We had an engaging three days at Cascadia this week! The weather was quite terrible
for much of the time, but apparently Cascadians are true Oregonians, as the kids carried on
with business as usual despite the torrential downpours. Freeze tag was as popular as ever, our
two pogo sticks were in constant use – as usual – and there was a fair amount of puddle
stomping and worm rescuing happening among the younger learners. The yard turned into an unintentional slip-n-slide, and wet shoes, socks and clothing was pretty much the norm.
On Tuesday the older learners, along with myself and another parent, tested our luck
with the weather on an hour and 45-minute-long, all-outdoors tour of the waste water
treatment facility in Eugene. In the end we had no luck at all, as it started pouring as soon as we got in the car and never stopped! The kids were real troopers though, and stuck it out
despite the wet and cold. The tour was fascinating, and our guide walked us through the entire water treatment process. We got up close and personal to all of the water treatment
components, and I’m pretty certain that we all have a new appreciation for everything that has to happen when we flush a toilet or rinse a dish in the sink!
A highlight on Wednesday was a presentation on dyslexia for older learners and parents.
The Brain Breakthrough did a dyslexia simulation. I couldn’t imagine what this was going to be like until I actually did it, but it was extremely effective! Many kids didn’t even know what dyslexia was going into the presentation, but everyone left with a new understanding of what it might be like to have this condition. Particularly impactful for me was when the presenter talked about how hard kids with dyslexia have to work just to get to the point where everyone else starts off. This theme is exactly what we’ve been emphasizing in all of our social justice discussions. Why do some people have to start “below the line,” and what does this mean for those of us with privilege, who don’t have to engage in that extra struggle?
Thursday was finally a decent day in terms of weather, so our outdoor obstacle course
was in full use without so much slipping and sliding. We got a new picnic table thanks to a
member family (yay!), and kids immediately put it to good use by eating lunch outside. Other Thursday activities included Minecraft, a morning movie, a dyslexia presentation for the younger learners, a 500-piece puzzle (which we almost finished!), and lively games of
Candyland, Go Fish, Pokemon and Exploding Kittens.