November 8th, 2007

junior woodchuck guidebook

Vivat Regina

On Tuesday, I took my Confirmation Class to Cincinnati to visit the Skirball Museum at Hebrew-Union College. We saw an exhibit of Judaica representing several thousand years, leading up to a very well-done Holocaust remembrance exhibit.

After that, we went out to eat at Skyline (which is culture, in a way). Then it was on to the Zoo. Hey, we were in the neighborhood, what can I say? It made for a very full day.

We took three adults and five sixth- and seventh-graders. I had three twelve-year-old boys in my car, which got kind of strange on the way back. To keep them occupied so they wouldn't bounce around quite as much (which not only bothers me, but makes my car bounce around, too), I had them compete in naming State capitals.

All of them bragged that they were expert at this. They weren't: the best got only about a dozen right; the biggest talker got two correct. One of them griped that it'd been a year and more since they had to memorize the capitals. I said, "What about me -- how long has it been for me, do you think?" After all, I was naming all the States from memory, and providing all the missing answers.

So the biggest talker tried to divert me from humiliating him with his own challenge. He said, "Yeah, then what's the capital of Saskatchewan?" I immediately replied, "Regina" (pronouncing it as a Canadian would, Reh - JINE - uh) He asked me to repeat that, several times. I thought he was just amazed that I knew the answer.

But, no. I eventually realized that his captivation with the answer was due to other factors. Apparently, he thought I had just thrown him off with a made-up (and titillating) capital for the Province. I'm guessing his memory for sex ed vocab is about as good as for State capitals. Which is not my fault. But what can you say? He's a twelve-year-old boy.

You can't make this stuff up.