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General Astronomy >> Outreach

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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: Shannon s]
      #5599860 - 01/01/13 03:48 PM

Quote:

I couldn't do it. I don't like most people.Much less their kids. I am a full blown Introvert. I like to sit by myself in my observatory and observe. I have never been to a star party, I might have to talk to someone. I do however have 2 cats that love to annoy me while I observe. Kudos to you all who have the patience to spread the gospel.




Your message shocked me. I had to check and see who wrote it. It couldn't possibly be me, I only have 1 cat.


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Achernar
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: Mobile, Alabama, USA
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: Shannon s]
      #5599924 - 01/01/13 04:30 PM

Don't feel bad, I have three cats who would rather me be scratching them instead of observing. I do not care for most people either, but I don't mind doing a few outreach events a year. I deal with people I dislike ever day, but when I have a choice I keep to myself. I would not stand for the sort of behavior another poster refered to, as in willful destruction of someone's telescope.

Taras


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cheapersleeper
Post Laureate
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Reged: 01/22/10

Loc: Sachse TX
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: Achernar]
      #5600052 - 01/01/13 06:00 PM

I am deaf and use a cochlear implant to hear. Most of the time that I am not at work, I am alone and to a great degree it suits me. I need a lot of time to read and to think and to work on things I like to work on. All that said, despite my being hard of hearing, I enjoy the outreach events. Apparently, I am easy to talk to because out of the many who look and then leave, I typically pick up one or two folks, sometimes a family, that hangs around for a long while to talk about observing and scope building. That is the part I most enjoy.

We are all different. Society seems to place a premium on certain personality types but I hope our hobby will not. To quote a great man: "I yam whut I yam." That is what we all should be. If you don't enjoy outreach, don't do it.

Regards,
Brad


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dpwoos
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/18/06

Loc: United States
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: cheapersleeper]
      #5600830 - 01/02/13 08:09 AM

I would also like to stress that I do outreach as much FOR ME as for the kids and adults. I love doing it, and I love reading the notes and looking at the pictures that the kids create and send to me afterwards - it makes me happy. It is difficult for me to understand why not everybody enjoys it, just as it must be difficult for those who don't to undertand why anybody does. My goal is not to goad anyone into doing public observing who doesn't like it, but rather to remind folks that ugly incidents are rare, and that if fear of this kind of stuff happening is the only source of reluctance then another think is in order.

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Raginar
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: dpwoos]
      #5601444 - 01/02/13 03:38 PM

I agree with DP... I do outreach for me more than anything else. I think alot of people think astronomy is 'cosmic' and don't get that you can accomplish quite a bit from your backyard.

On the flip side, I'm pretty introverted so I get that part too .


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edwincjones
Close Enough
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Reged: 04/10/04

Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: Raginar]
      #5607850 - 01/06/13 07:51 AM

"if something can happen, it will happen"

when we do outreach, we pay a price in time, effort, risk to equipment
the risk is small but can occur

the benefit is sharing our enjoyment of the skies, giving the public a thrill,
continuing the hobby to future generations

we all have to decide if the risk/benefit is worth it
like all other aspects of our lives

edj


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Perigny270
super member


Reged: 10/23/11

Loc: Temiscaming, Quebec
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: edwincjones]
      #5608151 - 01/06/13 11:37 AM



But I do understand those who aren't comfortable...


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azure1961p
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: Shannon s]
      #5608267 - 01/06/13 12:33 PM

Quote:

I couldn't do it. I don't like most people.Much less their kids. I am a full blown Introvert. I like to sit by myself in my observatory and observe. I have never been to a star party, I might have to talk to someone. I do however have 2 cats that love to annoy me while I observe. Kudos to you all who have the patience to spread the gospel.




Lol yeah I'd agree with that. Most people in reality are flip, insensitive, clueless and often irritating sooner or later. But SOME people are great. I hate the open public outreach thing. A star party with just fellow astronomers is great. Kids can be an irritant and in all cases when they are its the idiot parent whose got no control over the touchy brat. Then there's the rude remarks about a tin mars etc. I love kids but plenty are just plain wild and I have little paitienc for such nonsense. I work in a shop where last night three kids were bouncing off the walls basically and nothi g but stupid clueless ineffectual parents smiling. Till they get hurt then its lawyer ville.

I like people in general but line the trivial relationship dynamics that typify work place social structure for example, its tempered with the reality that maybe 5% are truly worth knowing well. Lol I find most astronomers in that category.

Pete


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dpwoos
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/18/06

Loc: United States
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5608367 - 01/06/13 01:21 PM

I would like to suggest that it isn't that "most astronomers" are in the "truly worth knowing" category, but rather that astronomers are who you share an interest with, and it is this shared interest that puts them into your "truly worth knowing" category. Really, doesn't this make the most sense, rather than the very unlikely idea that amateur astronomers as a group are somehow superior? If it does, then a way to expand your "truly worth knowing" category might be to get to know non-astronomers better, and cultivate other shared interests.

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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: dpwoos]
      #5610029 - 01/07/13 11:33 AM

It usually just takes a little stern word or 2, but there are those that wander about without parents, those are the
bothersome ones especially if in a group of 3 or 4,
These are the time when I wish Outreach was Literal,
Outreach to their little behinds!


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edosaurusrex
sage
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Reged: 01/30/07

Loc: Ft Worth, TX
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: orion61]
      #5612745 - 01/08/13 09:19 PM

I struggle with this every year (Outreach participation which can result in unruly kids). Looking back, I was probably like the kids everybody is complaining about. Your telescopes are safe, there was no astronomy outreach where I grew up so I never had the opportunity to play Astro Fungo with anybody's refractor and Erfle eyepieces. But I do remember the patient adults that DID bother to put up with the mayhem and steer me in the right direction. I do outreach twice a year. I take my most bullet proof scope, my old eyepieces, I let the kids try to "find" the brighter planets, stars, and the Moon. I've bitten my lip and tongue many times but, as an earlier poster said, there's a wind down period where an interested family or teachers or Scout leaders and a few kids will huddle around and we'll point and shoot the session away.
Most astronomers I know are loners, perfectly happy to be alone and do what we love in undisturbed silence. I like small groups of astronomers for "object synergy" (apologies for the buzzword) and believe I've seen more because of the occasional "hey, have you ever seen _______". Star Parties, in small doses are great.
Getting back to the kids, yeah there are problems sometimes but I feel I owe it to the adults that put up with me.

2 cents.

Ed

Edited by edosaurusrex (01/08/13 10:39 PM)


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Scott in NCAdministrator
80mm Refractor Fanatic
*****

Reged: 03/05/05

Loc: NC
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: edosaurusrex]
      #5612815 - 01/08/13 10:20 PM

Great post, Ed!

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Joe Bergeron
Vendor - Space Art


Reged: 11/10/03

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: Scott in NC]
      #5613041 - 01/09/13 01:14 AM

I'm not exactly the most outgoing person in the world, but I do a fair amount of outreach. I value the opportunity to get away from my usual cloistered existence and actually interact with other humans. If you add it all up I have at least 6 months of solid experience. I use my best equipment. Mostly I'm doing this at national parks. I've never had anyone threaten or damage my equipment. In general, yahoos rarely visit national parks.

This past summer I spent 5 weeks doing outreach at Capitol Reef National Park. The worst thing that happened was when another amateur astronomer showed up. He stood nearby talking about astronomy to his friends while I was trying to keep my mind on my presentation and remain coherent. I finally had to ask him to step away. That wasn't so bad, but the biggest jerks I have encountered at star parties have been a few of the other astronomers, not the public.


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dpwoos
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/18/06

Loc: United States
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: Joe Bergeron]
      #5613254 - 01/09/13 08:08 AM

I use my best stuff, too. In fact, that is a big reason why I have it in the first place. Never had a problem.

I strongly suspect that the likelihood of having a problem is often overestimated. I base this on the fact that I have never met anyone who has had something ugly happen to them, but rather only report having heard of something happening to somebody else.


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MawkHawk
sage
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: dpwoos]
      #5613570 - 01/09/13 11:47 AM

Quote:

I would like to suggest that it isn't that "most astronomers" are in the "truly worth knowing" category, but rather that astronomers are who you share an interest with, and it is this shared interest that puts them into your "truly worth knowing" category. Really, doesn't this make the most sense, rather than the very unlikely idea that amateur astronomers as a group are somehow superior? If it does, then a way to expand your "truly worth knowing" category might be to get to know non-astronomers better, and cultivate other shared interests.




I dunno. I'm 52 and have worked in a lot of companies and have known a lot of people, most of whom I didn't care for. But the guys in my astronomy club are all pretty cool, easy going, nobody gets upset, everybody helps everybody else, and never an unkind word. They welcome all newcomers with any or no equipment and assist in any way possible.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: MawkHawk]
      #5613737 - 01/09/13 01:31 PM

Right MawkHawk, unlike "work", this is a hobby. There are no "rules"; no deadlines to meet, no schedule or checklist to follow.....its what we do for fun......and that makes a whole universe of difference.......

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MessiToM
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/21/09

Loc: Huntingdon PA
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5614022 - 01/09/13 04:24 PM

All this reminds me of a younger boy (parents no where to be seen) grabbed my E.P and started to climb up it. I turned and saw him and the 12" dob start to tip JUST in time. I never turn my back to my gear at public outreaches now....

My club was st up at a local camp ground. I assume parents figured they would let theyr kids rome down there for something to do. I know as a parent of 2 that I would never allow such behavior. These events are the minority not majority of younger folks


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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: Wild and unruly kids new [Re: MessiToM]
      #5614055 - 01/09/13 04:41 PM

It is pretty cool tho when kids see you in the market or
elsewhere in town and come up to you and tell you how
much they loved looking through your telescope.
Same with their Parents..
Those make the other little issues seem so minor, and make it well worth while, and keep me doing it!


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Achernar
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: Mobile, Alabama, USA
Re: Wild and unruly kids [Re: MessiToM]
      #5614520 - 01/09/13 09:15 PM

That is why I never turn my back on my telescope for a second. It also helps a lot that most of the children I meet are in the company of their parents, I think the parents often get more out of coming to outreach events than the children. I realize most of them have never been face to face with an astronomical telescope before, but past a certain age, they should know better than to use telescopes as jungle gyms.

Taras


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Joe Bergeron
Vendor - Space Art


Reged: 11/10/03

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Wild and unruly kids [Re: Achernar]
      #5614651 - 01/09/13 10:51 PM

I think adults usually get more out of it. The younger the kid, the less they understand what they're seeing or are supposed to see. What's really annoying is when parents waste your time by holding their precious toddlers up to your eyepiece so they can tilt their heads and whine about they can't see anything. In general kids younger than about 6 just aren't equipped to get it.

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