Thursday, November 03, 2005

#88 - Daddy Does a Field Trip

Yesterday was an interesting day for the ol' Woodster. I got to spend a couple of hours briefing my Big Boss (the one a level up from my direct boss) during our monthly Team Review, and learned (the hard way) the meaning of the phrase "manage your customers." Then I attempted to prevent one of my coders from permanently damaging our security protocols on our production server.

Then I got to take the Woodyettes on a field trip.

We went to Rancho Los Alamitos in Long Beach so the kids in our homeschool group (and, apparently, several other invited families) could tour a historical rancho that was one of the primary landmarks in this part of the basin well over a hundred years ago. It was a fascinating snapshot in history, and parts of the rancho are still functioning, if mostly for show.

The girls even dressed for the part. They both based their costume on Josefina, one of the American Girls characters, who might have lived on a rancho very much like this one. Of course, one of my youngsters is very blonde, but she put her hair in a Josefina-like pony tail. So if you squinted, you might overlook her Swedish heritage.

The layout and background history of the rancho were fascinating enough to hold Daddy's interest, while there were enough animals kept in the barns and stables to hold the girls' attention. Our tour guide was highly knowledgeable and provided me with some background on native tribal distribution in this area that I did not know before.

My Jelly Woodyette has a wonderful ability to instantly transport herself to any time and place as if she herself were a character in a book of her own writing. In this case, she immediately identified herself with one of the daughters who lived on the rancho a hundred years ago and was able to pretend that the house and its grounds were hers. The younger one might have joined in, but she took a tumble on some asphalt (of somewhat more recent design) and skinned her little knee. So Daddy couldn't take photos for at least a portion of the tour. Had my hands (and arms) full.

Still, the girls had a wonderful time overall. Entirely on their own, they chose to write or illustrate a report on their experiences. Doodle asked me to post hers on her blog which I have done here. School work, it seems, is easy if you don't realize it's work. Maybe I can use that to psyche myself out at work next week.

Or maybe not.

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