As we travel around the world together, Jasper has turned into an insatiable learning machine, the Terminator of the learning world. I just can’t feed him enough information! We started a few years ago with the history of Canada beginning with World War Two — on a backpacking trip up a mountain in the Adirondacks I began to relate to him and Anna all the history I taught for ten years as a high school history teacher. Well, both kids just sucked this up. I used to quiz them as we walked along and then I even asked them essay questions where they had to formulate a reasoned response with supporting points (was the Dieppe raid a disaster or not?). This worked really well when they were getting bored or tired to keep them moving –they have to keep up with me in order to hear the details!
Anna Sierra has gotten older and generally rides ahead with her mom, so that has left Jasper and I to talk on the tandem. Jasper will sometimes sing and talk to himself, or ride along lost in his thoughts, but he often spends the time asking me questions or absorbing info. Insatiable I tell you! Here are some of the topics we have tackled:
All of the different car models and manufacturers, different types of cars, and J’s favourite cars — electric and hybrids. He especially is interested in Tesla and was brave enough to approach a Tesla owner at a campground in Monterey — finally somebody who could answer his questions. The Tesla owner later told me he was really impressed with Jasper and thought J would be the next Elon Musk (Inventor of Tesla)!
Because I didn’t want to turn my son into a carophile on a bike trip so we then discussed the different types of bikes, frame materials, different companies and the main components companies. We have also discussed the different ecozones we have ridden through, especially the arid desert areas. Also the California drought has been on our minds ~~ especially now as the south had another dry winter but the north had a relatively normal precipitation winter. What will be the next topics? I’m thinking the history of alternative music through the 80s and 90s, although I’m not sure that will be such a hit with the under 10 crowd….or whatever we happen to come across on the road….