Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Fragments - "How is cool is that?" edition

Once again, it is time for Friday Fragments. That is the day that we take all of the little bits of randomness and try to make something of them, Why do we do this? Because Mrs. 4444 says we can and because we are just the coolest of the cool. Don't forget to go over and see who else is working on their cool factor today.

Several years ago, the son of a family in the next town over disappeared. He was seen in someone's back yard and ran into the woods and hasn't been seen or heard from since. Anyway, the father has started a fund in his memory for at risk kids. Today's paper mentioned a project that the fund supported. They purchased 30 chess boards and they were delivered to Belize. Now the kids in Belize and kids in New Hampshire are playing chess over the internet. How cool is that? They are receiving all of the developmental benefits of playing chess (google "benefits of chess" - it is mind-boggling) and they are expanding their worlds at the same time. Best of all, the kids simply think they are playing a game!

Years ago, when boy-o was in 2nd grade, I was his Cub Scout Den Leader. I decided that the boys should earn their belt loop in chess and proceeded to teach 5 2nd graders how to play. I am definitely not a chess champion but I was able to teach them the basics. Numerous people told me that they "were too young" and would never be able to learn. WRONG! Not only did every boy learn chess, one of them beat one of the fathers in a game - a man with a master's degree from Harvard. How cool was that? Very cool!

At another den meeting, I decided that the boys should work on another belt loop and it was agreed that Marbles would be a good choice. Problem. This was in the middle of the winter. Where would they play marbles? Solution. We had just installed a brand new laminate floor in our family room so I took a marker and drew a circle. The cubs thought that was the coolest thing ever! One boy dragged his mother into the family room to show her when she came to pick him up. The first words our of her mouth were "Did (insert her son's name here) do that?!>!" He proudly informed her that I had done it. They were both impressed when I took a damp cloth and wiped the circle up in less than a minute.(My cool factor was increased!) The mother was right to wonder if her son had misbehaved and drawn the circle because he was frequently in trouble at school. However, he never misbehaved for me. He was probably my best behaved cub. I think it was because I expected him to behave and he knew it. Don't you find that many kids live up to the expectations you have for them?

My son's calculus teacher is in Texas because of the birth of a grandchild. She realizes that a substitute teacher isn't going to be much help teaching calculus so she is going to use Skype and call in during class to answer questions. What a cool use of our modern technology! How cool that a teacher would take the time and energy to do that also.

This is my 99th post. How cool is that?

That is it for today. I have the day off so I am going to relax! How cool is that?

Here's to Friday Fragments.


  1. My dad taught both my boys chess at a young age. My youngest son has beat my dad twice now, it is a great confidence booster to beat Pop Pop at chess.

  2. P.S. Coming to you by way of Mrs. 4444

  3. That IS cool that the teacher is willing to do that! Most of my math teachers probably wouldn't have cared that much.

  4. VERY cool! I love the chess teachings and how those kids are playing across the globe. Love it! My dads as a Scouting mom are drawing to a close. I've got some good memories but am ready to pass the baton :)

    Teachers at that level feel so much better when they can help their students even if they can't BE there.

    I wonder whatever became of the boy who disappeared...

  5. coolness coolness everywhere!

    have a great week friend!