a difficult age.
Yesterday, a couple of the bigger boys were stomping on the clams, one broke a bottle on a rock and another was kicking a jellyfish. I told the boys to not stomp on clams or kick jelly fish. And I made the one that broke the bottle, pick up the pieces and put them in a plastic bag. Where are the teachers? Well, there is only one per group of 50 students, and she was overwhelmed with so many kids to keep up with. I know that I don't want to baby sit a group of kids, but also I can't let them be destructive.
I don't remember much about 8th grade. I thought much of early high school up to tenth grade was pretty much a mess. There were social cliques, lots of hormonal changes, and emotional confusion. Maybe not much has changed. Male aggression starts coming out which may explain the need to kick or break something. Females are still girls but are learning to be women. Lots of confusion for all concerned.
I will give it my best today. There will be over 125 students going out on the water. I keep telling myself that if just one or two come away with an appreciation for the ocean and its critters, then I am doing some good. I will see what I can do today. Hope that you have a good day.