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Wild and unruly kids

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#126 StarStuff1

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:46 AM

Yes RogueGazer, thank you and your wife for you other public service. :bow:

#127 Classic8

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 10:12 AM

The walker is a great idea. It's easier to lose your balance in the dark, especially when leaning over to look through an eyepiece, and the natural thing is to grab onto something.

#128 bluesteel

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 10:20 PM

Jeez. If I tried to pull some of the awful stuff posted when I was a kid, I wouldn't be sitting for a week! It seems to me that the kids who have no respect for other people's property usually are the ones with less than spectacular parental units. As RogueGazer posted, their environment can mean a world of difference, and you do not have to be monetarily wealthy to provide that.
Unfortunately for the human race, our brains are wired to remember negative experiences better than positive ones. Think of the poor fool who had to eat the poisonous mushroom to realize (too late of course) it was indeed no good for consumption. Others remember that negative, for great reason, and continued with their lives, knowing not to eat that type of mushroom.
...as for those people who destroy the observing gear, citizens arrest?

#129 Matthew Ota

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 10:14 AM

What I do now is work with the kids. I place them in command of the telescope by putting them behind the keyboard. I have them slew the telescope using TheSky software. I tell them this is how I used to work at Mount Wilson Observatory when I was a telescope operator there. I am showing them how a professional telescope operator works. By putting them in control of my telescope, I am giving them an unforgettable experience that I hope will instill a lifelong interest in astronomy, science and mathematics in them.

In 1970 the seventh grade a science teacher placed me behind an eyepiece. I now am passing the baton to a new generation.

#130 Michael Rapp

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 08:33 PM

Hi all,

I am the original poster of this thread and I feel the need to provide an update.

After my troublesome experience back in November, I did not volunteer out at the site for seven months. However, I began to miss it. I've been involved with this site off-and-on for over two decades. I was very active out there when I was in high school and the joy I felt in helping the general public get acquainted with astronomy is directly responsible for my career as an educator.

It hit me that I wasn't thinking clearly. The only aspect that has come to bother me is the unruly kids messing with my scope. Well, there is an easy way around this: don't bring my scope!

There are volunteer positions out there that do not require one to use a scope -- there are various door positions to the three permanent scopes out there, for example.

So it is with much happiness that I report that I've been out there twice in July and have been having a blast answering people's questions about the amazing stuff that goes on above our heads.

(I still bring my scope, but I don't bring it out until 11 pm when the public has gone home or back to their campsites.)

#131 DigitalFox

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:40 PM

I've come to a similar conclusion that the only way I'm going to be comfortable continuing to do outreach with children around is to simply leave the scope at home. I think that a benefit, besides the lowered anxiety, is that I can spend more time attending to questions and diving deeper in to a topic with someone because my attention isn't divided between the person and my equipment.

Thinking back to when I did interpretive work for the Forest Service I can't imagine having had to entertain and inform an audience and at the same time keep a close watch on hundreds or thousands of dollars of hardware.

All that being said I'm still up for the idea of sharing views through my scopes with responsible adults.






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