Saturday, October 2, 2010

Trying to Reason With Hurricane Season


Ah...the lyrics and tune from Jimmy Buffett's "Trying To Reason With Hurricane Seasonhave come to mind more than once these last few days.  Multiple times while the remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole battered Baltimore & the east coast on Thursday...sending me home, soaked to the bone, from a day at jury duty...and sending the kids at my school to tornado shelters for 40 minutes or so as satellite-instructed tornado warnings swirled in the direct vicinity of school.  (Verification of tornado touchdown & sad evidence of the 4 snapped trees a mere mile and a half from my school along my driving route are here:  http://www.wbaltv.com/blogometer/index.html

Yes, in some ways, Jimmy Buffett's tune is background music for my life.  Hurricane Floyd in 1999 rerouted our entire wedding just 24 hours before due to power outages of our wedding/reception site.  It also brings to mind my 5-6 years of living in/around Tampa, Florida, especially during the wicked hurricane season of 2004 when Hurricanes Charley, Ivan, Frances, and Jeanne caused us to batten down the hatches, be glued to the spaghetti-map projections of "the cone of uncertainty," put out our sandbags, flee at times to the other side of the state (and once even to Illinois, fearing "3rd time's the charm!"), and even board our house one time.  (Which, by the way, is painful to watch those 4 inch nails go through boards into your new, stuccoed, Florida-concrete-block house!).  Then there's 2005's Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans (not that I was there, but I do believe that its impact was felt nationally wherever you lived in) ...

Yes, it's difficult to reason, try as we might, with hurricane season.

But, NPR has tried!  And succeeded with their "How Much Do Hurricanes Weigh" 3-minute video!  At the very least, they've succeeded in creating an informative & kid-friendly visual that puts some real-world meaning in the the weight and force of a hurricane in terms that kids can understand.  Add in that I am teaching "place value" right now in math, I'm giddy with the super teaching connection this video makes to math!

To see the video, click the embedded image above, click the title above, or go to http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2010/09/23/130078553/a-hurricane-weighs-how-muchMaybe it'll help you with your Jimmy Buffett quest for hurricane meaning, sense, and reason!


Pictures are pictures from my life during the 2004 Florida Hurricane season.

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