There are some kids books that Avi has been reading which have time travel. Yesterday at dinner, he said to me really intensely, “Time travel really confuses me” to the point of tearing up. We talked about it a few days ago as well. I talked to him about how it might happen if it could happen. I thought about it myself, and asked him to think about what it means to time travel. If you could time travel, it means that we have infinite copies of time for every infinitesimally small time value. When time goes on, the universe just “passes” from one of those copies into another. “passes” is a very loose term, it just means that there is this concept of current copy which means current time and that current copy changes as time goes on. To time travel, you somehow just jump from one of those copies to another. Let’s say you jump into a copy from past, the problem is how do you continue to exist into the copies that came after the one in which you jumped. Because originally, there was only 1 of you in that copy, but for you to continue to exist, the copies that came after that need to also have these extra ‘you’.
So we talked about it some more and both of us got confused.
It’s a little surprising, in a good way that he’s spending all that brain power to try to understand it. The one thing I hope he learns from this is how to analyze and break down a seemingly complex problem and know what the unknowns are.
Found this in my office bag. Avi had placed it the day before, giggling and not showing me what it was.
I’m heartened by the fact that they think I’m funny and playful. Not something I would have said about my dad. So I consider a big achievement and will continue trying to do my best to raise them.
In Avi’s current class (and school-wide), a lot of importance is given to reading. Avi is required to read atleast 20 mins every day and write a log. He started on a series of books called “Bailey School Kids”. And he’s loving them. He has already finished all the books in that series available in the school library. His 1st trimester goal was to earn 20 AR points, and he finished at 59!
We went to the Orange library a couple of weeks ago and he got about 10 books. That whole weekend, he spent most of his time reading.
This is amazing. I’m so proud and glad. I remember exactly which book gave me the reading bug. It was The Hardy Boys: Billion Dollar Ransom. I remember going to the local library and finishing up all the Hardy Boys’ books and then moving on to other mystery books, specially by Enid Blyton. I also remember being able to write school essays very creatively and getting recognition and great grades. I remember Mrs. Dutta (must’ve been around 8-9th grade) once singled out an essay I had written to the whole class and asked me that I must be reading outside the school books. I said yes and that I loved to read mystery books.
I truly believe that one of the reasons of being where I am is because of the love of reading. I believe that reading widens your imagination and gives you the ability to express yourself articulately. And that ability helps you learn better and grow better. And that’s why I couldn’t be happier to see Avi immerse himself so much in this. I’m going to keep fueling his desire to read, which means going to the local library every so often and buying as many books as possible.
Yesterday, we went to see the new Disney movie, Big Hero 6. The movie was nice, and even more amazing to me was that the moment Avi stepped out of the movie, he told me he’d really want to go to a school like that where they build cool stuff like robots etc. If that’s the only thing he takes from the movie, I’d be very satisfied.
The movie is about a young kid who loves to build robots. His elder brother convinces him to apply to his school so he can channel his creative energy into building something useful. The kid is convinced when he goes to see the lab where his brother works. Isn’t that an ideal situation, where kids with amazing creative talent can be inspired to use it to build something useful? In real world, it’s not that easy but something that we continuously strive to achieve. And I’m going to continue to do that with Avi and Akshna. Building their creative instincts is the start, helping them channel them into something useful is the end goal. If what they create changes the world in a good way, that will be gravy.
Sometimes while going to bed in the night, we don’t have time to read a story. So we settle for listening to a song while you two lie down. Avi, you have been asking to list to Dido specifically. I love her songs and seems like you have grown a liking to them too. You said that it relaxes and massages your mind. The song you were referring to yesterday was “Grafton Street” from her album Safe Trip Home. And today you listened to “Us 2 Little Gods” and “The Day Before The Day”.
While I sat at the edge of your bed in the dark and saw you two lay there, I recalled how my day had went and it felt good to end it that way. With you safe and your minds relaxed, I felt like I should thank Dido, and every other musician who creates something that benefits other people in any way.
This Saturday we finally got time to get Avi started with learning WeDo. We started with the first few steps of learning, which involved building a simple 2 gear model connected to the motor and then learning about driver, follower and idler gears. We also did step up and step down gears.
It felt like Avi immediately picked up the instructions. When doing driver/follower gear, it was clear to him that they are turning in opposite directions and adding idler gear serves the purpose of making them spin in same direction. What felt good was that Avi was immediately picking up these engineering concepts. When he went: “oohh so that’s why…”, it felt great. In fact, reading about step up/step down gears helped me understand how gears works as well.
On Sunday morning, he was working on WeDo when I woke up. He built a model from the Activity book with a giant which gets woken up by Mia/Max. He went through programming the model and telling the story to Mom. I hope he continues down this path of learning STEM concepts. Once Akshna gets old enough, I will include her as well. But it feels that spark is already there. It’s already there in Avi obviously, where he is reading and learning a lot, and asking questions and having conversations. Also, I’m happy to say that there seems to be an expectation of competency in this area. When Akshna asked if she’s too young to play with WeDo, I told her that it’ll be her turn soon. Then Avi said that in sometime he’ll move on to the next step to Mindstorms and Akshna will be ready to play with WeDo.
Last night as I put you to bed and was folding your clothes to put back in closet, I found some pieces of M&Ms in your pant pocket. As I dug them out, I had an instant smile on and my heart was filled with pleasure. It just felt so amazing as I imagined you procuring those pieces of candy from somewhere (probably coaxing your mother to buy from a candy machine) and the pleasure it might have given you at that time to be the proud owner of those. And then you saved that treasure in your pocket which holds all kinds of things that you want to cherish over again sometime in near future. And then running around as you found something interesting, you forgot about that until next time when you put your hands in pocket – with immense joy as you as you come across the buried and forgotten treasure. I went through all the joys of childhood in those few minutes and I hope you go through those as well as you grow up everyday.
I put them back in your pocket hoping to be with you when you put your hands in there…