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Toe-to-Toe With a Whiz Kid

September 26, 2013

Zion CurrinZion, a handsome, lanky thirteen year old showed up at our duckweed open house a couple of weeks ago. His dad owns the farm where I grow my duckweed. Zion didn’t say much at the time, just listened hard as I gave him and his cousin a tour.

He came back a few days later with his dad and struck up a conversation  that I will never forget. This is how it went down as we stood watching fresh duckweed water drain from the tailgate of the pickup:

Zion: (without preamble) Did you know that a Galileo probe actually landed on Jupiter a few years back but it was crushed by the intense gravity of the planet?

Me: (shifting rusty gears from duckweed to astronomy) Uh… no.  can’t recall that. I did just read that the Voyager 1 probe has exited our solar system, a first in space exploration.

Zion: Did you know that if you put a drop of ink in a swirling vortex of water, it simulates a black hole because light cannot be reflected off the interior of the vortex?

Me: (gulping a bit) That is too cool!  I know we are going to  witness a past event where a black hole absorbed a gas cloud and it’ll be epic.

Zion: Did you know that sound waves go on forever in space? Martin Luther King’s live version of  “I Have a Dream” is being broadcast right now into infinity.

Me: (jaw dropped) They don’t teach you all this in 7th grade surely???

Zion: I watch the Science Channel. Can you teach me how to grow duckweed?

Me: (now pretty much under his spell) I don’t know who is going to be teaching who here, but sure!

Zion helped me for the next two hours as we harvested a load of duckweed and processed it for the solar dryer.  He was attentive, not afraid to get his hands dirty, and a hard worker.  I made him an honorary member of the ILA and gave him a guest pass for our next ILA Round Table concall.

He is going to steal the show.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan Munroe permalink
    September 29, 2013 1:02 pm

    WONDERFUL! The 14-to boy from across the street was helping me dig holes for some young trees (well, actually he was digging and and I was pointing and measuring), and he was telling me all about cobwebs.

    These great kids need to be encouraged.



  2. September 26, 2013 11:28 pm

    🙂 It’s Zion, not me. Otherwise, I’d have all nine of mine out there helping eagerly.


  3. September 26, 2013 12:34 pm

    Wow, what a wonderful exchange!


  4. September 26, 2013 10:13 am


    Getting young people into this new sustainable view of our relationship with the rest of the PLiSS (Planetary Life Support System) is crucial.
    Obviously you got the touch… 😉



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