Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Crazy idea or crazy smart?

gum on the ground by the Alamo

I have been watching a billion crime shows on Netflix over the past year or so. Mostly because many of the shows have lots of episodes, right now it is Bones. What those shows have taught me was that everything leaves trace evidence behind.

I was strolling by the Alamo and took the image above. Gum. I have noticed there is a lot of gum on the sidewalks. I wonder how much gold and silver could be harvested from that gum. There has to be trace amounts of precious medals in the gum, how might we mine it?

This reminds me of a time during my student teaching. A student exclaimed that ice cream was made of dirt. No one laughed or said anything, the room was quiet for a bit. Slowly others started to figure it out. His connection was that the grass grows in the dirt, cows eat the grass, people take the milk and turn that into ice cream, thus ice cream is made out of dirt. This connection was brilliant and helped the other kids think differently and take intellectual risks. 

What does all this mean? Sometimes I jump too quick to dismiss a good idea. Sometimes I don't remain quiet like those first graders did. Ice cream is made from dirt and maybe, just maybe, we could mine the gum for precious medals. Maybe we don't have the technology to extract the gold today but I'm sure that is just around the corner.

This summer has brought some hard lessons, but one of the benefits has been slowing down and taking life one day at a time. 

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