Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Car Talk

Despite the fact that kids should not be on campus, a series of events leaves me with my son coming to class WITH me on a horrendously rainy day.  I only have one class to teach, and there is no way I can cancel it, especially after saying over and over that there WILL BE LECTURE on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

I  buy my son locos tacos and tell him I plan to hide him in the technology closet in the  front corner. He has his ipad and his NY Yankees ballcap which he wears like a security blanket. I think he'll be fine.

We get to class and I turn the computer on while Zack hides in his closet corner.

 Students ask questions on papers and exams and this and that, and soon enough it's time for class to start.

I lecture for a few minutes then realize my students are staring out the window at the wall of water that's coming down.  It's a great day to be in bed, to not be driving or walking or facing the world. But anyway, here we are and its the end of the semester so we have to keep rolling.

I go through the 1920s reviewing a bit and adding more. We cover the rise of the KKK and Buck v Bell and the other ways the 1920s were conservative.

Then my turns to the rise of automobiles and credit. I know where I'm going on this straight line to the economy crashing, the New Deal then the road to WW2.

My son has less faith.

Out of the corner of my eye I see him flagging me down frantically.

What? I gesture.

Come HERE he gestures.

WHAT? I gesture again, the class now giggling at our exchange.

I tiptoe over to where Zack is and ask him again, WHAT?

You're talking about cars, he says.

Yes I'm talking about cars, I reply.

You're supposed to be talking about history, he says.

I'm supposed to be talking about history? I repeat.

Yes Mom. World War 1. World War 2. History, mom, that's what you're here for.

Cars are history, I tell my son.

Cars are HISTORY?

Yes. Everything is history.  Are you impressed?

He crosses his arms and frowns a little, then leans back in his spot so I can get back to lecture.

Before FDR gets elected the rain stops and the sky clears a little.

After the students clear out I walk with him to the car, impressing him with bits of this and that and making the most out of our day together.