This morning, I went to the Echo Center with my oldest son, Liam, and 18 of his third-grade classmates to learn about “Ecology, Culture, History and Opportunity” in the Champlain Basin.
We rode in a school bus, which was louder than I remember it being. Much louder. But it was worth it—if only to observe the following exchange:
“What are these pictures examples of?” asked the Echo Center instructor brightly.
Blank stares. Scuffling feet. I glanced over at Liam to find him surreptitiously trying to retrieve a plastic ax from under his seat (it was a prop). Realizing that she had stumped the crowd, the instructor started the word for the kids, drawing the syllable out in a sing-song, “It’s PUH….”
You could almost see the light bulbs popping over their heads. “POLLUTION!” they screamed.
“Uh, no,” she said, looking startled, then deflated. “I…was looking for…POPULATION.”
Same difference, really.