Monday, January 3, 2011

Rip Currents

We took some surfing lessons during the holidays. The instructor explained to us what to do if we found ourselves in a rip current: don't fight it. Stay relaxed and swim sideways until there is no more current, then swim back to the beach. Last night our street reminded me of rip currents. It is a very steep street made out of bricks. When it rains some cars have a really hard time making it up. We hear their tires screeching as they try and try. They should pretend our street is a rip current and go up one of the parallel streets (which are not slippery because they are not made out of bricks). I discussed this with the boys and gave them a challenge: design a street sign that conveys the point that cars should go for a parallel street when ours is slippery. I also mentioned that many things in life are similar to rip currents. The key is to know when it is best to swim sideways for less current and when not to. We also talked about the fact that the current is not really what downs you, as it is simply moving you. People drown because they become exhausted from swimming against the current (until they can no longer thread water). Same as in many other things in life: it is often how we react to challenges that gets us in trouble, not the challenges themselves.

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